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Posts Tagged ‘Renewable energy’

Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards Still Under Attack by Fossil Fuel Special Interests

The latest good news about clean energy in Ohio is that the state ranks #8 in the nation for solar jobs. But despite this, 2014 has not ushered in a new era of civility or honest debate about the merits of Ohio’s clean energy standards that require a percentage of Ohio’s electricity demand be met with renewable energy and energy efficiency. Instead, Bill Seitz, chair of the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, started off the 2014 legislative session right where he left of last year: with misguided efforts to roll back Ohio’s successful clean energy policies. Read More

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Largest Solar Power Plant in the World Turns On

The largest solar plant in the world, a 392 MW concentrated solar power tower in California’s Mojave Desert, began generating electricity from all three of its power towers the day before Valentine’s Day. The timing seems fitting, because the project is [almost] guaranteed to touch your heart, one way or another. For some, the Ivanpah plant has made hearts flutter in excitement. After all, the construction of the plant is a huge step forward in our nation’s effort to increase technology options for supplies of pollution-free electricity. The plant has the generation capacity of a mid-sized natural gas plant, and will make enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. Read More

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Wind Turbines and Property Values: More Information from a Massachusetts Study

More information has come from the authors of a recent wind-turbines-and-property-values study of Massachusetts via a webinar and related Q&A. The answers continue to point to room for additional studies, but reiterate the positive findings: “The results do not support the claim that wind turbines affect nearby home prices.” Read More

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Overreliance on Natural Gas: Risky for the Climate and the Economy

In last week’s State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Obama reiterated his support for climate science by unequivocally stating “The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” He also should be commended for highlighting the urgency of the problem as local communities are already experiencing damaging and costly climate impacts like drought, wildfires, heat waves, and coastal flooding.

But the President’s enthusiasm for increasing natural gas production and use as an important climate solution missed the mark. And like his climate action plan speech at Georgetown University last June, the President highlighted the economic benefits of increasing U.S. natural gas production, while failing to mention the economic risks of an overreliance on natural gas. Read More

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Powering California with 50% Renewable Energy by 2030: New Analysis Shows It Can Be Done

Last week, a new analysis was released that explored the technical, environmental, and economic implications of raising California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 33 percent by 2020 to 50 percent by 2030. I’m excited to report that although the study illuminates the challenges of installing unprecedented amounts of renewables on the grid, it is technically possible. Moreover, California has tools in hand today to scale up renewables, and is developing programs and policies that will continue to lower the cost and technical challenges of doing so. Read More

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Frozen: The Cost of Electricity Soars as Wires and Pipelines Fail to Meet Demand

The cold weather has pushed demand for energy very high. In our energy markets, demand rising faster than supply translates into higher prices. Electricity prices in the Mid-Atlantic and natural gas in the Northeast are showing this today, and this isn’t new or unique.  Supplies to meet demand are limited by the capacity of the delivery systems. Read More

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The Effect of Wind Turbines on Property Values: A New Study in Massachusetts Provides Some Answers

A new study looked at how well wind turbines and homes fit together in Massachusetts, and found no evidence that wind turbines affect property values. That finding is consistent with other recent work from a range of states across the country. And it’s good news for everybody wanting to get wind turbines sited responsibly, in the Bay State and beyond. Read More

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Even as Coal Use Declines, Most States Are Still Dependent on Coal Imports

The use of coal to produce electricity in the United States has been declining in recent years. Yet for most states still heavily dependent on coal-fired power, the cost of importing coal continues to be a drain on local economies. According to a new Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis, 37 states were net importers of coal in 2012, paying a total of $19.4 billion to import 433 million tons of coal from other states and even some foreign countries. Instead of sending billions of ratepayer dollars out of those states year after year, consumers would be better served by investing more in local renewable energy development and energy efficiency measures. Read More

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Cleantech Crash or Crescendo: What “60 Minutes” Got Wrong… and Right

On January 5, “60 Minutes” included a story on “The Cleantech Crash,” claiming that investors, both private and government, haven’t gotten their money’s worth for all their investments in clean energy technology. As any rational look at the clean energy transition clearly reveals, the show got a few things right, but a whole lot more wrong.

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Wind in the Great Plains – and the Flood that Shut Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

This week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the restarting the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, which has not run since the Missouri River flooded in June 2011. That flood reminded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the unmet safety needs of that plant, and helped the plant owner see the advantages of wind power. Read More

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