Why is the nuclear industry in such dire straits? Mainly because of cheap natural gas and dampened electricity demand due to energy efficiency programs and a sluggish economy. The most vulnerable plants are in states with deregulated electricity markets, such as Illinois. Unlike regulated utilities, which are guaranteed an annual rate of return, these “merchant” plants sell power on the wholesale market and are being underpriced by their competition.
The cost of wind energy will blow you away.
This morning, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved the state’s first wind farm proposal. About a year ago, Georgia Power announced that it signed a power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables for 250 megawatts of wind power from Oklahoma. With today’s decision, wind energy from the Plains will make its way to the Peach State early next year.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) just recently released a “finding of no significant impact” for Southern Company’s proposed offshore wind energy study equipment. The draft environmental assessment found that a meteorological tower or buoys offshore Georgia would have negligible environmental impacts.
Creation Care merges faith with proactive solutions to protect God’s creation. Next week, the season of Lent begins for millions of faithful people around the world. To mirror the 40 days of Lent, here are 40 churches, religious schools and faith-based organizations around the world that are putting their faith to work by promoting wind energy.
Wind turbines and sailboats share many commonalities. Both are super advanced, highly popular and lovable, low cost and protective of the environment, but do you know all of the 19 1/2 ways wind turbines and sailboats are similar?
The Department of Energy just announced a $2 million funding opportunity for taller wind turbines, which is big news for everyone in the South. Not only could the funding go to a Southern business, but also the research to accompany the funding announcement shows a giant resource potential in the South that has been previously largely unknown.
Weiss Lake (located in Cherokee and Etowah Counties, Alabama) has the noble distinction of “Crappie Fishing Capital of the World” and is the lifeblood of Northeast Alabama’s tourism. The lake was created in the 1950s and 1960s as Alabama Power developed a hydroelectric dam on the Coosa River. Several organizations have developed in an effort to improve and protect Weiss Lake and the surrounding watershed. Wind farms may provide a new opportunity to advance those protection efforts. Wind farms use modern technology for electric generation, emit no air pollution and consume no water, and at the same time, offer local communities economic development that can spur reinvestment into local programs and infrastructure; key factors that make wind energy a clean power resource and a new tool to help save Weiss Lake.
To support this American-made industry and many other sources of energy, President George H.W. Bush passed the Production Tax Credit in the early 1990s. Every president since then has renewed this tax credit in order to reduce the overall tax burden on the relatively new wind industry, highlighting its wide bipartisan support. The Production Tax Credit for wind energy has historically been renewed on somewhat of an annual basis; but because of the dysfunction of the current Congress, the tax credit has recently lapsed.
Generally, wind turbines have been compared to refrigerators in terms of their relative sound level. According to the EPA, sound levels at 55 dB outside and 45 dB inside are unlikely to cause annoyance. For example, if a proposed regulation is below 45 decibels (the EPA level for indoor noise), it should be fairly clear that the proposing regulator is not interested in allowing wind development but is instead aiming to ban by regulation.