US wind farm owners can increase their rate of return 11% by retrofitting a wind farm's turbine nacelles, hubs or rotors this year, says consulting firm ICF. "It may make better financial sense this year than it will next year or the year after," said ICF Manager and report co-author Chris Mertes, touting the expiring wind energy Production Tax Credit.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a couple of renewable energy measures into law that will see the state add 3.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy and require utilities to develop strategies for converting to 100% renewables by 2050. The American Wind Energy Association praised the passage of the bills, noting it marks the biggest commitment to offshore wind made in the US to date.
A Suzlon Energy unit has secured approval to build a 25.2-megawatt project in Bosnia that will feature 12 2.1-MW turbines, according to the company. The project will help the country reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and comply with the EU's renewable energy goals.
UK private equity firm Actis is in the process of acquiring an 88% interest in the 100-megawatt Kipeto project in Kenya, says project co-founder and Craftskills Wind Energy International Partner Kenneth Namunje. The project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with utility Kenya Power & Lighting.
Wind and solar are variable renewable energy sources that drive down electricity prices as their volume increases, potentially changing the landscape of the US electrical grid, write Joachim Seel, Andrew Mills and Ryan Wiser of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They share how utilities can shift demand to take advantage of high VRE levels, for example encouraging the use of at-home electric vehicle charges in regions where wind production is higher at night.
Mason Wind, Dante Wind 6, Galileo Wind and Venus Wind 4 have filed a motion asking the Fayette County District Court in Iowa to review a 2016 order that makes three turbines they jointly operate "illegal." They argue the project didn't need a special permit, per county zoning officials, and that they shouldn't have to decommission the turbines.
Moved by environmental and litter concerns, Monmouth Beach, N.J., officials voted unanimously to ban plastic shopping bags, straws and food containers designed for single use. Meanwhile, New York City will consider a bill prohibiting restaurants from distributing plastic straws.
Colgate-Palmolive has set a goal of using 100% recyclable plastics in all of its product packaging by 2025. Meanwhile, the company plans to achieve full use of sustainable palm oil this year.
Norman, Okla., has adopted a new goal to source 100% of its electricity needs from clean and renewable energy sources by 2035, according to the Sierra Club. "The environmental impacts, job opportunities and economic benefits of going renewable are clear, and I am hopeful other communities will follow Norman's example and make the same commitment," said Councilwoman Breea Clark.
Shoppers are unlikely to notice and understand sustainability logos and labels without education on how brands are committed to sustainability, Julie Rice writes. The best approach is to use marketing messaging on various platforms to inform customers before they shop, she says.
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