Former FERC commissioner joins D.C. law firm

Source: Hannah Northey • E&E • Posted: Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Marc Spitzer will work in the firm’s Washington, D.C., headquarters on electric transmission, smart grid, exports of liquefied natural gas, pipeline safety and hydraulic fracturing. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and offices in China, Belgium and England.

Oil Price Would Skyrocket if Iran Closed the Strait of Hormuz

Source: CLIFFORD KRAUSS • New York Times • Posted: Thursday, January 5th, 2012

If Iran were to follow through with its threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit route for almost one-fifth of the oil traded globally, the impact would be immediate: Energy analysts say the price of oil would start to soar and could rise 50 percent or more within days.

Scientists work to help electric utilities forecast and handle ‘ramp events’

Source: Umair Irfan • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Wind energy is notoriously mercurial, with patterns shifting drastically over the course of years, days, even minutes. These changes make scheduling power much more difficult for utilities that rely on wind turbines to serve an increasing percentage of their power demands. Because wind power in some places is now as cheap as or cheaper than coal-fired power, future profits and challenges for the industry will be written on the wind and how well they can use it.

FWS proposes permit letting project developer ‘take’ golden eagles

Source: Phil Taylor • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

The Interior Department today released a draft proposal to allow a wind energy company to kill or harass protected golden eagles, a first-of-its-kind permit that drew cautious optimism from a bird advocacy group.

Planners chart role of renewables in Eastern power grid’s future

Source: Peter Behr • E&E • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

The planning project, funded by an Energy Department American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, is the first comprehensive study of how power flows could be coordinated across the entire Eastern Interconnection — the synchronized power grid across the 39 states and six Canadian provinces that links 740,600 megawatts of generation with electricity customers from the Atlantic Coast to the Rocky Mountains. DOE also is funding similar studies for the Western Interconnection grid and the separate Texas grid.

Giant, floating wind turbines set to conquer deep ocean final frontier

Source: Special to E&E • E&E • Posted: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

In the race for bigger offshore wind turbines, what’s under the water can be just as much trouble as what’s above.

New Laws Now Evaluated by Job Creation

Source: ROBERT PEAR • New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

After years of judging the merits of federal laws by their costs or savings, Washington is applying a new yardstick: Will they create or destroy jobs?

Oil Prices Predicted to Stay Above $100 a Barrel Through Next Year

Source: DIANE CARDWELL and RICK GLADSTONE • Posted: Monday, January 2nd, 2012

With Iran threatening to cut off about a fifth of the world’s oil supply by closing the Strait of Hormuz and unrest in Iraq endangering the ability to increase production there, financial analysts say prices for two important oil benchmarks will average from $100 a barrel to $120 a barrel in 2012.

Energy not there in Iowa

Source: Alex Guillen • POLITICO • Posted: Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Energy issues — historically ethanol but increasingly wind — used to be a centerpiece of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, providing a national platform for a state that prides itself on excelling in renewable energy.
But the vast cornfields and wind-swept plains of the Hawkeye State, while important to the local economy, have taken a back seat this year.

Wind and Solar Projects Advance on a Fast Track

Source: RYAN TRACY • Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, January 2nd, 2012

The pace of approvals for solar and wind projects in the U.S. is picking up under the Obama administration, with two new plants in California and Oregon winning approval this week.