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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 23, 2015

State regulators, clean energy advocates square off on bill pre-empting power line siting authority 

Emily Holden, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:42:38

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced legislation yesterday that would give federal regulators power to override state decisions and site power lines meant to move large amounts of renewable energy across long distances. “We certainly understand that states would have a lot of questions about how any new federal authority would affect their existing authority,” said Bill White, senior adviser for Americans for a Clean Energy Grid. “At the same time, we all recognize that there’s a challenge here in getting these really important and valuable interstate infrastructure projects built.”
[ read more … ]

From impacts on power lines to pipelines, DOE finds climate change looms large in U.S. future 

Umair Irfan, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:43:07

Climate change will be a major factor in the future of power lines, natural gas pipelines, fuel depots and rail tanker cars, according to the Department of Energy’s first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review(QER), released yesterday. The 348-page document, stemming from the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, focused on how hydrocarbons and electrons get from point A to point B, mapping out the current state of affairs and recommending pathways to ensure that energy reliably gets from producers to end-users in the coming decade. Proposals included more than $15 billion in spending and tax credits to improve energy infrastructure (Greenwire, April 21). [ read more … ]

2 reports show how time, change are squeezing the power grid 

Peter Behr, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:43:26

“The administration has made it a priority to work with industry to identify challenges and create solutions for increasing the security and resilience of the electric grid, including the development of an integrated national plan to mitigate challenges pertaining to aging power transformers, the cyber and physical security of transformers, and the vulnerabilities of large power transformers,” the QER says. [ read more … ]

Wind energy tax credit breezes to 2nd round in Nebraska Legislature

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald Bureau  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:43:53

State senators amended and then advanced a bill Wednesday that would provide a first-ever production tax credit for wind farms and other renewable energy facilities. The 25-3 vote to advance the proposal from the first round came after a long debate over whether such a tax break could succeed in creating an incentive or whether Nebraska is too late to become a big player in wind energy. Nebraska’s wind energy potential has always ranked among the highest in the nation. But its production of energy via wind farms has lagged behind, ranking 18th nationally in 2013. By contrast, neighboring Iowa was No. 1 in wind energy production that year, with about eight times more wind turbines than Nebraska. [ read more … ]

Iberdrola to supply Equinix data centers with clean energy

By Ajith Kumar, Greentech Lead  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:44:12

American renewable energy company Iberdrola Renewables has entered into long-term power supply agreements with Equinix data centers. The company will supply data centers with clean energy produced by a fleet of wind farms that Iberdrola operates. Wind farms in Washington, Oregon and Texas will be supplying bulk of the power. [ read more … ]

Bipartisan support for a carbon tax will emerge — congressman 

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:44:35

A bipartisan duo agreed today that eventual enactment of a carbon tax is all but inevitable but that it will require the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Speaking at a forum hosted by the center-right American Enterprise Institute, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) touted a levy on carbon as one way to break through the congressional impasse on climate change, especially if it comes attached to a reduction in the corporate tax rate. Both said they expected Congress to embrace it someday. [ read more … ]

Yale to impose carbon tax on itself, led by the man who helped invent it 

Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:44:56

What Yale is doing, Nordhaus said, is adopting a mantra requiring departments and administrators to consider the complete sticker price that comes with constructing a new dormitory, for example, or expanding energy-intensive facilities. “You can build it, but you have to pay the whole cost,” said Nordhaus, describing the school’s carbon-taxing plan and calling carbon taxes “instinctive to economists.” Based on energy consumption, the program would levy a charge against university departments of $40 per metric ton of emissions. That $40 number is the current figure the federal government uses to estimate the social cost of carbon, a term describing the complete economic and societal costs underpinning greenhouse gas emissions. [ read more … ]

Liquid Batteries for Solar and Wind Power 

By HENRY FOUNTAIN, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:45:21

Now, flow batteries are being viewed as a possible way to help the electrical grid handle greater amounts of renewable energy, and they are being developed further by companies like UniEnergy Technologies, the maker of the Pullman battery, and academic and government researchers. Because solar panels and wind turbines produce varying amounts of electricity during the day, utilities and system operators must work harder to integrate the renewable sources into the grid. Batteries are one way to do this, by storing excess electricity from solar panels during the middle of the day, for example, and releasing it in the evening. [ read more … ]

Europe Looks Offshore for Wind Power

By MARK SCOTT, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:45:40

The Dutch green energy project, which will cost roughly $3 billion to build, is expected to generate enough power for 1.5 million people when it starts producing electricity in 2017.
When completed, the venture will become the latest in a series of renewables projects that have sprouted off the coasts of Britain, Germany and Denmark, helping make Europe the global leader in producing green energy from wind farms far at sea. “Offshore wind in Europe is quickly maturing,” said John Brace, chief executive of Northland Power, a Canadian energy company that owns a majority stake in the Dutch offshore wind project, called Gemini. “Europe is serious about greening its power supplies. There’s both political and public support for these types of projects.” [ read more … ]

How industry is learning to live with the downturn 

Nathanial Gronewold, Mike Lee and Edward Klump, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-04-23 06:45:57

Oil producers are in survival mode, with all more or less following the same playbook for weathering the crude price slump while crossing fingers for better times next year. Executives across the industry have gathered here for the annual IHS CERAWeek conference, the largest annual meeting of insiders from all facets of the energy sector. Topic No. 1 is the sharp drop in oil prices that began in the fourth quarter of 2014 and what to do about it. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.