Wind Energy In Iowa Cuts 8.4 Million Tons Of Carbon Pollution Per Year

Iowa has been a prime example for the progress of wind energy in the past few years. As this article shows, Iowa’s wind energy benefits extend from being an electricity generator and economic driver, it drastically cuts pollution and benefits the environment. Read on.

Original post by Think Progress. View article here.

Wind energy

Iowa’s hugely successful wind industry isn’t just an economic driver, it’s having a major impact on cutting pollution and saving water. Wind energy generation in Iowa avoids more than 8.4 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution — the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road, according to a new report released by Environment Iowa.

Additionally, the report found that wind energy saves Iowans nearly 3.8 billion gallons of water per year, enough to meet the needs of over 158,000 people. The U.S. National Drought Monitor shows a significant portion of the state is in moderate to severe drought conditions and has been for several months. Continue reading “Wind Energy In Iowa Cuts 8.4 Million Tons Of Carbon Pollution Per Year”

Largest Wind Turbine In World Ready For Production

Published by View original here.


On Tuesday the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbine swung into gear at the Danish National Test Centre for Large Wind Turbines in Østerild. The prototype V164-8.0 MW wind turbine is 720 feet tall, has 260-foot blades, and can generate 8 megawatts of power — enough to supply electricity for 7,500 average European households or about 3,000 American households. Continue reading “Largest Wind Turbine In World Ready For Production”

Data show wind energy works and is cost-effective

Originally published by Wisconsin State Journal. View original here.

Iowa wind

Occasionally a misinformed reader asserts wind turbines produce insignificant electrical output. That’s simply untrue.

MGE reports the energy produced by its wind turbines annually. According to reports, its Rosiere Wind Farm in Kewaunee County produced 19,513,000 kilowatt hours in 2011 and 20,279,000 in 2012, the former at an operating cost of 2.11 cents per kilowatt hour. Continue reading “Data show wind energy works and is cost-effective”

No need for polluting Alcoa coal plant

ImageEnvironment group Friends of the Earth say there’s no need for Alcoa to be granted a license to generate electricity at their Anglesea coal power plant. Rather, the plant that came online in the 1960s should be retired—delivering public health and climate change benefits for Victorians.

The current state of the energy market makes the retirement of the coal power plant possible. There’s now an oversupply of fossil fuel generators in the energy system.

The oversupply is due to decreasing electricity demand from increased energy efficiency, and renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar and wind farms coming online.

In its application, Alcoa says the impacts of not granting the license on electricity prices and reliability must be considered. Removing 150 megawatts of polluting coal power is really a drop in the ocean in terms of power prices. The impact of rejecting Alcoa’s generation license on electricity prices would be virtually undetectable.

Retiring the Alcoa coal power station will barely affect power prices, yet will deliver benefits for the local community who are sick of pollution spewing over their community. It will also deliver sizable carbon emissions savings and help Victorians address climate change. Continue reading “No need for polluting Alcoa coal plant”

Direct action vs carbon pricing: we can have it all

Published by The Conversation. View original article here.

By Alan Pears AM, energy policy guru and Adjunct Professor, RMIT University.

We should not be debating a choice between direct action and carbon pricing: we need both, but with credible, well-designed mechanisms.

Why we need both

We need a carbon price based on certificate trading for several reasons.

It sends a signal to both emitters and investors that they need to cut emissions, starting today. The price rises if there is insufficient action, and declines if action is effective. And there is the potential to profit from trading. All of that makes emitters more likely to innovate and bring down the cost of reducing emissions.

The revenue from a carbon price provides funds to support additional cuts and help those affected by the price to adapt. Because a price brings in revenue, funds don’t have to be dragged from other government activities.

We need effective direct action because carbon pricing is a relatively crude and imperfect incentive. A carbon price can be undermined by non-financial barriers and market imperfections. Weak carbon caps lead to low carbon prices that do not reflect true long-term costs of climate change.

Businesses and households also tend to put more value on money they have now than money they have in the future. That means future carbon costs are not necessarily powerful motivators when compared with other factors.

In the electricity industry, profits increase with higher sales, so a carbon price will encourage action that reduces emissions per unit of electricity sold, such as renewable energy, but not actions that reduce sales. Energy companies won’t encourage energy efficiency, the most cost-effective abatement option, because it cuts their profits.

A carbon price does increase the prices consumers pay for fossil fuel sourced energy, but it is a small increase in a small part (1-5%) of most business and household costs. If we want consumers and businesses to improve their energy efficiency, or set up distributed energy generation such as solar panels, direct action can help.

Direct action can be applied to activities that cannot be included in a carbon trading scheme. We have already seen this approach under the Carbon Farming Initiative, which encourages sequestration by rewarding those who act. Continue reading “Direct action vs carbon pricing: we can have it all”

Do Wind Farms Really Kill Birds?

Published by New Matilda. View original article here.

duckpicWind farms are usually accused of making people sick. Now critics claim they also threaten endangered birds. Bill King, Emma Bennett and Lynn Trakell debunk another wind farm myth.

The 2013 Victorian duck hunting season began in March with an illegal all-species shoot-up at the Box Flat wetland near the small town of Boort. An informant told the Coalition Against Duck Shooting that around 2000 birds were killed, including around 80 Freckled Ducks (an endangered species), and many other species that could not conceivably have been mistaken for ducks.

A week later, a group from the coalition conducted a two hour search at Box Flat and found 43 dead Freckled Ducks and a total of 156 carcasses, along with 13 wounded birds, which were taken into care. The Department of Primary Industry later reported finding 915 bird carcasses at Box Flat, of which 760 were “game” species.

There are two good arguments against duck hunting that tend to persuade many who accept – or at least tolerate – other kinds of hunting: that it further threatens a number of already endangered species and that it is a particularly cruel sport, with around a quarter of the birds surviving being shot, some later dying of their injuries.

That same concern for animal welfare has entered, honestly or otherwise, into the debate over renewables. If we’re concerned about hunting deaths, shouldn’t we also worry about bird strike at wind farms? Continue reading “Do Wind Farms Really Kill Birds?”