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Vocapedia > Energy, industry > Renewables

 

Ethanol, Wind power, Wave and tidal power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministers act to stop lights going out in 2015

· Threat of energy crisis sees nuclear go-ahead

· Coal-fired stations coming to the end of their lives

G

p. 22

Wednesday May 2, 2007

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2007/may/02/
politics.nuclearindustry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

power        USA

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/oct/05/
boris-johnson-to-unveil-plan-to-power-all-uk-homes-with-wind-by-2030

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

renewable energy        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/renewableenergy

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/07/
how-green-is-britains-low-carbon-energy-supply

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

renewable energy        USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/
climate/companies-renewable-energy.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/07/22/
486933685/making-the-cloud-green-tech-firms-push-for-renewable-energy-sources

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/06/06/
475731503/whos-in-charge-getting-western-states-to-agree-on-sharing-renewable-energy

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/01/26/
464323475/san-diego-mulls-whether-to-let-city-not-utility-buy-alternative-energy

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/01/01/
461692939/from-poop-to-power-colorado-explores-new-sources-of-renewable-energy

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/2015/09/10/
439152956/new-epa-rules-motivate-montana-to-look-beyond-coal

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/
opinion/wind-solar-clean-power-off-the-grid.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/
opinion/28thurs1.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

green energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

clean energy        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/
opinion/federal-subsidies-for-renewable-energy.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/12/
business/energy-environment/a-cornucopia-of-help-for-renewable-energy.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/25/
world/25climate.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

clean power        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/
business/energy-environment/a-ghost-town-going-green.html

 

 

 

 

renewable forms of energy

 

 

 

 

renewable energy

 

 

 

 

renewables        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/01/
us-carbon-emissions-lowest-levels

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/21/
renewable-energy-economic-crisis

 

 

 

 

renewable fuel        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/
business/energy-environment/a-ghost-town-going-green.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind energy        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/10/
759376113/unfurling-the-waste-problem-caused-by-wind-energy

 

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/16/
515376114/the-south-has-been-slow-to-harness-its-wind-but-thats-changing

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/04/05/
470810118/solar-and-wind-energy-may-be-nice-but-how-can-we-store-it

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/
opinion/wind-solar-clean-power-off-the-grid.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind power        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/windpower

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/16/
wind-power-overtakes-nuclear-for-first-time-in-uk-across-a-quarter

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/15/
wild-is-the-wind-the-resource-that-could-power-the-world

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/
huge-boost-renewable-power-offshore-windfarm-costs-fall-record-low

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/27/
wind-power-subsidy-fossil-fuels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind power        USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/wind-power 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/28/
707007584/companies-organize-to-make-it-easier-to-buy-renewable-energy

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/
climate/companies-renewable-energy.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/20/us/
as-wind-power-lifts-wyomings-fortunes-coal-miners-are-left-in-the-dust.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/21/
460527376/wind-power-continues-steady-growth-across-the-u-s

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/05/
business/energy-environment/as-wind-energy-use-grows-
utilities-seek-to-stabilize-power-grid.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/
business/energy-environment/26wind.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/
opinion/l09wind.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/
opinion/02mon3.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/28/us/
28wind.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/
opinion/utility-embracing-wind-solar.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind turbine        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/11/
brighton-rampion-wind-farm-turbines-renewables

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/16/
turbine-noise-windfarm

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/may/22/uk.
society 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

power-generating windmill turbine        UK

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/21/
renewable-energy-economic-crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turbine / wind turbine        USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/01/
business/GE-wind-turbine.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/
opinion/utility-embracing-wind-solar.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/
business/energy-environment/wind-industrys-new-technologies-
are-helping-it-compete-on-price.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/
science/earth/wind-farm-developers-race-against-end-of-tax-credit.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

blade        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/10/
759376113/unfurling-the-waste-problem-caused-by-wind-energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

windfarm        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/19/
windfarms-in-great-britain-break-record-for-clear-power-generation

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/11/
windfarms-may-have-potential-health-impacts-tony-abbott-says

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/18/
windfarms-are-they-a-wonder-or-a-blight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind farm        UK / USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/
business/with-a-meeting-trump-renewed-a-british-wind-farm-fight.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/
business/energy-environment/a-texas-utility-offers-a-nighttime-special-free-electricity.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/
science/earth/wind-farm-developers-race-against-end-of-tax-credit.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/14/
windpower.energy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind industry        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/03/06/
590877834/tough-talk-as-oklahomas-wind-industry-becomes-a-political-target

