The budget released last night by Senate Democrats calls for substantial investments in energy infrastructure and research as mechanisms to boost the economy and address the effects of climate change. The plan is heavy on calls for infrastructure investments, including transmission lines, “smart grid” technology, water management and mass transit. The document is not binding on lawmakers but presents Democrats’ priorities for the coming years.
A major renewable energy project for 87 wind turbines on federal land near Searchlight received government approval Wednesday. The wind farm would cover about 160 acres of a 19,000 acre piece of Bureau of Land Management property west of Searchlight and would generate 200 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 70,000 homes, according to the BLM.
The Maryland Senate on Friday cleared a measure that would make it easier to develop wind energy off the coast of Ocean City.
Many environmentalists believe that wind and solar power can be scaled to meet the rising demand, especially if coupled with aggressive efforts to cut waste. But a lot of energy analysts have crunched the numbers and concluded that today’s renewables, important as they are, cannot get us even halfway there. “We need energy miracles,” Mr. Gates said in a speech three years ago introducing his approach, embodied in a company called TerraPower.
An international renewable energy company is laying off 40 workers at its wind turbine plant in eastern Iowa. Acciona announced Monday that a reduction at its West Branch facility was necessary because of a sharp decline in U.S. wind development over the past year.
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to encourage development of a wind energy farm off the coast of Ocean City cleared a major hurdle Friday as the Maryland Senate passed the bill 30-17. The proposal, designed to spark an offshore wind industry by subsidizing its developer, now goes to the Maryland House of Delegates. The House has passed a similar bill but needs to consider minor changes made in a Senate committee.
President Obama hosted a casual off-the-record meeting with a diverse group of energy and climate change experts at the White House on Thursday evening, officials and participants said Friday. The session appeared to mark an early stage of the “national conversation” on how to deal with climate change that Mr. Obama promised to lead shortly after he was re-elected in November.
President Obama met Thursday night with more than a dozen executives and “thought leaders” to discuss energy policies, including natural gas, renewables, research and development, and efficiency, the White House said today. The meeting comes ahead of a planned trip by Obama to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to discuss energy policy.
Changing weather patterns and a slightly shifting political landscape have spurred a renewed interest in climate change action among congressional Democrats but not with the Republicans who once expressed concern about the issue. GOP senators including John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska still say that man-made climate change exists and deserves a response — a position that sets them apart from many in their caucus who say warming is not occurring or is driven only by natural causes. But they don’t talk much about the issue anymore, nor do they propose mandatory programs to deal with it.
An energy company is hoping to test out a way to store energy generated by wind turbines. Wyoming-based Winhyne Energy Group hopes to install a hydraulic pump system to the towers of its planned nine-turbine wind project. The pumps would store pressure as the turbines rotate, which would be used to turn a hydraulic motor and spin a generator. If the energy isn’t immediately needed, it would be stored by compressing nitrogen into a pipeline system.