wind power

Tue, 2012-10-23 05:00Steve Horn
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As You Sow: Coal Investments, Shale Gas, a Bad Bet

In a missive titled “White Paper: Financial Risks of Investments in Coal,” As You Sow concludes that coal is becoming an increasingly risky investment with each passing day. The fracking boom and the up-and-coming renewable energy sector are quickly superseding King Coal's empire as a source of power generation, As You Sow concludes in the report.

As You Sow chocks up King Coal's ongoing demise to five factors, quoting straight from the report:

1. Increasing capital costs for environmental controls at existing coal plants and uncertainty about future regulatory compliance costs

2. Declining prices for natural gas, a driver of electric power prices in competitive markets

3. Upward price pressures and price volatility of coal

4. High construction costs for new coal plants and unknown costs to implement carbon capture and storage

5. Increasing competitiveness of renewable generation resources

Wed, 2012-05-30 08:35Brendan DeMelle
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What Chesapeake Energy's Financial Scandals Mean For The Rest of Us

Given radioactive wastewater, earthquakes, and flammable tap water, one might think that drilling and fracking could not possibly have any more dirty secrets. But here’s the biggest secret of all: it’s expensive.

With natural gas at historic low prices – the Wall Street Journal ran a column recently suggesting that the price of gas might even sink to negative numbers, so that producers would need to pay buyers to take it off their hands – it may seem odd to think that fracking is costly. But it’s true. Not just in terms of its environmental footprint, but also in terms of its financial costs.

And everyone should care about how expensive gas is, especially those concerned about energy security and the environment, because the answer will determine the fate of renewables, the way we use land and water, and whether our nation’s energy policies are fundamentally sound.

To understand what’s going on, you need to look at Chesapeake Energy, the second largest producer of natural gas in the US, the company described by its founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon as the “biggest frackers in the world.”

For 19 of the past 21 years, the company has operated at what investors call “cash flow negative” – last year by $8.547 billion dollars – meaning that Chesapeake has consistently spent a whole lot more than it earned. For decades.

To fund all that fracking, the company has been flipping land, engaging in so many financial transactions that it’s been said to resemble a hedge fund more than a gas driller.

McClendon's company has become the environmental Enron, with Chesapeake's accountants creating some of the most labyrinthine and impenetrable books since Enron, according to some investors.

Tue, 2012-05-08 16:06Steve Horn
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The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks

Ever wonder why a blooming green energy industry has faced such harsh opposition? Now, as the old adage goes, “the cat's out of the bag.”

The Guardian today revealed the network of fossil-funded groups coordinating the ongoing onslaught of attacks on renewable energy, particularly wind power. A memorandum passed to The Guardian from the Checks and Balances Project details the organizations and personnel acting as ringleaders to build an astroturf echo chamber of clean energy critics.

Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg writes in “Conservative thinktanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy,” 


“A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy.”

A confidential memo seen by The Guardian and obtained by DeSmogBlog “advises using 'subversion' to build a national movement of wind farm protesters,” explained Goldenberg.

That memo was crafted by John Droz, a Senior Fellow at the American Tradition Institute (ATI).*(see update below)* ATI was the right-wing think-tank behind the lawsuit to obtain University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann's “ClimateGate” emails. 

Wed, 2008-11-26 09:55Kevin Grandia
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Spain breaks wind power generation record

At 5 a.m. Central European Time (CET) on Nov. 24, wind power reached a new record of meeting 43% of Spain’s electricity demand - with 9,253 MW of wind energy in operation - of the 21,264 MW total demand.

The previous record was broken March 22 at 6 p.m. CET, with 40.8% of the demand, or 9,862 MW. At 12:30 p.m. CET on Nov. 24, 10,263 MW were being produced simultaneously. The previous record of 10,880 MW of wind production was reached on April 18 at 4:50 p.m. CET, representing 30% of the peninsula’s demand.

According to La Asociacion Empresarial Eolica, wind energy prices could drop to 6 euros per MWh. Wind energy has experienced a savings of 2.077 billion euros for the electrical system (4.50 euros of savings per citizen).

Fri, 2008-07-25 22:06Emily Murgatroyd
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Where's the best place for wind power?

Generating electricity from the power of the wind is one of the many ways we can begin to wean North America off its reliance on dirty fuels like coal that produce massive amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gas.

So where are the windiest places in the world that can power our lives?

NASA scientists have been creating maps using nearly a decade of data from NASA's QuikScat satellite that reveal ocean areas where winds could produce energy.

Tue, 2008-06-17 12:12Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Solutions: New trading funds highlight expanding role of wind in global warming struggle

Two new Exchange Traded Funds, filed within days of each other with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will focus on companies that provide products and services to the wind-energy industry, such as turbine makers and utilities with wind farms.

Wind energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions and cuts natural gas and water use. Of particular interest to investors, wind power is unaffected by price swings in natural gas, coal and uranium — all of which soared this year.

The new filings reflect the deepening role of wind in the battle against climate change.

Tue, 2008-04-15 08:50Richard Littlemore
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Pickens Leans into the Wind

“You need a giant plan for America. Not the pissant 83 megawatt [windfarm] deals being stamped all over the country. There needs to be a huge plan from someone with leadership. It's going to take years to do, but it has to start now.”

Al Gore? Nope. Too plain-spoken. This quote comes from oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, an erstwhile Bush supporter who is bankrolling a Texas windfarm that will be five times bigger than the current world-record holder.

Mon, 2008-04-14 08:55Ross Gelbspan
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Nimbyland's No-Wind Situation

The Washington Post, April 13, 2008 – Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced yesterday morning that he will bar commercial wind turbines from state-owned land, satisfying Western Maryland opponents of the turbines but disappointing supporters of the wind energy industry.

Thu, 2008-03-13 06:32Ross Gelbspan
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"It's An Ill Wind" -- Well Not All That Ill!

Powerful winter storms sweeping across Europe have boosted wind power, oversupplying the wholesale market for electricity and driving down prices by some 12 percent since Friday.

Even though road, rail and ship travel has been disrupted and insurers facing claims from damage brought by high winds, operators of wind turbines have been able to generate and sell more supply of the renewable energy into the power network.

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