Op-Ed: Don’t slow clean energy job growth in the Heartland

Source: By Jim Mikel, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

Iowa is a national leader in wind power, ranking in the top 3 nationally for capacity, power produced and number of turbines. Kelsey Kremer/The Register After spending more than 33 years working in the wind and aviation industry — including working at Zond, Enron Wind, and later GE Wind — it was clear to me that wind energy was here to stay in the Midwest.

MidAmerican will spend $1 billion ‘repowering’ oldest wind turbines

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

MidAmerican Energy plans to spend $1 billion “repowering” about 706 older turbines across Iowa, updating them with longer blades, hubs and more efficient nacelles. Each upgraded turbine will annually net between 19 and 28 percent more energy for the Des Moines-based, investor-owned utility.

Wind Energy Feels the Force of World Markets

Source: By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

The prevailing wind has dramatically changed for the world’s biggest maker of the swooshing blades that dot landscapes from Argentina to Mongolia. Vestas Wind Systems A/S lost about a fifth of its stock market value after the Danish company said it was squeezing less profit out of sales of equipment and services compared with a year ago because of increased competition. Before Thursday’s plunge, the shares had risen 15 percent this year.

As Wind Power Sector Grows, Turbine Makers Feel the Squeeze

Source: By STANLEY REED, New York Times • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

Vestas Wind Systems and Siemens Gamesa are giants of the wind-power industry, building mammoth turbines that rise high into the air and power more and more homes. But disappointing earnings reports from the two companies this week indicated that even they are struggling to adapt to a fast-changing sector. Wind power is an increasingly important source of electricity around the world, and prices for the technology are dropping fast. But belt-tightening governments across Europe and North America are phasing out subsidies and tax incentives that had helped the industry grow, squeezing companies like Vestas and Siemens Gamesa in the process.

House panel rejects bid to preserve renewables deal

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

The House Ways and Means Committee yesterday turned back a Democratic effort to keep intact a 2015 deal that extended key renewable energy tax breaks. The panel voted 15-22 against an amendment by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) that would have stripped from the GOP tax overhaul provisions to reduce the value of the renewable production tax credit (PTC) and impose new qualification terms on projects.

Senate releases overhaul plans

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

The fate of the renewable and investment tax credits was unclear until last night. Asked about how the bill treats the wind industry, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) told reporters, “I think we’re still working on it.” The House version, which was passed by the Ways and Means Committee this afternoon on a 24-16 vote, would reduce the value of the PTC while adding new eligibility requirements. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said that as of 1:30 p.m. today, “we have not seen the text, the legislative language from the Finance Committee majority.

Tax Breaks for Oil, Wind, Electric Cars Survive in Senate Bill

Source: By Ari Natter, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, November 10th, 2017

Tax breaks cherished by both the fossil fuel and renewable energy industries emerged unscathed in a tax plan unveiled in the U.S. Senate, according to details of the bill released Thursday evening by the chamber’s main tax writing committee. Republicans opted to leave tax subsidies for the energy industry almost entirely in place in their broad re-write of the tax code. That means drillers would still be allowed to take accelerated deduction of “intangible drilling costs” for expenses such as supplies and repairs.

FERC collects more comments on Perry’s grid proposal

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Taking advantage of a second chance to drive their points home, energy companies and trade associations filed dozens of reply comments this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission arguing their cases on the Energy Department’s controversial grid proposal. Hundreds of comments were submitted to FERC ahead of a Oct. 24 deadline, and yesterday marked the end of a period for advocates to respond to those.

FERC-Barclays deal cuts fine 80% for alleged trading scheme

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 9th, 2017

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced a deal with the British bank Barclays PLC yesterday to reduce a record fine for allegedly manipulating Western electricity markets by almost 80 percent. The regulatory agency in 2011 accused the bank and four of its traders of taking part in a “coordinated scheme” including trades in day-ahead fixed-price physical electricity, allegedly costing power buyers and sellers $139.3 million.

Trump not invited to Paris climate summit next month

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, November 9th, 2017

French authorities said President Donald Trump is not among more than 100 world leaders invited to Paris for a climate summit next month. French President Emmanuel Macron plans a summit to push his “Make our Planet Great Again” agenda on Dec. 12, the anniversary of the 2015 Paris climate accord.