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/
business/energy-environment/wind-industrys-new-technologies-
are-helping-it-compete-on-price.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wind turbine / wind farm / windfarm        UK

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/04/
conservatives-promise-ban-new-onshore-windfarms

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/04/
wind-farms-big-field-cornwall-power-change-communities-political-allegiances

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/16/
turbine-noise-windfarm

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/16/
john-hayes-windfarms-gas-nuclear

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/02/uk-
windfarm-little-british-involvement

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2011/nov/21/
prince-philip-windfarms-useless

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2009/apr/01/
windfarm-countryside-alternative-energy

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/21/
windpower-renewableenergy1

 

 

 

 

onshore windfarms        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/01/
local-opposition-onshore-windfarms-tripled

 

 

 

 

offshore wind farm / windfarm        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/
huge-boost-renewable-power-offshore-windfarm-costs-fall-record-low

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/21/
windpower-renewableenergy1

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/05/
windpower.renewableenergy

 

 

 

 

offshore wind energy        USA

https://www.npr.org/2021/03/29/
982285907/biden-administration-pushes-major-expansion-for-offshore-wind-energy

 

 

 

 

offshore wind        USA

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/05/
782694371/offshore-wind-may-help-the-planet-but-will-it-hurt-whales

 

 

 

 

offshore wind farm        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/23/
science/americas-first-offshore-wind-farm-may-power-up-a-new-industry.html

 

 

 

 

store        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/04/05/
470810118/solar-and-wind-energy-may-be-nice-but-how-can-we-store-it

 

 

 

 

storage        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/
opinion/solar-energy.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/04/05/
470810118/solar-and-wind-energy-may-be-nice-but-how-can-we-store-it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wave and tidal power        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/
wave-tidal-hydropower 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wave power > wave farm        UK

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/17/
cornwall-scotland-uk-wave-power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turn food waste Into electricity        USA

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/07/22/
486933685/making-the-cloud-green-tech-firms-push-for-renewable-energy-sources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

biomass power        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/
science/earth/19biomass.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > ethanol        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/10/
mead-nebraska-ethanol-plant-pollution-danger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corpus of news articles

 

Energy, industry > Renewables

 

Wind power, Wave and tidal power

 

Ethanol
 

 

 

 

UK overtakes Denmark

as world's biggest offshore

wind generator

 

Completion of a 194MW windfarm
off the coast of Lincolnshire sees
the UK become the world leader
in generating electricity from offshore wind

 

Tuesday October 21 2008

15.36 BST

Guardian.co.uk

Alok Jha, green technology correspondent

This article was first published on guardian.co.uk

on Tuesday October 21 2008.

It was last updated at 15.36

on October 21 2008.

 

The UK now leads the world in generating electricity from offshore wind farms, the government said today as it completed the construction of a farm near the coast off Skegness, Lincolnshire.

The new farm, built by the energy company Centrica, will produce enough power for 130,000 homes, raising the total electricity generated from offshore wind in the UK to 590 megawatts (MW), enough for 300,000 UK homes.

The completion of 194MW of turbines at Lynn and Inner Dowsing means that the UK has overtaken Denmark, which has 423MW of offshore wind turbines.

"Offshore wind is hugely important to help realise the government's ambition to dramatically increase the amount of energy from renewable sources. Overtaking Denmark is just the start," said Mike O'Brien, a minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. "There are already five more offshore windfarms under construction that will add a further 938MW to our total by the end of next year."

But despite today's announcement, the UK is still near the bottom of the European league table when it comes to harnessing renewable energy, campaigners say.

Nick Rau, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy campaigner, said: "The government must stop trying to wriggle out of European green energy targets and put a massive effort into making renewable power the number one source of energy in the UK. The UK has one of the biggest renewable energy potentials in Europe - this must be harnessed to make this country a world leader in tackling climate change."

Maria McCaffery, the chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association, was enthusiastic but also urged more government action. "We are now a global leader in a renewable energy technology for the first time ever. Now is the time to step up the effort even further and secure the huge potential for jobs, investment and export revenues that offshore wind has for Britain."

