Ohio red lights green energy

Ohio has joined Indiana, the only other state in the US to rollback or freeze its renewable energy targets. The legislature spiked Ohio’s green power goals at the urging of utilities that wanted to review them to make sure that onboarding green energy doesn’t raise electricity prices.

Wind energy subsidies blew away with 2013; will anyone bring them back in 2014?

Congress’ on-and-off romance with wind energy is back off. Tax credits for wind expired – again – with the close of 2013. This isn’t the first time the industry has broken up with its Congress. Every year or every other year for the past decade lawmakers have acted like a reluctant fiancee, extending a hand but always holding back on a full-fledged support for the wind industry.

Wind power breaks record in Texas; deserves continued federal tax credits

Despite having escaped this summer without rolling blackouts and the kind of heat we experienced last year, Texas is still dealing with the energy crunch issue. Luckily, our state is home to the nation’s largest wind power industry and it contains about a fifth of the country’s wind turbines. The Electric Reliability Grid of Texas (ERCOT), the Texas grid operator, announced that earlier this month wind throughout the state contributed 26 percent of the load on the grid, setting a new record…This is in addition to wind helping Texas avoid blackouts in February of last year, when a cold front proved too much for many traditional power plants.

Coal is plentiful, so let’s keep it that way

You know that argument about how the U.S. can’t really impact greenhouse gases because they’re spiraling out of control in other developing nations like China and India?
It’s illogical on its face, but that’s not stopping fossil fuel interests from pushing this idea.

Help cool the Earth…with these two steps

It’s one of those cold, white-bright days of winter. We’ve not had many like it this January. Instead, we’ve been walking around outdoors in our shirt sleeves, sneezing from pollen allergies and having a lot of little conversations about the unusual warm “spell”.
We’re experiencing climate change, of course, and it’s not a spell, but a new norm. Nearly everyone recognizes that something’s going on. Sometimes I feel like a character in Twin Peaks, exchanging knowing glances with the neighbors over these changes we cannot speak of because it’s somehow become radical to openly declare that climate change is happening, even though people in all walks of life can see it plainly. I’m thinking about farmers, landscapers, urban planners, builders, utility managers, insurers, scientists, oceanographers, biologists, botanists, power plant operators….

Vestas Wind announces layoffs — with more to come unless US Congress extends tax support

In an ominous sign that the world economy is dragging on the wind industry, Denmark-based Vestas Wind announced today that it will lay off more than 2,300 employees as part of a reorganization to keep the company competitive.

The lay off of employees — 1,749 in Europe, 182 in the US and 404 in China and elsewhere — will help the company streamline and reduce its fixed costs by more than 150 million Euro, according to a statement.

The top environmental story of 2011 — and probably 2012 too

If you’re wondering what to worry about in the coming year, look no further than the eco-landscape.
Climate change, species extinctions, ocean acidification, forestry losses, soil erosion and air pollution. We humans, now 7 billion strong, are pushing the planet hard, creating a brew of intractable environmental issues that threaten our way of life, and ultimately our survival.
Grim? It doesn’t get much more so.
There were bright moments in 2011. A sampling:

The case for keeping renewable energy tax credits

In recent days, both the wind power and solar power advocates have been protesting the potential expiration of three key tax incentives that have helped drive the expansion of renewable energy in the US, even amid the economic stall out. With Congress and President Obama both seeking ways to trim the federal budget deficit, and the tug of oil and coal money ever-present on Capital Hill, these incentives for clean energy are being considered for the axe.

Wind energy leaders say thousands of jobs will be lost if tax credit not renewed

Wind energy leaders are warning Washington that thousands of U.S. jobs in the sector would be lost if Congress fails to renew a key tax credit tied to wind production.
The Production Tax Credit (PTC) also supports solar power and other renewable energy projects by providing tax breaks to the qualifying businesses that build wind farms (and solar and geothermal facilities).

Great Lakes Wind partners with BlueGreen Alliance to create more U.S. jobs

GLWN, also known as the Great Lakes Wind Network, has teamed up with the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation to help bring more small and medium manufacturers into the developing U.S. wind energy business.

The partnership will help these smaller firms build capacity so they can supply parts for North American wind turbines, and in turn, strengthen growing U.S. wind markets.

Part of the money for this joint project will come from the National Institute of Standards and Technology‘s (NIST) Clean Energy Manufacturing Center, which is trying to help U.S. manufacturers find a place on the production chain for wind power.

Growing new energy: How Iowa raced ahead in wind power

When the boys and girls of Spirit Lake, Iowa, load their backpacks for classes this fall, each child in grades 5 to 12 will be packing a lap top computer provided by the school district.
This bit of good fortune was funded by a special initiative. But it is not the first time Spirit Lake has stepped up to embrace new technology. In 1993 – when “renewable energy” was not widely discussed — it became the first school district in the nation to install a wind turbine, a move that has saved the district some $200,000 in energy costs.
When that pokey Wind World 250 KW turbine, financed by the state and a federal grant, was paid off, Spirit Lake put up another turbine, this one a hefty 750 KW NEGMicon, in 2001.

Wind power increases in UK

Wind is now powering more than two million homes in the United Kingdom, after a surge of growth last year.

Energy statistics released today by the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) show that wind power generation increased by 31 percent in 2009 and now represents 2.5 percent of all UK electricity production. The industry trade group RenewableUK welcomed the news, calling the statistics “promising” but urging even faster growth in renewables to meet future energy demands with clean power.

Wind Energy Association dissatisfied with Senate energy bill

Wind, solar, geothermal and other alternative energy industry groups have been lined up in support of a Renewable Electricity Standard or RES in which the U.S. would pledge to get 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015. The RES, they maintain, would provide an incentive for utilities, providers and cities and states to find ways to increase renewable electricity sources, even in the absence of a carbon cap-and-trade system, which seems to be a non-starter in Congress.

Wind advocates tout clean energy on Global Wind Day

Well, blow us over, it’s Global Wind Day, a time to celebrate a part of nature that humans have yet to destroy and also the energy potential that rides on the breeze.

This second annual event, begun by the European Wind Energy Association, is being noted in Europe, Asia, Australia and North and South America, where dozens of activities, from workshops to commemorations, are planned.

Greenpeace says clean energy future is possible with the right policy

Wind farm (Photo: GreenRightNow)

More fossil fuel heartache or a clean energy future? That question on many minds as the the BP oil spill spirals out of control in the Gulf of Mexico.

And the answer is easy, according to a newly revised Greenpeace International report. It has concluded that moving aggressively toward clean energy would add jobs to the energy sector overall, make energy more affordable, not more costly, stop the pollution and insulate local communities from wild fuel price fluctuations.

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