2014 saw record global investment in renewable energy

103 gigawatts of generating capacity added during the year


Investment in offshore wind energy surged in 2014.

Staff Report

FRISCO — A sharp drop in oil prices in 2014 didn’t deter investment in renewable energy, which increased 17 percent after declining during the previous two years.

The surge in investment was driven my major expansion of solar installations in China and Japan and record investments in offshore wind projects in Europe. Altogether, global investment in renewables climbed to $270 billion for the year, according to an annual report from the United Nations Environmental Program.

All that investment added up to  103 gigawatts of generating capacity added around the world — equaling the energy generating capacity of all 158 nuclear power plant reactors in the USA, and the continuing drop in the cost of renewable energy technology means that there’s a greater return on every dollar invested, the report explained. Continue reading

Report shows huge benefits of pursuing wind energy

Wind farming in the West.

Wind farming in the West.

Clean energy saves lives and money in the long run, reduces water demand from power sector

Staff Report

FRISCO — Boosting the role of wind power in the country’s energy portfolio would have significant economic, environmental and health benefits, the Department of Energy found in a new report that outlines the  path needed to achieve 10 percent wind by 2020, 20 percent by 2030, and 35 by 2050.

Currently, wind power generates about 4.5 percent of the country’s energy. Reaching the 2050 goal would reduce cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent, saving $400 billion in avoided global damages, the report found. Continue reading

Colorado: House committee rejects clumsy GOP attempt to roll back renewable energy target

Playing politics with our future


Got wind?

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Colorado won’t be lowering its 30 percent renewable energy target anytime soon, as lawmakers on a State House committee yesterday rejected a measure that would have cut the renewable energy standard from 30 percent to 15 percent. Continue reading

Feds map wind, solar energy zones in Arizona



New plan focuses on previously disturbed sites with few resource conflicts

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Obama administration’s push to develop more renewable energy resources reached another milestone this week, as the Interior Department finalized designation of 192,000 acres in Arizona as potentially suitable for utility-scale solar and wind energy development.

Any subsequent proposals for specific solar or wind energy projects will still need to undergo a site-specific environmental review.

According to the Interior Department, the lands identified in Arizona include previously disturbed sites (primarily former agricultural areas) and lands with low resource sensitivity and few environmental conflicts. Federal land managers in Arizona spent three years analyzing  disturbed land and other areas with few known resource conflicts that could accommodate commercial renewable energy projects. Continue reading

Wind energy production tax credit gets 1 year extension


Wind turbines near Lamar, Colorado. Photo courtesy NREL.

Congressional vote may help prevent additional wind energy layoffs in Colorado

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Surprisingly, and in part because of the persistence of Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the wind energy production tax credit made it through the federal budget fiasco, gaining approval for a one-year extension that could help protect Colorado’s burgeoning renewable energy industry.

After giving 27 speeches on the Senate floor in support of the tax credit, Udall said the extension  gives manufacturers in Colorado and throughout North America the signal they need to create jobs, make capital investments in the United States, and ensure that wind energy remains a strong part of our national energy strategy, although a one-year extension isn’t likely to spur significant long-term investments.

“The extension of the wind Production Tax Credit is excellent news for workers in Pueblo, Windsor, Brighton and across the country. Thanks to the PTC extension, I am confident the wind industry will be able to create jobs and help revitalize our American manufacturing sector,” Udall said. Continue reading

Feds OK massive Wyoming wind energy project

Mapped wind energy potential in Wyoming, by NREL.

Site-specific reviews still to come for what could be a 3,000 MW facility

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — When it comes to renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases, actions speak a lot louder than words. And despite almost constant carping from environmental groups, the Obama administration has made significant progress in four years.

Most recently, the Department of Interior announced approval of the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project site in Wyoming. At completion, the complex could generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity — enough to power almost 1 million homes.

With the approval, the administration has reached its goal of authorizing 10,000 megawatts of renewable power on public lands, marking a sea change in the country’s energy mix. The project developers expect the proposal to create an estimated 1,000 construction, operation and maintenance jobs and generate enough energy to power nearly 1 million homes. Continue reading

Feds hope to speed up permits for renewable energy projects


Wind farming in the West.

Interior Department teams up with Defense Department to develop solar and wind on military lands

By Summit Voice

Continuing to push for utility scale renewable energy projects, the Obama administration said this week it will seek expedited review and approval for seven wind and solar projects
that would generate a total of 5,000 megawatts of electricity — providing enough power for about 1.5 million homes.

The federal Office of Management and Budget is charged with overseeing the government-wide effort to make the permitting more efficient, with a target date of October, 2014 for completing the federal permitting for the projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Wyoming under a March, 2012 executive order.

Almost at the same time, the Department of Interior and Department of Defense announced an agreement aimed at ncouraging appropriate development of renewable energy projects on public lands set aside for defense-related purposes, and other onshore and offshore areas near military installations. Continue reading


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