Comment: U.S. must remain No. 1 in wind energy

Source: By James Walker, Former chairman, American Wind Energy Assocoation, Kearney Hub • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Wind power is one of the great success stories of the modern economy. Inventors in New Hampshire launched the world’s first wind farm 35 years ago. In the early 1980s, just one state, California, housed more than 80 percent of all installed wind power worldwide. Today, U.S. wind turbines are so productive that our nation regularly finishes ahead of other countries that have also installed large numbers of turbines, including China, Spain and Germany. This is some of the best infrastructure America has ever built.

Activists try to breathe life into Cape Wind

Source: By Dan Adams, Boston Globe • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Cape Wind may be dead in the water, but climate activists aren’t giving up on the ambitious offshore turbine project yet. In January, after a decade of starts and stops, National Grid and other utility companies that had promised to purchase power from Cape Wind pulled out of their contracts, citing backers’ failure to meet key financing deadlines. Without buyers lined up, the project is effectively stalled. Now, a coalition of environmental groups led by the Better Future Project have kicked off a “hail Mary” campaign asking National Grid president Marcy Reed to reconsider.

Vermont House endorses renewable energy package

Source: By DAVE GRAM, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Vermont’s new requirement would stipulate that utilities get 55 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2017, ramping up to 75 percent by 2032. Some have met or exceeded those goals already, since Vermont gets big chunks of power from hydroelectric dams — which are considered renewable — as well as biomass plants like the wood chip-burning McNeil power plant in Burlington.

Kansas wind, ethanol industries ride through a rough patch ahead

Source: BY DAN VOORHIS, Wichita Eagle • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Kansas has been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” but why limit ourselves? We have lots of wind. We have lots of sun. We have lots of grain for ethanol. Renewable sources of energy are big business in Kansas. The sector, largely ethanol and wind, make up about 10 percent of the energy consumed in all forms by Kansans, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

Eiffel tower embraces wind power

Source: James Murray, The Guardian • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

One of the world’s most iconic sites has become the latest high profile venue to embrace renewable energy, after the installation of two vertical axis wind turbines as part of the Eiffel tower’s high profile renovation project. US-based onsite renewables specialist Urban Green Energy (UGE) announced on Tuesday that it has fitted two turbines at the site capable of delivering 10,000kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the power used by the commercial areas on the Eiffel tower’s first floor.

Upper Midwest the worst place to plug in — study 

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

If you live in Rochester, Minn., you may want to reconsider buying an electric vehicle, according to a new study from scientists at Carnegie Mellon University. The colder temperatures in the Upper Midwest can decrease the range of a battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) by 36 percent compared to one in California and in turn also increase carbon emissions because the region’s generation mix is also the dirtiest, according to the study published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Google invests $300 million in U.S. residential solar projects

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

SolarCity Corp on Thursday said it created a $750 million fund to finance about 25,000 residential solar projects, with Google Inc investing nearly half the funding. The money will be used by SolarCity to put solar panels on homes. Homeowners then will pay a monthly fee to lease the panels from the company. The growth of such financing has made generating electric power from the sun an option for households who do not want to shell out the $20,000 to $30,000 upfront cost of a typical residential solar system.

Inhofe throws snowball on Senate floor, trying to hit Obama agenda 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) yesterday lobbed a snowball at a Senate page on the chamber floor to illustrate his point that far from unprecedented warmness, this winter has actually been quite cold, as part of his speech trying to debunk global warming. “It’s a snowball from just outside here, so it’s very, very cold,” the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairman told Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who was presiding at the time. “Very unseasonable. So, Mr. President, catch this.”

We have tools to ensure grid reliability under carbon rule — EPA 

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

U.S. EPA Chief Gina McCarthy told lawmakers yesterday that her agency is prepared to deal with potential electric reliability problems under the Clean Power Plan, whether through a “waiver or another process.” While McCarthy maintained that the proposed rule would not affect reliability, she said EPA has the necessary tools to address situations that might arise under the landmark standards to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Iberdrola of Spain Buys UIL of New Haven for $3 Billion

Source: By DEALBOOK, New York Times • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

Iberdrola will combine UIL’s power and gas operations with its existing local unit and will list the new company on an American stock exchange. The combined company will serve 3.1 million customers in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. The company said it expected to invest $6.9 billion in electric and gas infrastructure and other capital expenditures over the next five years.