Wind industry’s proposal to phase out its Production Tax Credit could shift energy subsidy debate

By Bill Opalka, Guest Contributor A proposal by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to phase out of its key federal subsidyby year-end 2018 in return for its immediate extension could mark a new era in assessing the fiscal costs and the economic and environmental benefits of all energy subsidies. The proposal was made to […]

Renewables lead new generation this year, but prepare for big decline in new wind in 2013

By Bill Opalka, Guest Contributor Renewable energy generation grabbed a 46% share of new capacity in the first 10 months of the year, easily outpacing natural gas, coal, nuclear and oil. That’s according to the latest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Energy Infrastructure update, which covers the January-October time frame. The 46% renewable share includes new […]

Can Maryland spin any wind turbines off its coast after setbacks in New Jersey and Delaware?

Offshore wind has two strikes against it in New Jersey and Delaware. Cape Wind off Massachusetts’ Nantucket Sound is fighting to stay alive in extra innings. Now Maryland is trying to get ‘on base’ with a second bid by Governor Martin O’Malley which is halfway toward approval (at this writing) by the state’s General Assembly. […]

Natural gas and renewables – a political AND energy fix this time around?

Put these pieces of America’s, if not the world’s, energy puzzle together and one could see a political AND energy fix combining a lot more natural gas-fueled transportation along with renewable sources of electricity and electric vehicles. As U.S. gasoline prices lurch toward $5 per gallon and Americans are reminded this ‘Earth Week’ of the […]

Better at reducing carbon emissions? Wind energy outguns natural gas in Economist poll

Some leaders in the natural gas and the renewable energy industries might be thinking of collaborating in a new effort to reduce carbon emissions. But The Economist wanted its its readers to choose between the natural gas and wind energy and did so with a poll that ended Thursday night. The Economist asked: Will natural […]

It’s time for all utilities to buy electricity under power purchase agreements

Power purchase agreements – aka “PPAs” – are an established tool for spreading the cost of energy over 20 years or longer as a means of ensuring a revenue stream for renewable energy project developers, stabilizing and predicting energy costs and displacing dirty coal with cleaner sources of electricity. The time has come in just […]

Race heats up to build U.S. East Coast offshore wind farms

With Maryland’s announcement this week of the progress it’s making to attract 1 GIGAwatt’s worth of wind energy capacity ( or 1,000 megawatts, equal to about 300 turbines) offshore at Ocean City, the Free State joins Delaware, New Jersey and Massachusetts in the race to become a hub of wind energy deployment and manfucturing on the U.S. […]

THIS is what net metering is coming to . . . at least in Maryland

One of the benefits of owning a solar photovoltaic system in certain states is any electricity generated beyond what the system owner uses earns a credit that the owner can bank and then use to displace grid-supplied electricity. Those savings can add up reducing monthly power bills and shortening the payback period on the cost […]

‘Smart Meters Giving Dumb Results’ – a preview from Canadian media

A slew of criticism in the Canada’s mainstream media recently suggests tough sledding ahead for utilities globally as they slip and slide onto to smarter grids. Consider these headlines, all since the middle of September, on Ontario Hydro’s move to introduce time-of-use pricing. It’s newly launched program is designed to encourage electricity consumers to reduce […]

Clean energy rising – together – in Maryland

While most states struggle to juggle policy initiatives to foster the growth of different sources cleaner energy AND energy efficiency, at least one state is building a model that brings together the shared interests of these sometimes competing sectors: Maryland. The first-ever Maryland Clean Energy Summit Monday, Oct. 4 in Baltimore demonstrated that how ever […]