Friday, April 30, 2010

Hawaii Raises Oil Prices, Should Cayman Follow?

Gas prices, power bills and shipping costs will rise after the Hawaii Legislature voted to override a veto of a $1-per-barrel tax increase on oil products.

Hawaii already has the most expensive electricity rates and gas prices in the nation, and they're expected to become even more costly when this tax increase takes effect in July. Island drivers paid $3.58 per gallon of regular unleaded Thursday, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.The petroleum tax is one of 11 measures that will become law following veto overrides by lawmakers Thursday. Others include requiring contractors to hire 80 percent Hawaii residents for public projects, taxing estates worth more than $3.5 million and preventing the closure of welfare offices. More >>>

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cape Wind, first U.S. offshore wind farm, approved

(Reuters) - The first U.S. offshore wind farm, a giant project 5 miles/8 km off the Massachusetts coast, was approved on Wednesday after years of opposition involving everyone from local Indian tribes to the Kennedy family.

The turbines, more than 400 feet high, will dot an area of about 24 square miles (62 square km), larger than Manhattan, and be visible low on the horizon from parts of Cape Cod. The site is tucked between the mainland of the cape and the islands of Martha's Vineyard, an exclusive celebrity vacation destination, and Nantucket. More >>>

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wind's latest problem: it ... makes power too cheap

Wind's latest problem: it ... makes power too cheap

Sun Apr 25th, 2010 - Bloomberg has a somewhat confusing article about the newest complaint about wind power, but the gist of it is that wind power is an issue for the industry because it brings their revenues down:
operators in Europe may have become their own worst enemy, reducing the total price paid for electricity in Germany, Europe’s biggest power market, by as much as 5 billion euros some years
Implicit in the article, and the headline (which focuses on lower revenues for RWE) is the worry that wind power will bring down the stock market value of the big utilities - which is what the readers of Bloomberg et al. care about.

But despite the generally negative tone of the article, it's actually a useful one, because it brings out in the open a key bit of information: wind power actually brings electricity prices down! More >>>

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No 10 Mw Solar for Kaua’i Hawaii

A 10-megawatt solar power project that would have boosted the amount of renewable energy on Kaua'i isn't moving ahead at this time.

The reason? The Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative wouldn't agree to pay what the developer wanted for the electricity.

The stalled project provides a glimpse into a not-so-often discussed portion of green energy as the state drives toward adoption of sustainable power projects: Going green could translate into higher electricity prices in the short run for Hawai'i residents.

Utilities are being offered and, in some cases, agreeing to wholesale power purchase contracts that could translate into people paying slightly more for power than they do now. Proponents say it will help stabilize energy costs and lower energy bills in the long run. More >>>

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ontario adds 2.5 Giggawatts of Alternative Energy

ONTARIO, Canada (TheStreet) -- Ontario has awarded 184 renewable energy projects for a total of 2.5 gigawatts of alternative energy, under its feed-in tariff scheme for projects of more than 500 kilowatts in size, the most favorable FIT scheme that exists in North America.

Solar companies, including Canadian Solar(CSIQ) most prominently, have pegged the Ontario market as an important growth driver as FITs are reduced in some European countries, led by the German FIT reductions. Canadian Solar has committed to building a module assembly manufacturing plant in Ontario. More >>>