Transmission issues and federal policy are the greatest barriers to the development of wind energy in the United States, according to a poll conducted by NRG Systems during Windpower 2008 last weekend.
Also: Nukes far too undersubsidized, says Investor’s Business Daily. Surfrider praises Texas for turtle love; and McCain’s energy usurpation.
Back to that wind thing…
More than 400 conference attendees participated in the poll. Thirty-seven percent of respondents believe that transmission or interconnection issues pose the greatest barrier to wind development in the U.S.; thirty-four percent see US policy as the next greatest barrier…
NRG Systems conducted the instant poll during a pre-conference seminar on June 1 and with attendees at the Women of Wind Energy luncheon on June 3. The more than 400 respondents represented diverse sectors, company sizes, and years of experience in the wind energy industry.
Funny, our windy utility is still lobbying against aggressive policy and transmission expansion capability for future solar and wind ventures in West Texas.
VISUAL INTERLUDE: Our future swallowtails gobbled on the passionflower vine (right? anyone?) and one is safely wrapped in its cocoon.
It’s gonna take a little more federal subsidy love to kickstart new nukes in the U.S., according to Investor’s Business Daily:
With $18.5 billion up for grabs, the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program is expected to restart building nuclear plants in the U.S. after a three-decade hiatus.
However, the nuclear industry’s resurgence could be short-lived.
The $18.5 billion may be enough to partially fund only three or four nuclear plants, analysts say. About a dozen proposals are expected to vie for the financing. The DOE will begin the review process later this summer.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects up to 21 applications by year-end to build 32 reactors.
The presidential election may be key to nuclear’s revival. Democrat Barack Obama isn’t likely to support extending loan guarantees. Republican John McCain wants 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030.
With banks short of capital, the availability of low-interest rate government credit is vital to large-scale projects like nuclear plants.
* For some perspective, the U.S. Department of Energy is currently proposing a reduction in renewable energy investment and research from the current $1.7 billion to $1.2 billion — a 27 percent decrease. Here’s the DOE link. *
Also, sugar-throated kisses to The Public Record for showing McCain’s nuclear pitch as what it, yet ANOTHER example of ripping one from the Bush Regime — and not falling for the oft-repeated fallacy that nukes are cheaper than traditional energy sources.
And 2030? I know what someone will be doing during their goldener years.
From PR’s article:
Bush’s energy policy was largely written by corporate executives, such as the now defunct Enron Corp., and industry lobbyists during a series of meetings convened by Cheney in early 2001. When Enron imploded in a wave of accounting scandals later that year documents surfaced showing that the company played a role in helping Cheney draft the energy policy. Documents obtained by the Washington Post last July show that several officials from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a powerful industry lobby, met with Cheney at least twice in March 2001.
Last year, NEI spent $680,000 during the first half of 2007, according to a disclosure form posted online August 13 by the Senate’s public records office, lobbying the White House, Congress, the Department of Energy, and other federal agencies, to drum up support for nuclear energy as an alternative to the fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gasses. Cheney’s longtime friend, Tom Loeffler, a former lobbyist and Republican congressman, represented the NEI. Loeffler’s former aide, Nancy Dorn, worked as a Congressional liaison for Cheney, and later became a lobbyist for General Electric.
The lobbying appears to have paid off. In a series of speeches last year, Vice President Cheney and Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said that reviving the nuclear power industry would be a long-term solution to the country’s increasing thirst for electricity and a way to address global warming.
Last year, the Energy Department undertook a massive public relations effort, expected to continue until the end of 2008, to promote nuclear energy as the new “green” energy …
A study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, “The Future of Nuclear Power,” disagreed with Bodman’s analysis. It said even with volatile natural gas prices and a wildly fluctuating market, the cost of producing electricity from nuclear power plants is still 20 percent more expensive than electricity produced from gas-fired power plants, and 60 percent more expensive than electricity produced from a coal-fired power plant.
To end this second installment of my flurry:
A short narrative of sea mammals birthing sea mammals on the Texas coast from Surfrider rep Robert Nixon at the SR South Padre chapter closes thusly:
Texas may get a bad rap for being a huge oil and gas state with no concern for environmental issues, but when it comes to sea turtles the state is on point! The Texas General Land Office is very reluctant to issue permits for construction and dune mitigation on beaches that are known turtle nesting areas and they require that all sand hauling and beach fill projects be suspended during the turtle nesting season!