A new regular feature on the Bail, John provides a weekly update on corruption, graft and waste in the green energy sector.
A major battle will erupt in 2013 over whether the US should implement a national carbon tax, observers are warning. “It’s unlikely to happen in the next few weeks, when the fiscal cliff needs to be dealt with,” Caperton said. “But they’re definitely going to work on it and people are going to be talking about it.”
Congress should direct the Department of Energy to determine the carbon price that will put the US on a path toward necessary greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution reductions, using $25 per tonne as a starting point for their analysis, he said.
The tax should be phased in on a pre-determined schedule along the lines of 25% of the target price in year one, 50% in year two, and 100% in year three, meaning a carbon price of $6.25/t in the first year, $12.50/t in the second year, and the full $25/t in the third year.
The Obama administration wants the U.S. offshore wind industry to flourish. As it reposes hope in renewable sources of energy, it decided to award $28 million in grants to seven projects. Those projects are aimed at developing different kinds of power-generation technologies.
As the Obama administration believes in the beneficial use of renewable energy, the Department of Energy announced that it would grant as much as $168 million in the next several years. Grants are expected to help companies develop and build first offshore wind farms in the U.S. To date, nine wind farms are at the advance level of development and as many as 24 are at the initial levels of development.
What is interesting is that the Obama administration supports new projects and introduces policies aimed at generating approximately 80 percent of the US electricity out of renewable source of energy by 2035. The administration believes that the US has a great potential for renewable energy as it possesses "untapped clean energy sources." Therefore, several decisions were made to support the development of new clean energy technologies. In addition, the Obama administration makes moves aimed at accelerating and facilitating leasing for offshore wind projects.
An energy security group told The Hill on Friday that it does not expect the one-year wind credit extension it has supported to make it into a “fiscal cliff” deal. The 2.2-cent per kilowatt-hour credit for wind power production expires Dec. 31.
Wind energy advocates have lobbied hard to prevent the production tax credit from expiring Dec. 31. The number of new wind projects has dropped sharply when the credit has been allowed to lapse in the past, which last occurred in 2004.
President Barack Obama nominated Kerry on Friday for Hillary Clinton's job and the senator is expected to win swift Senate confirmation. Kerry has been a dedicated, long-time campaigner for action on climate change. In 1992 he attended the first Rio Summit on climate, which formed the framework of U.N. climate talks. In 2010, he and Senator Joe Lieberman authored a sweeping climate bill that ultimately failed.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a major energy address Oct. 18 at Georgetown University in Washington, said: “Earlier this year, at the Summit of the Americas, Colombia launched a new initiative it is leading with the United States called Connecting the Americas 2022.
To support a successful implementation of the European Grid Declaration, signed by a coalition of Europe’s 29 largest environmental NGOs and grid operators in 2011, the Renewables-Grid-Initiative (RGI) launches the European Grid Report. The report publishes over 80 selected practical experiences by different RGI members across Europe. Today at the 2nd European Grid Conference in Brussels, jointly organised by RGI and Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP), the report and the extended European Grid Declaration on Transparency and Public Participation were presented to European Commissioner for Energy Günther H. Oettinger and to European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik.
In order to boost Germany’s ‘ecological wonder’ and its green energy transition, the Federal Republic has used power grids of neighbouring countries – without asking for permission. For this short-sighted policy, the German government is now being punished.
Germany considers itself the environmental conscience of the world: with its nuclear phase-out and its green energy transition, the federal government wanted to give the world a model to follow. However, blinded by its own halo Germany overlooked that others have to pay for this green image boost and are suffering as a result.
For example, Germany’s ‘eco-miracle’ simply used the power grids of neighboring countries not only without asking for permission but also without paying for it. Now Poland and the Czech Republic have pulled the plug and are building a huge switch-off at their borders to block the uninvited import of green energy from Germany which is destabalising their grids and is thus risking blackouts.
Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan said in a Dec. 2 interview he was negotiating sales of French, German and Polish wind farms, and has now announced deals in Germany and France. The latest sale means Iberdrola has divested about 850 million euros of assets in 2012 as part of a plan to sell 2 billion euros worth by the end of 2014 to strengthen its balance sheet. The French unit that Iberdrola is selling directly or indirectly owns 32 wind farms, with a total of 321.4 megawatts of capacity, according to the filing.
Hawaii Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz (D), who was yesterday named to fill the Senate seat vacated by the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D), wants to tackle an issue that has largely disappeared from Washington’s political agenda in recent years: climate change. Speaking briefly after being named to the seat by Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), Schatz voiced his concern over the threat climate change poses to the world if nothing is done:
“For me, personally, I believe global climate change is real and it is the most urgent challenge of our generation,” Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz (D), whom Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) tapped for the seat, said in brief comments Wednesday.
Environmental Protection Agency Administration Lisa Jackson says she's stepping down after nearly four years on the job.
First Wind said it paid the money for a batch of Clipper's 2.5MW Liberty turbines, which were never delivered. It also said Clipper has effectively stopped manufacturing the turbines. As of mid-December 2012, the Iowa suit was still ongoing, while a similar action in California was withdrawn on 5 November by First Wind for reasons that are not clear.
First Wind, a former major customer of Clipper, has been trying to freeze $59.5 million of Clipper's assets in three different court jurisdictions. The aim is to ensure that the private equity-owned turbine manufacturer can pay an arbitration settlement under way with First Wind in Chicago currently being overseen by the American Arbitration Association.
Patrick Wood is also on the board at First Wind and many others.
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Cartoons by Steve Hunter via Andy's Rant...