Wind Energy Works for Kansas
A new study recently released by Polsinelli Shughart in partnership with the Kansas Energy Information Network demonstrates major economic benefits created by wind energy projects in Kansas, including more than 12,000 jobs.
“Wind works for Kansas, creating jobs, revenue for landowners, and downward pressure on electricity rates for manufacturers, businesses, and consumers,” said Jeff Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition. “Kansas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard has helped diversify Kansas’ energy mix, providing those who rely on affordable power insulation from the volatility of fuel costs. Even with current low natural gas prices, the study clearly shows wind provides a lower electricity price for Kansas consumers compared to other peaking generation sources.” The study shows more than 12,000 jobs have been created because of the recent construction of 19 wind farms in Kansas.
Nearly three-quarters of these jobs are permanent and tied to the operation of wind farms and support industries. Economic benefits to landowners over the 20-year life of existing projects exceeds $273 million, and community contributions plus donation agreements exceed $208 million over the 20-year lifespan of agreements. Clark lauded the report for capturing the great benefits wind brings to rural America, “For rural Kansans wind energy development is a blessing. New revenue for landowners is helping keep farmers and ranchers on their land and helping to keep rural life and communities economically viable.”
Kansas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) sets a mandatory minimum that 10 percent of all power owned or purchased by every regulated public utility come from renewable generation for the years 2011 through 2015. By the end of 2012, new wind generation for the years 2011 and 2012 will nearly double Kansas’ installed wind capacity, which is directly correlated to the passage of the RPS in 2009.
“The Sunflower State has one of the best wind resources in the nation, and the leadership in Kansas should be applauded for harvesting the economic benefits of wind in a thoughtful manner that has helped control electricity rates,” said Clark. “Wind development can help lead Kansas to economic growth, job creation, and affordable energy for a thriving economy. Kansas is living proof.” The Wind Coalition is the leading advocate for the development of wind energy in eight South Central states, including Kansas. The coalition is composed of developers, manufacturers and clean energy advocates.
Edited by Carin Hall
Source: The Wind Coalition
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.