Greenpeace chief scientist, Doug Parr, said the only downside was that many of the turbines for the UK windfarms were being manufactured abroad. "We need a green new deal for renewable energy, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and providing a shot in the arm to the British manufacturing sector. If the government now diverts serious financial and political capital towards this project it will put Britain in pole position to tackle the emerging challenges of the 21st century."

The UK currently gets 3GW of electricity from wind power, but 80% of that is from onshore farms. On Tuesday, the Carbon Trust detailed its plans to accelerate the development of offshore wind in the UK. The trust plans to work with major energy companies on a £30m initiative to cut the cost of offshore wind energy by 10%.

"The UK has an amazing opportunity not just to lead the world but to be the dominant global player," said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust. "Our research shows that by 2020 the UK market could represent almost half of the global market for offshore wind power. To make that happen it will be critical to improve the current economics of offshore wind power."

UK overtakes Denmark as world's biggest offshore wind generator,
G,
21.10.2008,
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/oct/21/
windpower-renewableenergy1 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Approves

a $4.93 Billion Wind-Power Project

 

July 19, 2008

The New York Times

By KATE GALBRAITH

 

Texas regulators have approved a $4.93 billion wind-power transmission project, providing a major lift to the development of wind energy in the state.

The planned web of transmission lines will carry electricity from remote western parts of the state to major population centers like Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The lines can handle 18,500 megawatts of power, enough for 3.7 million homes on a hot day when air-conditioners are running.

The project will ease a bottleneck that has become a major obstacle to development of the wind-rich Texas Panhandle and other areas suitable for wind generation.

Texas is already the largest producer of wind power, with 5,300 installed megawatts — more than double the installed capacity of California, the next closest state. And Texas is fast expanding its capacity.

“This project will almost put Texas ahead of Germany in installed wind,” said Greg Wortham, executive director of the West Texas Wind Energy Consortium.

Transmission companies will pay the upfront costs of the project. They will recoup the money from power users, at a rate of about $4 a month for residential customers.

Details of the plan will be completed by Aug. 15, according to Damon Withrow, director of government relations at the Public Utility Commission, which voted 2 to 1 to go ahead with the transmission plan. The lines will not be fully constructed until 2013.

Wind developers reacted favorably.

“The lack of transmission has been a fundamental issue in Texas, and it’s becoming more and more of an issue elsewhere,” said Vanessa Kellogg, the Southwest regional development director for Horizon Wind Energy, which operates the Lone Star Wind Farm in West Texas and has more wind generation under development. “This is a great step in the right direction.”

Ms. Kellogg said that the project would be a boon for Texas power customers, whose electricity costs have risen in conjunction with soaring natural gas prices across the state. “There’s nothing volatile about the wind in terms of the price, because it’s free,” she said.

The Texas office of the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen also lauded the news.

“We think it’s going to lower costs, lower pollution and create jobs. We think that for every $3 invested, we’ll probably see about an $8 reduction in electric costs,” said Tom Smith, the state director.

The transmission problem is so acute in Texas that turbines are sometimes shut off even when the wind is blowing.

“When the amount of generation exceeds the export capacity, you have to start turning off wind generators” to keep things in balance, said Hunter Armistead, head of the renewable energy division in North America at Babcock & Brown, a large wind developer and transmission provider. “We’ve reached that point in West Texas.”

Jay Rosser, a spokesman for Boone Pickens, the legendary Texas oilman who plans to build what has been called the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle, welcomed the announcement.

But because about a quarter of the Pickens project capacity will come online by 2011, two years before the Texas lines are fully ready, “we will move forward with plans to build our own transmission,” he said.

Lack of transmission is a severe problem in a number of states that, like Texas, want to develop their wind resources. Wind now accounts for 1 percent of the nation’s electricity generation but could rise to 20 percent by 2030, according to a recent Department of Energy report, if transmission lines are built and other challenges met.

But other states may find the Texas model difficult to emulate. The state is unique in having its own electricity grid. All other states fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, adding an extra layer of bureaucracy to any transmission proposals.

The exact route of the transmission lines has yet to be determined because the state has not yet acquired right-of-way, according to Mr. Withrow of the utility commission.

The project will almost certainly face concerns from landowners reluctant to have wires cutting across their property. “I would anticipate that some of these companies will have to use eminent domain,” he said, speaking of the companies that will be building the transmission lines.

