Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Renewable Energy News, April 27, 2010


'Energy Only' Bill in Senate Would Be Tough Sell - NYTimes.com
If Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) bolts the Senate climate coalition, it must be time to turn to the "energy only" bill that centrist Democrats have been promoting as a bipartisan alternative to a climate bill, right? Not so fast.
Technology Review: Wind Turbines Shed Their Gears
Wind turbine manufacturers are turning away from the industry-standard gearboxes and generators in a bid to boost the reliability and reduce the cost of wind power. Siemens has begun selling a three-megawatt turbine using a so-called direct-drive system that replaces the conventional high-speed generator with a low-speed generator that eliminates the need for a gearbox. And last month, General Electric announced an investment of 340 million euros in manufacturing facilities to build its own four-megawatt direct-drive turbines for offshore wind farms.
Hill Heat: Whisper Campaign Derails Climate Bill Rollout
Hill Heat has a great time-line on the political whispers that led Sen. Graham to withdraw support for the Kerry/Lieberman climate change bill.
No More Renewable Energy Incentives — The Green Light Distrikt
Chris Williams argues for cutting fossil fuel subsidies.
NewNet News - US governors get behind first US offshore wind project
Six US governors have urged the $1bn Cape Wind project, set to be the country’s first offshore wind farm, to be approved stating that if it does not go ahead because of historical preservation reasons a precedent is set for all offshore projects.

In a letter to US Department of the Interior Secretary Salazar the governors said if the project was pulled because of objections by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) it would establish a precedent that would make it near impossible for offshore wind farms to be built around the US eastern coastline.
Foes vow to sue if wind farm OK’d - The Boston Globe
The nine-year regulatory battle over the nation’s first proposed offshore wind farm is expected to end this week, when US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to issue a final federal decision on whether to permit 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound. But some opponents of the wind farm are making it clear that if Salazar approves the project, they will go to court to try to overturn his ruling.
Obama pushes wind power in Iowa visit | CNN.com
President Barack Obama took his renewable energy push to the heartland Tuesday, trumpeting the merits of wind power during a visit to the state that launched him on the road to the White House a little over two years ago.
Renewable energy bill passes in Fla. House - MiamiHerald.com
The Florida House has passed a bill encouraging electric utilities to use more solar and other renewable energy by letting them raise rates up to $386 million over three years without state approval. The measure (HB 7229) went to the Senate after a lengthy floor debate and an 83-34 roll call Tuesday. Opponents argued against raising rates in the midst of an economic downturn that has pushed Florida's unemployment rate above 12 percent. Supporters said the cost - about $1 a month - would be a relatively small price to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels that have helped cause climate change.
Canadian co. sues Mass. over ‘green’ energy law - BostonHerald.com
Massachusetts renewable-energy firms, including the developer of the planned wind farm off of Cape Cod, could lose a key competitive edge if a lawsuit filed by a Canadian company prevails.

TransCanada Power, an energy supplier that also owns a Maine wind farm, is challenging a state law that requires utilities to buy their future renewable energy from Massachusetts-based firms.
Who Will Build the First Offshore Wind Farm in North America? - Green Blog - NYTimes.com
Back in December, I had an opportunity to take a helicopter ride low over the North Sea, about 13 miles off the western shores of Denmark, to view an offshore wind farm. The real guest of honor was New York’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, who had been invited by the wind farm operator, Dong Energy, to visit the installation, which is not unlike something that Mr. Bloomberg and other New York officials are contemplating for the waters south of Queens. But that project — like every other offshore wind venture in the United States to date — is by no means guaranteed. As I write in an article just posted at nytimes.com, not a single offshore wind turbine has been built in the United States.
REPORT: Smart climate policy will boost growth, create 2.8 million jobs, slash pollution
A new macroeconomic analysis of green economic policies finds that cutting global warming pollution will make the economy grow faster. Brad Johnson has the story in this Wonk Room repost.

The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), building upon analysis they did of state-level climate plans for the National Governors Association, analyzed the economic and environmental impact of legislation in line with the planned Kerry-Graham-Lieberman framework. As long as state-level policies are boosted, CCS found that previous economic analyses by federal agencies and industry groups are wrong. This CCS analysis finds that instead of slowing the economy, household wealth and jobs will grow faster in a green economy.


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