QUICK NEWS, July 12: VOTERS BACK NEW ENERGY; NEW ENERGY MOVES AHEAD OF NUKES; GOOGLE’S NEW ENERGY PLAN; BIG STEP FOR OCEAN WIND
VOTERS BACK NEW ENERGY
The Impact of Candidates’ Statements about Climate Change on Electoral Success in 2010: Experimental Evidences
Jon A. Krosnick, Bo MacInnis, Ana Villar, June 2011, (Stanford University, National
Science Foundation and Woods Institute for the Environment)
"More than a decade of national surveys suggest that the vast majority of Americans who attach personal importance to the issue of climate change take what might be called ‘green’ positions on that issue – endorsing the existence of warming, human causation, and the need for ameliorative action. This finding suggests that candidates running for office can gain votes by taking green positions and might lose votes by expressing skepticism about climate change…
"…This paper describes tests of these hypotheses in experiments embedded in a national survey and in surveys carried out in three states with representative samples of adults…"
click to enlarge
"…Among Democratic and Independent respondents, a hypothetical Senate candidate gained votes by taking a green position and lost votes by taking a not-green position…Taking a green or not-green position on climate change had no significant impact on the voting behavior of Republican citizens…
"…These results suggest that by taking a green position on climate, candidates of either party can gain the votes of some citizens while not alienating others."
NEW ENERGY MOVES AHEAD OF NUKES
California rooftop solar installations surge; renewable energy approaches oil output, reports say
July 5, 2011 (LA Times)
"Renewable sources in the U.S. are starting to produce enough energy to rival oil output, according to the federal Energy Information Administration…[New Energy sources of] generation were responsible for nearly 12% of the country’s energy production during the first quarter of the year. That’s nearly 6% more than nuclear’s output and 77% of the amount coming from domestic crude oil…
"Electricity from wind sources is up 40% from the same period last year…Solar output more than doubled…"
(from the EIA via Greentech Media - click to enlarge
…The boom is especially evident in California, where the rate of installations for rooftop solar energy systems is on a tear, according to the California Public Utilities Commission…[T]he state put in a record 194 megawatts of new solar capacity last year -- 47% more than the amount installed in 2009…The setups provided power directly to 19,877 sites. Californians have installed a total of 924 megawatts of capacity at nearly 95,000 individual sites through the first quarter of this year.
And with dropping prices, 2011 is expected to be another record year, with 110 megawatts of solar already put in place through mid-June."
GOOGLE’S NEW ENERGY PLAN
Google Profits From Tax Credit to Boost Its $750 Million Clean Energy Plan
Andrew Herndon, July 8, 2011 (Bloomberg News)
"Google Inc. (GOOG) plans to ramp up its $750 million investment in clean energy projects by taking advantage of tax rules to channel more funds into wind, solar and other renewable power sources...
"All except two of the company’s investments in clean energy projects were structured as tax-equity financing, tapping government incentives that encourage large companies to back promising projects that often have yet to generate income, said Rick Needham, Google’s director of green business operations…Google’s goal is to promote technologies and new financing arrangements that will give a boost to the industry and diversify its sources of earnings. Rivals may follow its lead…"
click to enlarge
"Renewable energy plants qualify for tax credits that they typically can’t use until they are selling power and generating profits that can be taxed; once complete, many don’t have enough taxable profit to use the entire benefit. By selling these credits, developers receive funds to back their projects, and the large corporate buyers can apply the credits to their own tax bills…
"Google has invested in a wide variety of early stage companies and projects since 2006. Needham said its funding decisions are based on meeting two goals: they must generate a return, and they must be innovative. Often it considers investments that made other potential backers wary [including rooftop solar, solar power plants, wind projects and an offshore wind transmission system]…"
BIG STEP FOR OCEAN WIND
Interior Takes Next Step toward Holding First-Ever Lease Sales for Commercial Wind in the Mid-Atlantic; BOEMRE Analyzing Proposed Wind Energy Areas Offshore NJ, DE, MD, and VA
July 11, 2011 (U.S. Department of the Interior)
"As part of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s “Smart from the Start” initiative for Atlantic offshore wind development, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)…is seeking public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that considers potential environmental and socioeconomic effects of issuing renewable energy leases in designated Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia…
"The draft EA also considers potential environmental impacts associated with site assessment activities such as the installation and operation of meteorological towers and buoys on leases that may be issued in these areas."
(from DOI - click to enlarge)
"This draft EA is part of the “Smart from the Start” initiative being led by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Director Bromwich to facilitate efficient and environmentally-responsible development of renewable energy resources on the Atlantic OCS [outer continental shelf]…Any leases ultimately issued will not authorize construction or operations; instead, specific proposed projects will be the subject of subsequent environmental review and analysis…
"BOEMRE identified the WEAs offshore of the mid-Atlantic states in consultation with other federal agencies and BOEMRE’s state renewable energy task forces…BOEMRE considered the public comments in drafting the alternatives and assessing potential environmental impacts…"