Texas Approves a $4.93 Billion Wind-Power Project,
NYT,
19.7.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/19/business/19wind.html

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Camp

Closely Linked With Ethanol

 

June 23, 2008
The New York Times
By LARRY ROHTER

 

When VeraSun Energy inaugurated a new ethanol processing plant last summer in Charles City, Iowa, some of that industry’s most prominent boosters showed up. Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association, for instance, came to help cut the ribbon — and so did Senator Barack Obama.

Then running far behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in name recognition and in the polls, Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel.

Mr. Obama is running as a reformer who is seeking to reduce the influence of special interests. But like any other politician, he has powerful constituencies that help shape his views. And when it comes to domestic ethanol, almost all of which is made from corn, he also has advisers and prominent supporters with close ties to the industry at a time when energy policy is a point of sharp contrast between the parties and their presidential candidates.

In the heart of the Corn Belt that August day, Mr. Obama argued that embracing ethanol “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” America’s oil dependence, he added, “makes it more difficult for us to shape a foreign policy that is intelligent and is creating security for the long term.”

Nowadays, when Mr. Obama travels in farm country, he is sometimes accompanied by his friend Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader from South Dakota. Mr. Daschle now serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and works at a Washington law firm where, according to his online job description, “he spends a substantial amount of time providing strategic and policy advice to clients in renewable energy.”

Mr. Obama’s lead advisor on energy and environmental issues, Jason Grumet, came to the campaign from the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan initiative associated with Mr. Daschle and Bob Dole, the Kansas Republican who is also a former Senate majority leader and a big ethanol backer who had close ties to the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland.

Not long after arriving in the Senate, Mr. Obama himself briefly provoked a controversy by flying at subsidized rates on corporate airplanes, including twice on jets owned by Archer Daniels Midland, which is the nation’s largest ethanol producer and is based in his home state.

Jason Furman, the Obama campaign’s economic policy director, said Mr. Obama’s stance on ethanol was based on its merits. “That is what has always motivated him on this issue, and will continue to determine his policy going forward,” Mr. Furman said.

Asked if Mr. Obama brought any predisposition or bias to the ethanol debate because he represents a corn-growing state that stands to benefit from a boom, Mr. Furman said, “He wants to represent the United States of America, and his policies are based on what’s best for the country.”

Mr. Daschle, a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign, said in a telephone interview on Friday that his role advising the Obama campaign on energy matters was limited. He said he was not a lobbyist for ethanol companies, but did speak publicly about renewable energy options and worked “with a number of associations and groups to orchestrate and coordinate their activities,” including the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition.

Of Mr. Obama, Mr. Daschle said, “He has a terrific policy staff and relies primarily on those key people to advise him on key issues, whether energy or climate change or other things.”

Ethanol is one area in which Mr. Obama strongly disagrees with his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona. While both presidential candidates emphasize the need for the United States to achieve “energy security” while also slowing down the carbon emissions that are believed to contribute to global warming, they offer sharply different visions of the role that ethanol, which can be made from a variety of organic materials, should play in those efforts.

Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce.

“We made a series of mistakes by not adopting a sustainable energy policy, one of which is the subsidies for corn ethanol, which I warned in Iowa were going to destroy the market” and contribute to inflation, Mr. McCain said this month in an interview with a Brazilian newspaper, O Estado de São Paulo. “Besides, it is wrong,” he added, to tax Brazilian-made sugar cane ethanol, “which is much more efficient than corn ethanol.”

Mr. Obama, in contrast, favors the subsidies, some of which end up in the hands of the same oil companies he says should be subjected to a windfall profits tax. In the name of helping the United States build “energy independence,” he also supports the tariff, which some economists say may well be illegal under the World Trade Organization’s rules but which his advisers say is not.

Many economists, consumer advocates, environmental experts and tax groups have been critical of corn ethanol programs as a boondoggle that benefits agribusiness conglomerates more than small farmers. Those complaints have intensified recently as corn prices have risen sharply in tandem with oil prices and corn normally used for food stock has been diverted to ethanol production.

“If you want to take some of the pressure off this market, the obvious thing to do is lower that tariff and let some Brazilian ethanol come in,” said C. Ford Runge, an economist specializing in commodities and trade policy at the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy at the University of Minnesota. “But one of the fundamental reasons biofuels policy is so out of whack with markets and reality is that interest group politics have been so dominant in the construction of the subsidies that support it.”

