The day before Gov. Bob McDonnell’s three-day conference on energy, the Sierra Club has issued a report blasting the governor’s agenda and making several recommendations of its own.
“Just because we are the Old Dominion, doesn’t mean that we need to rely on old energy,” said Glenn Besa, the club’s Virginia director.
The Sierra Club’s report criticizes McDonnell for his support of offshore drilling and his lack of support for alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind. Ivy Main, one of the authors of the report, says that lack of action is putting Virginia behind its fellow Mid-Atlantic States.
“While we are standing still, other states are pulling ahead,” Main said during a teleconference yesterday.
“All of the other Mid-Atlantic coast states have mandatory efficiency measures or mandatory portfolio standards. All of them are ahead of us in what they are doing and making it work, by not just putting out incentives but also creating jobs,” Main said.
The report calls for Virginia to adopt a mandatory renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent of total electric demand by 2025. That would set the minimum amount of alternative sources, such as solar and wind, that utility companies would have to use to generate power.
“We have one of the best places for offshore wind turbines and could be producing a big percentage of our energy there. We have the conditions but none of the incentives without a mandatory renewable portfolio standard,” Besa said.
The report refers to a study by the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium that identified the potential for 3,200 megawatts of wind power of the coast of Virginia Beach, the development of which would create about 10,000 jobs over a 20-year period, according to the study. (One megawatt is enough electricity to power about 250 homes.)
Besa said a joint project announced last week in which Northrop Grumman and Spanish wind energy company Gamesa are to develop a prototype offshore turbine is a step in the right direction but that the 40 or so jobs created in Hampton Roads as a result is far from the number that would be created with stronger portfolio standards.
The Sierra Club’s other recommendations include:
— Strengthening efficiency standards
— Increasing the price of electricity during peak usage times
— Funding programs that help homeowners improve home efficiency
— Rescinding tax credits paid to coal companies and utilities
— Offering tax credits for investments in renewable energy
— Reinstating funds for the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium
McDonnell has previously said that he wants to make Virginia the energy capital of the east coast by developing traditional, alternative and renewable energy resources and making the most of conservation and efficiency. The Governor’s Conference on Energy will take place Oct. 12-14 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and is estimated to draw about 800 people.
In an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he said the goal of the conference is to have a robust discussion aimed at promoting low-cost energy production. The other, more long-term, goal is to create jobs in a full range of energy sectors.
T. Boone Pickens, a billionaire natural gas and wind advocate, will deliver a keynote address. (RBS will have coverage of that event.)
The governor is scheduled to speak, as are Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Secretary of Natural Resources Douglas Domench. A total of 175 speakers are expected to speak at the event.
Al Harris is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected]
The global warming scam has been exposed, so what is The Sierra Club’s real agenda? Every one of their “recommendations” has the affect of costing the average citizen more money.
At a time when our country is so close to bankruptcy, why even consider doing that? Knowingly or not, their agenda supports Obama’s efforts to wreck the economy.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/10/why-republicans-become-worlds-only-major-political-party-denying-climate-change.php ” In fact, there’s only one democracy in the world where a prominent political party has made it a point to deny climate science: The United States. ——- As is often said about climate change, people don’t hate the science — they hate the solution. American conservatives have never liked cap and trade, since every effort designed to address greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale impacts or regulates the companies that emit them. And, of course, conservative politicians typically represent states whose industries emit heavily. So until a couple years ago, the science was acknowledged, if obliquely, and… Read more »
Wind power is not the answer to our energy problems.Just ask Texas, where the wind farms are too far away from where the energy is needed, storing energy from wind turbines is difficult and the wind doesn’t always blow when you need it. Subsidizing wind generation will be just another ethanol experience, where it will cost more to deliver the energy to where it’s needed (new transmission lines) than it is to use traditional energy sources. It’s amazing to me that nuclear energy is never mentioned by the Sierra Club, or other environmental groups. It’s clean, and Dominion Power knows… Read more »
Wind is already replacing coal and gas plants in Texas. The improvements in distribution (smart grid) and energy storage are already making wind work.
Nuclear power costs way too much in government subsidies, is too unreliable, and still has huge safety concerns (look at radioactive ground water problems in NJ, for just one example).
Nothing about wind is even close to making economic sense right now. Wind has some of the most aggressive subsidies in the energy business. Not only do Federal tax credits represent over a third of its price, but the facilities get accelerated depreciation, further reducing the tax burden. If you take away subsidies wind still costs 20% more per KwH than nuclear and double that of gas-fired plants. Not to mention the costs for wind are actually increasing, not decreasing…over 60% since 2002 while gas-fired costs have been cut in half in the same period. The fact that the wind… Read more »
Let’s look at some costs before riding the Sierra Club unicorn off the cliff.
Dominion coal and nuclear are running LESS than 2 cents/kw-hr WHOLESALE.
Dominion RETAILS power for about 8 cents/kw-hr.
Massachusetts off-shore wind will sell WHOLESALE for 45 cents/kw-hr.
Solar via SREC’s in the PJM interconnect to which Dominion belongs are 55 cents/kw-hr.
Notice the decimal points.
Imagine your power bills if the eco-zealots prevail.
Wind, solar, geothermal, biomass are all coming along nicely.
Burning fossil fuels is outdated and dirty. The coal trains interfere with passenger rail while they sell off mountaintops to China. The mercury and radiation are poisoning our rivers.
Remember the Massey miners who have died. Remember BP oil gusher.
Now is the time for changing over to a cleaner, more efficient economy!
I may be a bit biased, but I can clearly see that Governor McDonnell is doing the bidding of Dominion. Who benefits from off-shore wind? No local contractor will ever work on that kind of project, nor will the consumers benefit from it. I am not sure who thinks we will save money as consumers when Dominion owns the nuclear, coal, and wind energy. For a fraction of the state’s investment in off-shore wind, we could actually promote solar through production based incentives. As of now, Virginia customers must sell their SREC’s to other states because Virginia has no market.… Read more »
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) — General Electric Co., which has become the world’s second-biggest wind turbine maker in less than a decade, is expanding production of two thin-film solar products to increase its renewable-energy business. GE will work with Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiyu KK’s Solar Frontier unit to make thin-film panels coated with a copper- indium-gallium-selenide compound, or CIGS, according to a statement today. GE’s PrimeStar Solar plant will make cadmium telluride-based thin film panels. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt has spent more than $1 billion on research and development of renewable power since acquiring Enron Corp.’s wind division out of… Read more »
I am going to post with my real name on this comment. Hopefully I won’t get threatened by coal thugs like some people have been. My comment is that is that its too bad local interests have clung so heavily to dirty fossil fuel energy when there is clearly momentum and money building up behind clean energy. Why does it take big outside money from the likes of Google to make things happen that will benefit the local environment instead of degrading it? I smell a lot of sour grapes from Virginia ‘leadership’ and it really stinks. Bernie is right,… Read more »