NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, Oct. 29: WIND MAY TIP KANSAS ELECTION; YOUNG VOTERS BRING NEW ENERGY; GREEN BUILDINGS BOOMING

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    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    QUICK NEWS, Oct. 29: WIND MAY TIP KANSAS ELECTION; YOUNG VOTERS BRING NEW ENERGY; GREEN BUILDINGS BOOMING

    WIND MAY TIP KANSAS ELECTION How Cheap Wind Energy Threatens To Upend The Kansas Governor’s Race And Upset The Koch Brothers

    Ari Phillips, October 27, 2014 (ThinkProgress)

    “Kansas Governor Sam Brownback once supported wind energy, but that was before petrochemical billionaires and Kansas natives Charles and David Koch became his largest campaign donors. Now, Brownback and the Kochs find themselves enmeshed in a highly competitive governor’s race, one that has become a referendum on the much-heralded notion that scaling back government and slashing taxes for the wealthy will lead to economic growth…A key aspect of this debate hinges on the role of renewable energy in the state and the future of the Kansas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), a law requiring a certain portion of a state’s energy mix come from renewable sources…

    “The Koch brothers have devoted a significant amount of time and money into repealing the standard and as of late, Brownback has wavered in his support. His Democratic opponent, Paul Davis said the RPS repeal is being championed by a very narrow group of far right special interests with heavy investments in the oil industry…despite the fact that the policy remains incredibly popular among everyday Kansans and public and private sector leaders who understand the importance of diversifying the state’s energy portfolio…Koch Industries is not supporting Brownback’s re-election campaign because the RPS repeal effort was unsuccessful. This would follow the pattern of the Kochs lashing out at even very conservative state legislators who didn’t support the repeal…91 percent of Kansas voters are strongly supportive of using renewable energy, with 88 percent responding that they believe boosting renewable energy will lead to new investments in Kansas and help grow the state’s economy…” click here for more

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    YOUNG VOTERS BRING NEW ENERGY UT Energy Poll Shows Generation Gap on Vital Energy Issues

    October 28, 2014 (University of Texas at Austin)

    “…[M]arkedly different perspectives on energy issues based on the age of voters…[could impact] the outcome of next week’s elections…The latest [University of Texas] Energy Poll, conducted Sept. 4-16, shows contrasting views and preferences among consumers in numerous areas, including energy policy, preferred sources of energy and financial support from the federal government… Nearly half of the 2,105 U.S. residents surveyed (46 percent) say candidates’ views on energy issues will greatly influence their choices at the ballot box…[and a] much higher percentage of older respondents (87 percent) indicate they are likely to vote in the Nov. 4 election, compared with 68 percent of those age 35 or under…

    “Fifty-six percent of younger consumers say they are willing to pay much higher prices to protect the environment, compared with only 20 percent of respondents age 65 and older…Support for renewable sources of energy is considerably stronger among younger consumers, with nearly 2 out of 3 (65 percent) favoring an expansion of financial incentives…62 percent of younger respondents favor requiring utilities to obtain a percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, versus 48 percent of older voters…Younger consumers also strongly support subsidies for renewable energy, with 72 percent saying they back federal government support, compared with 58 percent among Americans age 65 and older…” click here for more

    GREEN BUILDINGS BOOMING Driven by Higher Rents and Values, Green Buildings Market Grows to $260 Billion; 325 million m2 of new green buildings floor space was built in 2013 as internal rates of return reached a steady 5% or more…

    October 29, 2014 (Lux Research)

    “Construction of green buildings rose to 325 million m2 of new floor space in 2013, representing a $260 billion market…driven by economic benefits rather than environmental motivations…In the United States, for example, green buildings command an estimated 20% of new construction [according to Cash Is King: Assessing the Financial Performance of Green Buildings from Lux Research]…[B]uildings with LEED Gold certification outperform their baseline peers…Incentives like Germany's subsidized interest rates for energy-efficient homes, or government cash rebates in India, can lead to an IRR of 5% to 6% over 15 years…[B]uilding energy efficiency codes such as ASHAE 90.1, IECC and ECBC India can create a much larger market opportunity [than green building standards like LEED]. In Germany, Lux Research estimates that new floor space compliant with the EnEv 2009 code was 50 million m2, or about 36% of overall new construction, in 2013…” click here for more

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