Plans to bail out the nation's ailing nuclear and coal-burning power plants would be costly for ratepayers and "would also completely upend the competitive electricity markets that are delivering billions in consumer savings," says Amy Farrell, the American Wind Energy Association's senior vice president for government and public affairs. "That's a steep price to pay in an era of US energy abundance, when independent regulators and grid operators agree that orderly power plant retirements do not constitute an emergency," she adds.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities met with stakeholders Thursday to discuss its initial request for proposals to add 1,100 megawatts of installed offshore wind capacity. Atlantic Wind Connect's Markian Melnyk urged the board to consider a variety of companies, noting that competition among firms would help the state secure the lowest rates.
Wind has faced some opposition in Michigan, but it still enjoys a huge amount of bipartisan support, owing to its economic and environmental benefits, said Stanley Pruss of sustainable energy consultancy Five Lakes Energy. He added that manufacturers and other industry firms are working with locals to resolve various concerns.
The 84-turbine Beatrice Offshore Windfarm off the coast of Scotland in the Moray Firth has reached first power. The project is expected to achieve full operations by the end of 2019.
The Port of Corpus Christi in Texas recently expanded its breakbulk capacity, and its new breakbulk cargo laydown yard received its first shipment of turbine components on July 14. "The future of wind energy is important to Corpus Christi, Texas, and the United States, and our Rincon West Yard is an incredibly viable logistics option for the innovative wind-energy industry," said port CEO Sean Strawbridge.
Offshore wind make sense for the US Gulf Coast, not only because projects can generate a lot of electricity using relatively few turbines, but also because it supports jobs and provides the same economic benefits as land-based wind, said Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. Burdock said her organization is working to develop infrastructure needed to support the industry's development on the US Gulf Coast.
The growth of wind and solar energy in North Carolina has been phenomenal over the past decade -- a trend that bodes well for the state and entire US, said Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center director Drew Ball. "If they continue to increase at just a third of the rate they've grown nationally, wind and solar will provide enough power to meet America's electricity needs by 2035," Ball said.
The Energy Department has issued a "funding opportunity announcement" to invest up to $6 million in research projects looking to cut the development costs and environmental effects associated with wind energy. Concept papers are due by Aug. 15.
Beauty brands like Ethique and Loli Beauty have switched to sustainable packaging in the wake of consumer dissatisfaction with plastics. "You only have to look around to see the worldwide momentum behind banning single-use plastics, alongside the realization that recycling will not make our plastic obsession OK," said Brianne West, founder of Ethique.
- Page 1