Articles filed under Energy Policy

Governments took the hard road on clean energy – and consumers are feeling the bumps

Instead of creating investor certainty, the federal government has adopted a “picking winners” approach. It plans to build new generation assets such as the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project, and subsidise others through a program of underwriting investments. Alongside this, the government’s proposed “big stick” laws would give it vast powers including those to break up big energy companies. Our research has confirmed this has a chilling effect on investment.
7 Oct 2019

Texas’ impending reliability issues with wind power

The close call in Texas in mid-August should be a lesson for ERCOT to rethink how it is valuing dispatchable, baseload power. The addition of more intermittent capacity to the market will likely make the reliability challenges Texas is facing only more difficult to manage. Further, the 100% renewable goal that several states have instituted should be viewed as a farce as the City of Georgetown recently discovered.
19 Sep 2019

Trouble in Texas is a warning for other states about possible power shortages from sources that depend on the weather

On August 12, a heatwave drove electricity demand in Texas to an all-time high. Electricity prices across the Texas power grid surged 36,000 percent, to roughly $6,537 per megawatt-hour—far higher than the average Texas price of $20 to $30 per megawatt-hour. Not only did electricity demand climb enormously as Texans cranked their air conditioners in 100-degree weather, but electricity generation at Texas wind farms simultaneously fell 50 percent due to lack of wind in the hot, listless air.
4 Sep 2019

Heatwave sheds light on wind's limits

Residential electricity prices in Missouri run lower than the national average. And so, as our state looks to incorporate more renewable energy, we should consider the importance of a balanced, diverse mix of electricity sources. The experience of Texas shows that our primary focus must be on ensuring reliable, affordable electricity in the years to come.
31 Aug 2019

Green energy: why wind power will never be the answer

The focus shifted to offshore wind farms, and the new Contracts for Difference scheme for their subsidy. A kind of reverse auction, it encouraged operators to put in unfeasibly low bids for the prices at which offshore wind farms would generate. While many have heralded the apparently huge drop in offshore costs, no wind farms have actually begun operating at this rate. Industry experts doubt they ever will, suspecting the low offers were a ruse to lock out competition and then blackmail the government on pain of bankruptcy if the price is not raised. The days where developers saw a prospective wind farm as a licence to print money while policymakers extolled wind energy as clean, green and free are long gone.
25 Aug 2019

Rising electricity prices to come as wind, solar mandates increase

Defenders of California’s renewable-first policy say that the state’s average residential electricity bills are relatively low. But that has ...everything to do with a temperate climate where Californians simply use less energy. Move California’s electricity prices to other states and the same electricity rates would be devastating. And yet, California’s energy approach is being replicated across the country, with little understanding of the potential consequences.
6 Aug 2019

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras exits renewables business

“There is a lot of marketing and only a few real actions," he said. "There are people announcing that they are committed to ‘better energies’ and what have you, but if you look at the European companies, the ones that are leading announcements in renewables, the projections for the participation of renewables in their revenues in 2030 is of 1%, 1.5% tops."
6 Aug 2019

First big U.S. offshore wind project hits snag due to fishing-industry concerns

BOEM spokesman Stephen Boutwell said NMFS is required to co-sign the project’s Record of Decision, a formal decision document, for the permit to be issued. The final environmental impact study and record of decision had originally been expected in April but were later delayed to June and then early July. Boutwell said the agency does not “have a date for these publications at this time.”
29 Jul 2019

Collapse of wind power threatens Germany's green energy transition

According to its findings, more than 70 percent of the legal objections are based on species conservation, especially the threat to endangered bird species and bats. ...In addition to species protection, it is primarily conflicts with noise protection that are leading to legal objections against wind power projects. They are responsible for 17 per cent of legal cases. Monument protection are behind six percent of lawsuits. 
27 Jul 2019

German market collapse hits European onshore wind stats

Europe installed 2.9GW of new onshore wind capacity in the period, down from 3.3GW in the first half of 2018, while offshore wind additions rose to 1.9GW in the first half, up from 1.1GW added in the year-ago period, industry group WindEurope said. Germany experienced its worst half year in terms of onshore installations since 2000, with only 252MW added. 
25 Jul 2019

Brown’s wind-farm conversion highlights reality

Bob Brown’s objection to a wind farm highlights two important facts: renewables do affect the ecology and activists’ solutions tend towards exporting their environmental responsibilities rather than addressing them at home. In the US large-scale solar and wind farms are now having measurable effects on the environment and there are signs of resistance to new projects.
15 Jul 2019

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