The Governor of Maine has banned new wind projects
Paul LePage, the Republican Governor of Maine, has announced a ban on all new wind energy projects in the state.
The Governor noted that tourism was the biggest concern regarding new wind farms, saying that the state “must act judiciously to protect our natural beauty”.
A committee, that lacks any public accountability, has been formed in order to analyse the economic effects of wind power in Maine, as well as to suggest regulatory changes.
Maine was ranked the 8th state by the US Department of Energy for the most annually installed wind energy capacity in 2016, having installed 288MW.
“This is an attempt to thwart billions of dollars of investment that is looking at Maine,” Jeremy Payne, Executive Director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, voiced to the Portland Press Herald.
“What kind of a message are we sending to the world here when the governor is able to decide without any statutory authority to wreck a billion-dollar industry?” he added.
LePage’s move has received backlash from an environmental group based in America’s New England.
The Conservation Law Foundation filed to sue the Governor on 30 January, in Cumberland County Superior Court, Portland.
The group have requested that the court order LePage’s actions as unconstitutional.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.