FRISCO — A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that wind energy prices have fallen to an all-time low, with prices offered by wind projects to utility purchasers averaged under $0.2.5 per/kWh. The falling prices have spurred increased demand by utilities, according to the report, with wind power comprising 33 percent of all new U.S. electric capacity additions since 2007
“Wind energy prices, particularly in the central United States, have hit new lows, with utilities selecting wind as the low cost option,” Berkeley Lab senior scientist Ryan Wiser said. “Moreover, enabled by technology advancements, wind projects are economically viable in a growing number of locations throughout the U.S.” Continue reading “Report: U.S. wind energy price hits all-time low”→
103 gigawatts of generating capacity added during the year
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 “2014 saw record global investment in renewable energy”→
Clean energy saves lives and money in the long run, reduces water demand from power sector
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.
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 “Feds map wind, solar energy zones in Arizona”→
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.
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 OK massive Wyoming wind energy project”→