Corn ethanol generates less than two units of energy for every unit of energy used to produce it, while the energy ratio for sugar cane is more than 8 to 1. With lower production costs and cheaper land prices in the tropical countries where it is grown, sugar cane is a more efficient source.

Mr. Furman said the campaign continued to examine the issue. “We want to evaluate all our energy subsidies to make sure that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth,” he said.

He added that Mr. Obama favored “a range of initiatives” that were aimed at “diversification across countries and sources of energy,” including cellulosic ethanol, and which, unlike Mr. McCain’s proposals, were specifically meant to “reduce overall demand through conservation, new technology and improved efficiency.”

On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama has not explained his opposition to imported sugar cane ethanol. But in remarks last year, made as President Bush was about to sign an ethanol cooperation agreement with his Brazilian counterpart, Mr. Obama argued that “our country’s drive toward energy independence” could suffer if Mr. Bush relaxed restrictions, as Mr. McCain now proposes.

“It does not serve our national and economic security to replace imported oil with Brazilian ethanol,” he argued.

Mr. Obama does talk regularly about developing switchgrass, which flourishes in the Midwest and Great Plains, as a source for ethanol. While the energy ratio for switchgrass and other types of cellulosic ethanol is much greater than corn, economists say that time-consuming investments in infrastructure would be required to make it viable, and with corn nearing $8 a bushel, farmers have little incentive to shift.

Ethanol industry executives and advocates have not made large donations to either candidate for president, an examination of campaign contribution records shows. But they have noted the difference between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain.

Brian Jennings, a vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol, said he hoped that Mr. McCain, as a presidential candidate, “would take a broader view of energy security and recognize the important role that ethanol plays.”

The candidates’ views were tested recently in the Farm Bill approved by Congress that extended the subsidies for corn ethanol, though reducing them slightly, and the tariffs on imported sugar cane ethanol. Because Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama were campaigning, neither voted. But Mr. McCain said that as president he would veto the bill, while Mr. Obama praised it.

    Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol, NYT, 23.6.2008,   
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/us/politics/23ethanol.html

 

 

 

 

 

The Energy Challenge

Move Over, Oil,

There’s Money in Texas Wind

 

February 23, 2008
The New York Times
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

 

Correction Appended
 


SWEETWATER, Tex. — The wind turbines that recently went up on Louis Brooks’s ranch are twice as high as the Statue of Liberty, with blades that span as wide as the wingspan of a jumbo jet. More important from his point of view, he is paid $500 a month apiece to permit 78 of them on his land, with 76 more on the way.

“That’s just money you’re hearing,” he said as they hummed in a brisk breeze recently.

Texas, once the oil capital of North America, is rapidly turning into the capital of wind power. After breakneck growth the last three years, Texas has reached the point that more than 3 percent of its electricity, enough to supply power to one million homes, comes from wind turbines.

Texans are even turning tapped-out oil fields into wind farms, and no less an oilman than Boone Pickens is getting into alternative energy.

“I have the same feelings about wind,” Mr. Pickens said in an interview, “as I had about the best oil field I ever found.” He is planning to build the biggest wind farm in the world, a $10 billion behemoth that could power a small city by itself.

Wind turbines were once a marginal form of electrical generation. But amid rising concern about greenhouse gases from coal-burning power plants, wind power is booming. Installed wind capacity in the United States grew 45 percent last year, albeit from a small base, and a comparable increase is expected this year.

At growth rates like that, experts said, wind power could eventually make an important contribution to the nation’s electrical supply. It already supplies about 1 percent of American electricity, powering the equivalent of 4.5 million homes. Environmental advocates contend it could eventually hit 20 percent, as has already happened in Denmark. Energy consultants say that 5 to 7 percent is a more realistic goal in this country.

The United States recently overtook Spain as the world’s second-largest wind power market, after Germany, with $9 billion invested last year. A recent study by Emerging Energy Research, a consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., projected $65 billion in investment from 2007 to 2015.

Despite the attraction of wind as a nearly pollution-free power source, it does have limitations. Though the gap is closing, electricity from wind remains costlier than that generated from fossil fuels. Moreover, wind power is intermittent and unpredictable, and the hottest days, when electricity is needed most, are usually not windy.

