Report Finds More than 4000 Iowa Employees Working in Energy Supply Chain

Source: By CHERIL LEE, KIOS, Omaha • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

More than 100 companies from across the state of Iowa are working in the wind and solar energy supply chain. That’s according to a report recently released by the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Howard Learner, Executive Director, says Iowa is helping to power the world through renewable energy businesses that build wind machines and solar panel equipment.

New Transmission Line To Carry Wind Energy Not Met With Open Arms

Source: By JOE WERTZ, All Things Considered, NPR • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Public meetings are underway in Oklahoma and Arkansas to get input on a high-voltage transmission line. The U.S. hasn’t added a line like this since the 1970s, but not everyone is happy about it. “We’ve maxed out the available grid, so if you want to continue to grow the export of Oklahoma wind to other states, you need new infrastructure to do that with,” says Michael Skelly of Cleanline Energy.

Kan. wind farm supporters talk renewable energy at the state capitol

Source: By Amelia Arvesen, KU Statehouse Wire Service • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Wind farm supporters urged lawmakers Tuesday to retain current laws that require utility companies to generate or purchase renewable energy by the year 2020. Wind farm supporters opposed Senate Bill 253, which would discontinue the Renewable Energy Standards Act by the end of the year. The act requires major electricity companies like Westar Energy to generate at least 10 percent of energy from renewable sources. The second part of the legislation would cancel the scheduled Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) increases to 15 percent by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020.

Battle Continues in Fight to Save States’ Renewable Energy Policies

Source: By Gwynne Taraska and Alison Cassady, Center for American Progress • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

There was a series of attempts in 2013 and 2014 to repeal or weaken state laws that set targets for increasing the use of renewable energy. States across the country—including Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas and North Carolina, among others—faced campaigns against their renewable energy standards. All of those attempts were unsuccessful except in the case of Ohio.

State lawmakers push back against EPA’s Clean Power Plan in Fla., Minn. 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

A growing number of state legislatures are trying to insert themselves into the debate over crafting plans to comply with U.S. EPA’s unprecedented effort to lower the carbon footprints of state power sectors. Pennsylvania and West Virginia have already enacted laws giving their legislative chambers veto power over the proposals their states’ environmental protection agencies ultimately will draft to comply with the Clean Power Plan. The influential conservative American Legislative Exchange Council is pushing for other Republican-controlled chambers to pass similar bills. Earlier this week, a Minnesota House committee approved language mirroring ALEC’s model legislation.

Report: Wind power could be 35% of supply by 2050

Source: By David Jackson, USA TODAY • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The Obama administration is setting higher goals for wind power, saying it could supply 35% of the nation’s electricity by the year 2050.
Wind power currently generates 4.5% of electricity, but that number is expected to more than double to 10% by 2020, says a report obtained by USA TODAY that will be released today by the U.S. Department of Energy. “Wind energy continues to be one of America’s best choices for low-cost, zero-pollution renewable energy, and in an increasing number of markets, may be the cheapest source of new energy available,” says a summary of the report by the Obama administration.

Siemens tops global wind turbine market, Vestas slips, GE rises

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Siemens gained over Vestas to top the global wind turbine market as measured by market share of newly installed machines connected to the grid in 2014, according to an industry report, but the gap between the top three companies is small.

Fossil fuel prices don’t reflect true cost of carbon, report says 

Source: Manon Verchot, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Prices at the pump don’t reflect the true cost of fossil fuels, according to a new study. When you add together the environmental, health and social costs of continuing business as usual with fossil fuel extraction and use, all of society gets billed, not just the consumer, it finds.

Iowa court ruling lets public sector tap into solar

Source: By Rick Smith, The Gazette • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Tax credits to cover 30 percent of the upfront cost haven’t done much for local elected officials in Iowa eager to try solar energy for public buildings as a way to save on electric bills and to green up their environmental credentials. Until now.

Wind, gas, solar dominate new power plant installations

Source: By Timothy Cama, The • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Power companies’ new generating capacity this year will be dominated by wind, natural gas and solar power, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Wind will see a net increase of 9.8 gigawatts of capacity throughout the country, the most of any power source, the EIA said Tuesday, based on generating companies’ stated expectations.