A recent [Harvard] study errs in its assessment of potential wind energy resources by ignoring real-world data and experience and instead relying on crude theoretical modeling techniques. In reality, wind project developers and investors work closely with atmospheric scientists and other experts to make sure that their projects will produce as much as expected, and real-world data from large-scale wind installations in the US and Europe confirms that they do. Regardless of who is correct, the inescapable fact is that America’s developable wind energy resources are many times greater than our country’s energy needs.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today is expected to reintroduce a bill offering tax credits for the first companies to build offshore wind projects in the United States. Carper’s bill would offer a 30 percent investment tax credit for the first 3,000 megawatts of new offshore wind projects, which would likely cover at least the first several projects. Carper said he is hoping his bill can be part of a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S is cutting 110 jobs at its two blade factories in Colorado and adding 100 workers at another plant that makes wind turbine towers in the same state. The Danish wind turbine maker is reducing its workforce at factories in Windsor and Brighton, while adding jobs in Pueblo. Before the announcement, Vestas employed about 1,100 workers in Colorado.
The progress that offshore wind energy has made thus far in the U.S. could be stymied by cuts made under sequestration, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar said at the Offshore Wind Power USA conference, which is being held in Boston this week. “We have made impressive gains – approving dozens of utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects in the West, and transitioning from planning to commercial leasing for offshore wind,” Salazar said during his keynote address. “The potentially devastating impact of budget reductions under sequestration could slow our economy and hurt energy sector workers and businesses.”
A majority of Maryland residents support Gov. Martin O’Malley’s plan to subsidize development of giant windmills in the Atlantic Ocean, according a new Washington Post poll. And there is growing momentum for the bill to pass the Maryland General Assembly this year.
According to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the notion that wind energy presents an unending supply of power might be a bit misleading. While there may be no end to breezes and gusts, the way we harness them could be counterproductive, according to applied physicist David Keith. His latest research, which applies mesoscale atmospheric modeling, finds large-scale wind farms will not be as effective as previously thought. His conclusions have now been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Former Cabinet officials and lawmakers from both parties are among the 37 signers of an open letter released today that highlights the potential impact of climate change on geopolitical stability and U.S. national security. Former Sens. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) were among those calling on their former colleagues in the Partnership for a Secure America letter to “support American security and global stability by addressing the risks of climate change in vulnerable nations.”
The global generating capacity of wind farms has been overestimated and the world may not have access to as much wind power as thought, U.S. researchers say. “People have often thought there’s no upper bound for wind power — that it’s one of the most scalable power sources,” Harvard University applied physicist David Keith says.
Solar panels, windmills and biomass facilities made up all the new generation that came online last month, compared to fossil-heavy contributions in January 2012, according to a new federal report. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its monthly infrastructure update that found more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy went into operation in January. The findings are based on data from Ventyx Global LLC. In comparison, coal- and gas-fired plants made up the bulk of new generation in January 2012, with lesser contributions from wind and solar facilities, according to the report.
An environmental group released a report today promoting offshore wind energy as a smart investment for coastal states. The Natural Resources Defense Council report faults the United States for failing to provide incentives to develop offshore wind.