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Wind Power Is a Win for Americans and the Environment

April 15 -- Wind power is a win-win for consumers and the environment.

By the end of the year, U.S. wind plants will have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 100 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 17 million cars off the road. Wind energy cuts emissions of other health-harming pollutants by hundreds of thousands of tons annually, while also saving tens of billions of gallons of water in drought-ravaged areas by displacing water consumption at conventional power plants. As the lowest cost and most scalable zero-emission electricity source, wind energy plays a critical role in diversifying our energy mix. >>View Article

Wind Rush

Arpil 14 -- Wind developers from around the globe have rushed into the Texas Panhandle and Gulf Coast at a pace not seen since the industry’s early days in the mid-2000s.

More than 7,000 megawatts of new wind turbines are scheduled to be built by the end of next year, potentially increasing Texas’ wind power capacity by almost 60 percent. Whether developers will be able to carry through as advertised remains to be seen. But the volume of projects underway represents a dramatic acceleration for a Texas wind industry that has seen relatively modest growth since 2010. >>View Article

Triumph of the Drill

Arpil 14 -- Over the past century, the federal government has pumped more than $470 billion into the oil and gas industry in the form of generous, never-expiring tax breaks. Once intended to jump-start struggling domestic drillers, these incentives have become a tidy bonus for some of the world's most profitable companies.

Taxpayers currently subsidize the oil industry by as much as $4.8 billion a year, with about half of that going to the big five oil companies—ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips—which get an average tax break of $3.34 on every barrel of domestic crude they produce. With Washington looking under the couch cushions for sources of new revenue, oil prices topping $100 a barrel, and the world feeling the heat from its dependence on fossil fuels, there's been a renewed push to close these decades-old loopholes. But history suggests that Big Oil won't let go of its perks without a brawl. >>View Article

NC Must Continue its Support for Renewable Energy

Arpil 14 -- Duke Energy’s troubles with coal ash illustrate the hazards of burning fossil fuels and disposing of the byproducts. But another hazard lies in efforts to snuff out a trend that’s decreasing North Carolina’s dependence on fossil fuels: the state’s rising production of renewable energy.

That trend has been fed by a state law requiring utilities – which now effectively means Duke Energy – to get a portion of their electric power from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and livestock waste methane. The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards law (commonly known as Senate Bill 3) requires that renewable energy sources account for 3 percent of a utility’s sales this year with the standards rising to 12.5 percent of total retail sales by 2021. >>View Article

Majority Supports Renewable Fuel Standard, Poll Shows

April 10 -- Sixty-five percent of people in the United States support the renewable fuel standard (RFS) that mandates production and blending of a certain amount of fuel from renewable sources, according to a survey commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

This is the third year in a row that RFA surveys have shown a majority favors the standard, the group said Wednesday. >>View Article

Wind Power Projects to Rise to Record in 2014, Lobby Says

April 10 -- Wind-power installations will climb to a record this year, driven by resurgent U.S. demand and growth in developing nations from Brazil to China, the Global Wind Energy Council predicted.

Worldwide installations will probably surge 34 percent to 47.3 gigawatts in 2014, the Brussels-based trade group said today in an e-mailed report. That follows a drop by more than a fifth to 35.3 gigawatts last year that was fueled by crashing U.S. demand after a tax credit to the industry expired. >>View Article

Solar Impulse Unveils Fuel-Free Plane for Round-the-World Flight

April 10 -- The Swiss team that flew a solar-powered airplane across America has unveiled the even bigger plane that they plan to take around the world a year from now.

"It's the most incredible airplane of its time," Bertrand Piccard, the president and co-pilot of the Solar Impulse venture, told VIPs who gathered at Switzerland's Payerne Air Field on Wednesday for the first public look at the 236-foot-wide (72-meter-wide) aircraft. >>View Article

Increase Focus on Energy-Efficiency

April 10 -- Last legislative session, the passage of Senate Bill 123 set a timeline to retire the Reid Gardner coal plant just 50 miles outside Las Vegas and mandated NV Energy introduce 350 megawatts of renewable energy in the next several years.

This is encouraging for Nevada’s clean-energy economy, but a glaring omission from SB123 was mention of improving Nevada’s energy-efficiency performance. The bill allows NV Energy to build up to 550MW of new flexible power. This flexible power could be anything from natural gas to solar energy, but the most cost-effective way to use that flexible power is through improved energy efficiency. >>View Article

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