Monday, December 31, 2012

Renewable Energy Law News - Week of December 31

Virginia utilities, lawmakers to reform renewable energy policy

Virginia lawmakers, environmental groups and utilities are working to revamp the state's 2007 Electric Utility Re-Regulation Act, which is designed to bolster renewable energy generation.

Stakeholders want to reform loophole in the law allows utilities to receive financial credit for renewable energy investments made outside of Virginia.

A November report released by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli found that renewable energy standards introduced in 2007 did not address environmental concerns in the state and also led to consumer bill increases over the past five years. The report noted that utilities have purchased RECs from existing renewable generation rather than investing in new development.

But Cuccinelli, who is currently a candidate for governor, did not blame the utilities for the lackluster results and said in a release that they should "not be criticized for making beneficial business decisions based on choices provided or incentives offered by the law."

Virginia environmental groups echoed that sentiment.

Wind power deadline sees US firms rush to build turbines

US energy companies are racing to install wind turbines before a federal tax credit expires at the end of this year.

Experts say that wind power has exceeded the construction of natural gas plants in recent months.

However the financial incentive for wind could be lost as congress struggles to avoid financial deadlock.

Even if the credit is extended it is expected that new installations will decline in 2013.

According to industry analysts, the federal government's production tax credit has played an important role in the expansion of wind energy across the US since it was first introduced in 1992.

Photo via Flickr.

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