Can Wind Energy Be Counted On To Help Meet Obama’s Carbon Goals?

Source: By Ken Silverstein, Forbes • Posted: Thursday, February 19th, 2015

“Our customers want wind,” says Jonathan Weisgall, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., which is building a $1.9 billion wind farm in Iowa. “We like wind because it is a hedge against fossil prices.” To the wind industry, the resource provides energy diversity that enhances grid reliability and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. To critics, though, it is unreliable and inefficient, adding costs that are ultimately passed through to taxpayers or ratepayers. It’s a face off that now exist between the White House and Congress and one that will manifest itself during the Clean Power Plan roll-out.

Wind, solar power could supply 75 percent of Nebraska’s needs, advocates say

Source: By Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writer • Posted: Thursday, February 19th, 2015

“Our research found that Nebraska has enough renewable resources to provide 73 percent of the state’s energy needs,” said Ryan Hodum of David Gardiner and Associates. “Maximizing the state’s renewable energy potential will allow Nebraska to power the state with homegrown energy.”

UK approves world’s biggest offshore wind farm

Source: By Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent, Financial Times • Posted: Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The world’s biggest offshore wind scheme has been given the go-ahead off the coast of Yorkshire, in a move the government said was likely to create hundreds of jobs. The Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project is expected to be one of the UK’s biggest power stations, second only to the Drax coal-fired plant in North Yorkshire and capable of supplying about 2.5 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Group retools petition requesting FWS permits for bird kills 

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

A conservation group has renewed its push for the Fish and Wildlife Service to tighten regulation of bird deaths at wind farms. The American Bird Conservancy says the agency should establish a mandatory permitting regime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), a move it argued would bolster protections for wildlife while providing legal certainty for wind developers.

EU on track for green energy goal but UK, Dutch lagging

Source: BY BARBARA LEWIS, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

EU nations are on track to meet a target to get one fifth of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, even though Britain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are lagging behind, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Tuesday. The EEA, which provides analysis to EU policymakers, said energy from sources such as wind and solar had become much cheaper. As a result, alternatives had displaced coal and gas, cut carbon emissions and improved energy security.

GM Adds Wind Energy to Power Factories in Mexico

Source: By Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit • Posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Yesterday General Motors (GM) announced it will add wind power to its energy portfolio for the first time in the history of the company. The construction of the 34 megawatt wind farm in Palo Alto, 325 miles (526 km) from Mexico City, will begin during the second quarter of this year

State regulators sharply criticize Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

When it comes to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Texas’ best bet might be to “just say no,” its regulatory utility commissioner said today. EPA would have to provide substantial new “relief” in its final version of the rule for existing power plants in order to give Texas confidence that complying would be a good idea, Commissioner Kenneth Anderson told the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

McCarthy hints at interim target changes in power plant rule 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy suggested today that EPA would change the way early reductions are mandated in its final version of the Clean Power Plan. In an appearance at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) winter meeting, McCarthy acknowledged many states have told EPA that the interim compliance period would limit their options or affect reliability.

Multi-state coordination needed to revive U.S. offshore wind industry — report 

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Following a lackluster several months for offshore wind in the United States, a new report argues that interstate coordination is essential if the industry is going to get back on its feet. Noting that the United States seems to have entered the “post-Cape Wind” era, report author and Clean Energy Group President Lewis Milford said in an email introducing the report that “the current policy isn’t working and there is a need for multi-state policy approaches.”

Embattled governor to resign 

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) will resign from office effective Wednesday, succumbing to demands from state Democrats amid multiple investigations into whether his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, used her role as an energy policy adviser for personal gain. Kitzhaber’s resignation will automatically elevate Secretary of State Kate Brown (D) into the governor’s mansion. The state does not have a lieutenant governor.