Entries Filed in 'Energy Issues'
Support for wind power in Maine is consistently high across every region of the state and is highest in regions where successful wind energy projects are already operating, according to a newly released poll taken of Maine voters last summer.
“This poll confirms what we’ve long known: The people of Maine are optimistic and enthusiastic about wind power,” said Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association. “People of all political parties and ages, in towns across the state, agree that wind energy is good for Maine.”
The Wind for ME coalition released the results of the poll today.
“Maine people believe in a wind-powered future; we see that this is a safe, clean way to increase our energy independence and protect our environment,” said Paul Williamson, director of the Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative. “Wind energy is a growing sector of Maine’s economy, creating good jobs and it can help lower and stabilize energy costs, no wonder the people of Maine are so enthusiastic about it.”
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Tags: Windmills in Maine
Maine Audubon, a wildlife advocacy group based in Falmouth Maine, issued a report stating that there is enough room to develop wind energy in the state without major damage to the wildlife population.
Maine has 1.1 million windy acres that could be used for wind energy development, 933,000 of which does not contain sensitive habitats, according to the report released Dec. 4 by wildlife biologist Susan Gallo.
The areas designated for wind projects that have both enough wind and low impact on the wildlife comes to 418,000 acres, which is 45 percent of the total acreage being looked at for potential development.
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Tags: Wind energy environmentally friendly
President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020. Already the White House has been equipped with solar panels. These efforts are aimed to show an example to others that transitioning to renewable energy sources makes economic sense as in the long run it saves money, saves finite resources, keeps jobs in America, lessons our dependency on other countries for oil, reduces the effects of climate change, and grows American jobs. It also strengthens our national security.
Obama announced the plan today as part of a wide-ranging, second-term drive to fight climate change and prepare for its effects. The directive on renewable energy applies to all federal agencies — civilian and military. The Defense Department has already set a goal that 25 percent of its energy needs should be supplied by renewable energy by 2025 and is implementing their plan.
Through the USDA Rural Development a total of $462,591,340 in the areas of homeownership, business assistance, energy and renewable energy development, water and wastewater and community facilities in Maine.
“These investments represent an historic level of funding – the largest ever by Rural Development in Maine, of which the impact can be felt in nearly every part of a rural community. From assisting Maine families gain equity for a more secure future through homeownership, to assisting rural businesses to expand and grow to supporting community facilities such as health clinics, libraries and fire stations, our work is critical in strengthening rural Maine communities,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel.
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Tags: Agriculture·Maine rural areas
Wind energy is on the rise in Maine and is providing large environmental benefits for the state, according to a new report released today by Environment Maine. Maine’s wind energy avoided 534,700 metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution in 2012, which is equivalent to eliminating the pollution from more than 111,000 cars. The report also finds that wind energy reduces smog and soot pollution and saves the nation vast amounts of water.
“Wind energy isn’t just good for the environment and our health, it’s Maine’s economic future,” said Paul Williamson of the Maine Wind Industry. “The wind industry has invested more than $1 billion in Maine over the last 10 years, putting more than 700 local Maine businesses to work across all 16 counties. That represents thousands of real jobs for local people. And the industry is poised to invest almost $2 billion new dollars in Maine during the next three years alone. Wind is Maine’s future.”
Thanks to its current and future benefits, wind power is a key component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the carbon pollution fueling global warming by 17 percent by 2020. The plan calls for an expansion of renewable energy, investment in energy efficiency, and the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
Wind Power for a Cleaner America II: Wind Energy’s Growing Benefits for Our Environment and Our Health report analyzes 2012 data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the wind industry to quantify environmental benefits from current wind generation in Maine, as well as the additional benefits five years from now, in 2018, if wind development continues at a pace comparable to that of recent years.
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President Barack Obama’s weekly address on how we are creating a new clean energy economy
Thermal Energy Storage of Maine CEO Adam Cote was one of twelve people honored today at the White House as a Champion of Change and recognized for being a “Veteran Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Security.”
Cote, a Sanford, Maine native and Veteran with service in Bosnia and Iraq, is currently deployed to Afghanistan as Company Commander of the Maine Army National Guard 133rd Engineering Battalion’s Task Force Black Bear. The White House arranged for Cote to join the event briefly via video link to talk about his energy work in Maine and the importance of energy storage for America’s clean energy future.
“I am humbled and grateful to the President and the White House for this honor, thank you” said Cote. “We founded Thermal Energy Storage of Maine because winters are cold and expensive for Maine families. Energy storage technology provides an affordable home heating solution for families and businesses. It is also an important piece of the puzzle that will allow Maine and our country to convert intermittently generated renewable energy into a stable, secure and local source of power and heat. We are grateful to be working with terrific, forward looking businesses like Dead River Company, Central Maine Power Company (CMP), Steffes Corporation and many others who are committed to giving their customers affordable off-peak electric heating options.”
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In the Portland Press Herald: Maine Voices: Gov. LePage’s contempt for wind power blocked an opportunity and, worse, harmed Maine’s reputation.By Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland
It’s not often that Maine – or, frankly, any state – has an opportunity to become the home, the hub, of a worldwide innovator.
It’s not often that Maine has a billion-dollar company knocking on our door promising hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, hundreds of jobs in a cutting-edge industry and long-term collaboration with some of our most reputable local businesses, like Bath Iron Works and Reed & Reed.
Well, opportunity knocked.
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Maine’s proposal to ease anti-smog regulations has faced criticism from Delaware and New York as it is seen undermining the alliance formed by 12 states and the District of Columbia to control cross-border ozone pollution.
The proposal is seeking to remove what Maine state and industry officials claim are hindrances to economic growth without really improving the air quality. New York and Delaware have submitted letters to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to urge the EPA not to approve the proposal, which will be ruled on by the end of the year.
“At a time when we should be focused on improving air quality and having consistent standards across all the states that contribute to our air quality problems, we believe this is a step in the wrong direction,” said Collin O’Mara, head of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to the Portland Press Herald.
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The Norwegian energy innovator, Statoil announced it was terminating its investment in nearly $200 million for an off-shore ocean energy project citing “changes” and “uncertainty” in the state’s legal framework and “project delays which have made the project outlook too uncertain to proceed.”
“This is a terrible blow to Maine. Governor LePage has failed. He literally turned away hundreds of millions of dollars in economic opportunity and denied jobs to hundreds of Maine people,” said Senate President Justin Alfond. “This should not have happened and could have been avoided. But we have a governor who changed the rules of the game and pulled the welcome mat out from underneath Statoil’s feet.”
The state began to work with Statoil in 2009 when former Governor John Baldacci, on a special trade mission focussed on alternative energy to promote Maine, toured the world’s first floating wind turbine. The apparatus, in the North Sea, was built by Statoil. The company is partially owned by the Norwegian government. The trip resulted with an agreement between the University of Maine (UMaine) and Statoil to share research. Since then UMaine has built it’s own prototype floating wind turbine, VolturnUS, that is currently being tested off Castine, Maine. UMaine’s project developer, Habib Dagher, worked closely with Statoil since 2009 and had hopes of including the company in an application to the federal government for a multimillion dollar grant.
“Without Statoil’s investment, we still have an opportunity to be first to market with the university’s project, but having two offshore wind projects in Maine would have been big elements in creating the entire industry here. Now the opportunity is less likely that Maine will be the birthplace of this industry,” said Paul Williamson, executive director of the Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative.
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