Posts Tagged ‘Clean Energy’

Des Moines Register: Wind could supply 40 percent of Iowa energy by 2020

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Iowa could meet 40 percent of its energy needs from wind power within five years, according to an industry report Thursday that looks at the state’s wind generation potential.

The state could push its wind-energy mix to 41 percent in 2020 and supply enough power to more than match its energy usage by 2030, with excess energy to export to other states, the American Wind Energy Association said Thursday.

While wind power could hypothetically surpass Iowa’s total energy demand, it and other states will still need power from natural gas, coal and nuclear energy as large-scale storage becomes more widely available for wind and solar energy, experts say. “The technology gets better and better each year,” said Mike Prior, executive director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association.

Pushing the amount of energy Iowa gets from wind could create significant benefits for the environment and economy, according to the Washington-based advocacy group. It provided the state outlook, based on recent data released by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Here are four benefits Iowa could see from boosted wind generation in five, 15 and 35 years, the association says:

•Lower utility bills: Iowa consumers could save $3.68 billion in lower electricity bills through 2050 with increased wind generation.

•More property taxes: Increased investment in wind farms would boost property tax revenues for government services $49.1 million annually by 2020 and nearly $137 million annually by 2030.

•Increased income: Farmers, ranchers and landowners could see land lease payments climb from $17.1 million annually to nearly $20 million annually by 2020 to $55.5 million annually by 2030.

•Environmental perks: Iowa could save on the amount of water used to generate energy, avoiding the use of 3.76 billion gallons of water annually by 2020 and 4.27 billion gallons by 2030. A reduction in carbon pollution, which contributes to climate change, would be the equivalent to removing 1.36 million cars annually from roads by 2020 and 1.66 million annually by 2030.

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Progress Illinois: The Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical ‘Raises Urgency’ For IL Clean Energy Bill, Advocates Say

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The Illinois legislature should heed Pope Francis’ call for climate action and pass pending legislation designed to strengthen statewide standards around energy efficiency and renewable energy, faith leaders and state Sen. Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) said Monday.

Speaking at the Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago’s West Loop, the Rev. Booker Steven Vance, policy director at Faith in Place, said the pope’s encyclical on the environment last week “raises the urgency” for passage of the proposed Illinois Clean Jobs bill.

If approved, the Illinois Clean Jobs bill “can embrace and carry out traditions” to protect the environment and the most vulnerable, Vance said.

“We hope that Illinois leaders will take note from the pope’s message that without action, climate change will hurt most of those who can least afford it,” he added.

In his encyclical, which is a papal message sent to all of the bishops in the Roman Catholic Church, Francis said climate change is mainly the result of human activity and it “represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

The pope, who called for fossil fuels to be “progressively replaced without delay,” noted that poor nations will be impacted the most by the effects of climate change.

He said developing countries need to do more to curb Earth-warming pollution.

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The Hill: Minnesota regulators approve state’s largest solar project

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Regulators in Minnesota have approved a $250 million, 100-megawatt solar project, the state’s largest, which will help a utility company comply with a local solar power mandate.

The state’s Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 Thursday to approve the project, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, giving a local company permission to build 21 solar farms in rural areas outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

The project increases the state’s solar output “sevenfold,” according to the Star Tribune. Developers intend to begin generating electricity at the new solar sites by the end of 2016.

The utilities commission denied the project developer’s request to build three other solar sites, given their proposed locations near residential areas or commercial development. Minnesota law lets state regulators approve energy projects regardless of local zoning laws, but a utilities commissioner said her panel was “particularly sensitive in having it go as smoothly with local units of government as possible.”

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How Energy Policies Dramatically Cut Carbon Pollution State by State

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

As the nation responsible for more manmade carbon dioxide pollution than any other country, the U.S. is certainly in line for comprehensive, congressionally approved legislation that addresses global warming.

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing its proposal to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, a new report from Environment America Research & Policy Center sheds light on the work individual states and President Barack Obama’s administration have done to reduce carbon emissions.

According to the report, Moving America Forward, clean energy policies adopted by states and the federal government from 2007 to 2012 reduced U.S. carbon dioxide pollution by 162 million metric tons in 2012. That amount equals the annual emissions from 34 million vehicles, or all the passenger cars and trucks in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado combined.

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A Summary of Key Changes in the Farm Bill’s Energy Title

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

(February 11, 2014) President Barack Obama last week signed a Farm Bill after a long grueling process to renew the bill, after the last one ended in 2012. This is the third Farm Bill to include an Energy Title since the first one was established in 2002. ELPC will provide more in-depth resources in coming days but a quick overview of key programs is available at FarmEnergy.org.