News

Denmark will help Md. develop offshore wind

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Maryland has asked for Denmark’s help in developing offshore wind farms, officials said. Denmark is the home of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm developer, DONG Energy, and of the top two offshore wind turbine manufacturers, Siemens Wind Power and Vestas Wind Systems, both of which also have factories in the United States.

2 bipartisan sponsors sign onto Senate MLP bill

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

A bipartisan pair of senators have added their names to legislation that would expand a popular fossil fuel tax break to the renewable energy and efficiency industries, its sponsor announced yesterday. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are the latest to back the “Master Limited Partnership Parity Act,” S. 795, which would extend the ability to establish MLPs to clean energy firms. MLPs allow companies to establish partnerships whose shares are traded similarly to traditional stock but that are not taxed at the corporate level; the structure is popular in the oil and gas industry.

Interior OKs partial Gateway West route amid siting concerns

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Interior Department today announced its final approval of the nearly 1,000-mile-long Gateway West Transmission Line Project that the Obama administration has made a top priority but that has been dogged by concerns it would damage sensitive wildlife habitat and view sheds.

To bridge gaps in wind and solar generation, aging grid learns flexibility

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

At 2 p.m. on a sunny afternoon in June of this year, solar power in California surged to a new milestone. Over the course of an hour, photovoltaic panels and other arrays generated more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity — a record for the Golden State and for California ISO, its systems operator. Many environmental groups oppose nuclear power, but some scientists assert that it remains essential to a low-carbon energy future

Does nuclear power have a place in a low-carbon future? Friends and foes weigh in

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The process used to generate electricity from decaying nuclear fuel creates a laundry list of toxic and radioactive byproducts along with plutonium, a man-made element that can be used to make nuclear weapons. What you won’t find on that list, however, are substantial amounts of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Nuclear energy may not be clean, but without it, a climate-neutral energy system may be far more difficult and expensive to achieve.

Building of large wind farms could provide Nebraskans with major property tax relief, advocates say

Source: By Paul Hammel / World-Herald Bureau • Posted: Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The answer to high property taxes in Nebraska, at least in some rural areas, might be blowing in the wind. That’s the conclusion of a new report by wind power developers that projected that the construction of a large wind farm in the state’s 15 most-rural and least-populated counties could allow a local property tax cut of up to 39 percent.

Wind farm turns to remotes, radar to prevent bird deaths

Source: E&E • Posted: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

A Montana wind farm is using tracking radar and a remote operations center to prevent golden eagle and other raptor deaths. The radar’s “detect and deter” cameras, along with human monitors, at the Rim Rock Wind Facility in Glacier and Toole counties can spot signs of possible bird collisions and shut down wind turbines within 30 seconds.

Green groups urge extension of clean energy credits

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

With just over six weeks remaining in the year — and, hence, in the current life cycle of some key clean energy tax credits — a coalition of environmental groups is calling on Congress to not let those incentives lapse.
It seems a long shot to expect congressional tax writers to turn their attention from the intensifying discussion of an overhaul of the tax code to deliver an extension of the expiring provisions before the end of this year. But failure to do so would create more problems for a slate of burgeoning industries, the groups wrote in a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee.

U.S. wind farms killed 600K bats last year — study

Source: Sam Pearson, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 11th, 2013

More than 600,000 bats may have been killed by wind turbines last year in the continental United States, according to a new study, illustrating the ongoing controversy over clean energy projects’ environmental impacts. The study by University of Colorado, Denver, researcher Mark Hayes, to be published in the journal BioScience, used statistical models to determine the estimate from other researchers’ peer-reviewed data of bat deaths at 21 wind energy facilities across the United States.

Former Senate aide becomes climate adviser as Zichal exits

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 11th, 2013

President Obama today tapped a low-profile insider with legislative and administration experience to replace climate change adviser Heather Zichal, who departs today after more than four years at the White House. Zichal deputy Dan Utech will now be lead coordinator for President Obama’s broad Climate Action Plan.