The turbines are getting bigger and their blades can kill birds and bats. Aesthetic and wildlife issues have led to opposition emerging around the country, particularly in coastal areas like Cape Cod. Some opposition in Texas has cropped up as well, including lawsuits to halt wind farms that were thought to be eyesores or harmful to wetlands.

But the opposition has been limited, and has done little to slow the rapid growth of wind power in Texas. Some Texans see the sleek new turbines as a welcome change in the landscape.

“Texas has been looking at oil and gas rigs for 100 years, and frankly, wind turbines look a little nicer,” said Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner, whose responsibilities include leasing state lands for wind energy development. “We’re No. 1 in wind in the United States, and that will never change.”

Texas surpassed California as the top wind farm state in 2006. In January alone, new wind farms representing $700 million of investment went into operation in Texas, supplying power sufficient for 100,000 homes.

Supporters say Texas is ideal for wind-power development, not just because it is windy. It also has sparsely populated land for wind farms, fast-growing cities and a friendly regulatory environment for developers.

“Texas could be a model for the entire nation,” said Patrick Woodson, a senior development executive with E.On, a German utility operating here.

The quaint windmills of old have been replaced by turbines that stand as high as 20-story buildings, with blades longer than a football field and each capable of generating electricity for small communities. Powerful turbines are able to capture power even when the wind is relatively weak, and they help to lower the cost per kilowatt hour.

Much of the boom in the United States is being driven by foreign power companies with experience developing wind projects, including Iberdrola of Spain, Energias de Portugal and Windkraft Nord of Germany. Foreign companies own two-thirds of the wind projects under construction in Texas.

A short-term threat to the growth of wind power is the looming expiration of federal clean-energy tax credits, which Congress has allowed to lapse several times over the years. Advocates have called for extending those credits and eventually enacting a national renewable-power standard that would oblige states to expand their use of clean power sources.

A longer-term problem is potential bottlenecks in getting wind power from the places best equipped to produce it to the populous areas that need electricity. The part of the United States with the highest wind potential is a corridor stretching north from Texas through the middle of the country, including sparsely populated states like Montana and the Dakotas. Power is needed most in the dense cities of the coasts, but building new transmission lines over such long distances is certain to be expensive and controversial.

“We need a national vision for transmission like we have with the national highway system,” said Robert Gramlich, policy director for the American Wind Energy Association. “We have to get over the hump of having a patchwork of electric utility fiefdoms.”

Texas is better equipped to deal with the transmission problems that snarl wind energy in other states because a single agency operates the electrical grid and manages the deregulated utility market in most of the state.

Last July, the Texas Public Utility Commission approved transmission lines across the state capable of delivering as much as 25,000 megawatts of wind energy by 2012, presuming the boom continues. That would be five times the wind power generated in the state today, and it would drive future national growth.

Shell and the TXU Corporation are planning to build a 3,000-megawatt wind farm north of here in the Texas Panhandle, leapfrogging two FPL Energy Texas wind farms to become the biggest in the world.

Not to be outdone, Mr. Pickens is planning his own 150,000-acre Panhandle wind farm of 4,000 megawatts that would be even larger and cost him $10 billion.

“I like wind because it’s renewable and it’s clean and you know you are not going to be dealing with a production decline curve,” Mr. Pickens said. “Decline curves finally wore me out in the oil business.”

At the end of 2007, Texas ranked No. 1 in the nation with installed wind power of 4,356 megawatts (and 1,238 under construction), far outdistancing California’s 2,439 megawatts (and 165 under construction). Minnesota and Iowa came in third and fourth with almost 1,300 megawatts each (and 46 and 116 under construction, respectively).

Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and Oregon, states with smaller populations than Texas, all get 5 to 8 percent of their power from wind farms, according to estimates by the American Wind Energy Association.

It has dawned on many Texans in recent years that wind power, whatever its other pros and cons, represents a potent new strategy for rural economic development.

Since the wind boom began a few years ago, the total value of property here in Nolan County has doubled, and the county judge, Tim Fambrough, estimated it would increase an additional 25 percent this year. County property taxes are going down, home values are going up and the county has extra funds to remodel the courthouse and improve road maintenance.

“Wind reminds us of the old oil and gas booms,” Mr. Fambrough said.

Teenagers who used to flee small towns like Sweetwater after high school are sticking around to take technical courses in local junior colleges and then work on wind farms. Marginal ranches and cotton farms are worth more with wind turbines on them.

