Welcome to another addition of the Renewable Law Link Round-Up. Every Friday I let you, my faithful readers, sit back and relax while I pass along a few of the most interesting Renewable Energy stories and blog posts that I ran across this week:
1.) Changes in Wind Power Safety Regulations Could Rock the Industry
Jon Harmon, the Head of Renewable Industries for Wind Energy Update, posted a very informative piece on the Occupations Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) National Emphasis Program (“NEP”), which starting next year will require the wind industry to step-up the enforcement of employee safety regulations. As Jon explains, this new emphasis marks a distinct change from prior OSHA practices, as before investigations were only made in response to specific complaints of unsafe conditions or accidents on the project sites.
I absolutely agree with Jon that this new focus on renewable energy projects is something that all developers should be aware of as they design and implement their employee safety programs.
2.) Global Solar PV Installations Expected to Exceed 21 GW in 2011
A recent study by IMS Research, a leading independent market research firm in the global electronics industry, predicts that 21 GW of new PV capacity will be installed in 2011, as compared to the 18 GW that was installed in 2010. This is certainly not surprising, but it is certainly always nice to see these numbers continuing to grow.
3.) New Report Debunks Anti-Wind Myths
A Candian environmental advocacy group, Environmental Defence, has recently released a report which attempts to correct the misinformation being promoted by anti-wind activists in Ontario. The report, titled “Blowing Smoke: Correcting Anti-Wind Myths in Ontario,” argues that, despite a huge number of studies conducted all across the world, there is no scientific evidence of health impacts from wind power projects. The report also demonstrates that wind power is technically viable and has economic and environmental benefits for Ontario.
Though specifically tailored to Ontario, this report responds to issues that are universally raised in opposition to wind projects, and is well worth a read.
4.) Wisconsin RES threatened by new legislation
Thomas Content of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a great article regarding a proposed amendment to the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Standard. The amendment, Assembly Bill 146, seeks to eliminate the current shelf-life restrictions on Renewable Energy Credits in the state, which has the potential to significantly decrease the utilities’ motivation to continue developing renewable energy projects in the future.
I’ve written before about the importance of setting a strict Shelf-Life requirement for RECs. Issues like this reaffirm my fascination with the nuance in Renewable Energy Standard and Renewable Energy Credit legislation. Changes which might seem insignificant at first glance can lead to huge impacts on the policies’ effectiveness down the road.
I’d also like to quickly applaud Mr. Content. These are extremely complex issues, and it is a pleasure to see them handled as adeptly as he was able to do in this article.