“I mean, even the worst days for wind don’t compare to the busts in the oil business,” said Bobby Clark, a General Electric wind technician who gave up hauling chemicals in the oil fields southwest of here to live and work in Sweetwater. “I saw my daddy go from rags to riches and back in the oil business, and I sleep better.”

Wind companies are remodeling abandoned buildings, and new stores, hotels and restaurants have opened around this old railroad town.

Dandy’s Western Wear, the local cowboy attire shop, cannot keep enough python skin and cowhide boots in stock because of all the Danes and Germans who have come to town to invest and work in the wind fields, then take home Texas souvenirs.

“Wind has invigorated our business like you wouldn’t believe,” said Marty Foust, Dandy’s owner, who recently put in new carpeting and air-conditioning. “When you watch the news you can get depressed about the economy, but we don’t get depressed. We’re now in our own bubble.”

 

 

Correction:

Because of an editing error,

an earlier version of an article Saturday

about the growing use of wind power in Texas

left unclear the amount of money

that Louis Brooks is paid for having 78 wind turbines

on his ranch on the outskirts of Sweetwater, Tex.

It is $500 a month for each, not $500 for all of them.

Move Over, Oil, There’s Money in Texas Wind, NYT, 23.2.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/23/business/23wind.html

 

 

 

 

 

Britain's wind power revolution

Hutton's dramatic policy shift
signals less reliance on nuclear energy

Offshore farms could provide all UK homes
with electricity within 13 years

 

Published: 09 December 2007

By Geoffrey Lean,

Brian Brady

and Jonathan Owen

 

Britain is to embark on a wind power revolution that will produce enough electricity to power every home in the country, ministers will reveal tomorrow.

The Independent on Sunday has learnt that, in an astonishing U-turn, the Secretary of State for Business, John Hutton, will announce that he is opening up the seas around Britain to wind farms in the biggest ever renewable energy initiative. Only weeks ago he was resisting a major expansion of renewable sources, on the grounds that it would interfere with plans to build new nuclear power stations.

The revelation rounds off an unprecedented week in the battle against global warming in Britain and the United States. On Wednesday and Thursday measures to boost US use of renewable energy for electricity and motor fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions were approved in Congress. The move comes as 190 nations meet in Bali, Indonesia, to negotiate what is seen as the world's "last chance" of avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

Yesterday hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in 86 countries across the globe to demand urgent action from the Bali meeting. Several thousand campaigners marched in torrential rain through London to rally at the US embassy. Some posters carried a picture of President George Bush and the words "Wanted for crimes against the planet".

Mr Hutton's announcement, which will be made at a conference in Berlin tomorrow, will identify sites in British waters for enough wind farms to produce 25 gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2020, in addition to the 8GW already planned – enough to meet the needs of all the country's homes.

It means that within only eight years, Britain's offshore wind industry will be twice the size of that of any other nation in the world.

The move will put the country well on the way to achieving a tough EU target of providing 20 per cent of the country's energy from renewable sources by 2020. But just six weeks ago, Mr Hutton's department, far from attempting to meet the target was trying to kill it.

In a confidential memorandum, Gordon Brown was advised that the target was expensive and faced "severe practical difficulties". It went on to warn how it would reduce "the incentives to invest in other technologies like nuclear power".

But the Prime Minister overruled Mr Hutton and insisted in his first green speech as PM last month that the target would be maintained and met. Now the Business Secretary will also announce tomorrow that he is to set up a panel under his chairmanship to work out how to hit it.

"By 2020 enough electricity could be generated off our shores to power the equivalent of all of the UK's homes," Mr Hutton is expected to say in a speech to the European energy industry in Berlin."The challenge for Government and for industry is to turn this potential – for our energy and economy – into a cost-effective reality. This will be a major challenge."

The announcement is the first step in implementing the offshore wind power revolution, which is likely to run into far less environmental opposition than proposals to build wind farms on land. Once sites have been identified, companies will then draw their plans and submit them for approval to Mr Hutton's department and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

So far two things have held them back: site identification and an assurance that the resulting installations will be connected to the national grid. This move removes the former.

Yesterday Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association, hailed the move as a "decisive step". She added: "We welcome the Government's effort to place wind energy on a sound footing and promote Britain into a leader in this sector."

Britain's wind power revolution,
IoS,
9.12.2007,
http://environment.independent.co.uk/green_living/article3236132.ece - broken URL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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