Wind Energy

A new study shows that global wind speeds have increased in the last decade, and that may allow wind turbines in the Mountain West to generate more clean energy.

Multiple proposals from Democratic presidential candidates are calling for a full transition from fossil fuels to renewables over the next 10 years. Independent analytics firm Wood Mackenzie was interested in the numbers behind those proposals. It found a transition would take closer to 20 to 30 years. Dan Shreve, head of global wind energy research at Wood Mackenzie, co-authored the report.

Wendy / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study from an environmental think tank ranks Idaho among the states with a low ecological footprint. The study from the Global Footprint Network ranked states against one other on a number of green measures. Idaho received the top ranking for electricity generated from renewable energy. Washington and Oregon come in second and third, respectively.

A close look shows the renewable source that earned Idaho its high ranking is hydropower, with wind and biomass taking up smaller shares.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The New York Times reports more than two dozen energy projects in the West have been scuttled because of sage grouse, at least one of those projects was supposed to be built in Idaho.

The sage grouse represents a much bigger challenge for states like Idaho than its turkey-like stature might suggest. The bird is considered an important part of the high desert ecosystem, but it's sensitive to man-made development and its numbers are declining.

Interactive Map Pinpoints Idaho, U.S. Wind Turbines

Mar 3, 2014
usgs.gov

If you’ve driven across southern Idaho in the past few years, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of wind turbines. But have you ever wondered how many there are? Now you can count them and get stats on each one with a new interactive map.

Portable Wind Turbines Bring Renewable Energy To Cities

May 16, 2013
Powersails

Tall, noisy wind turbines may not go over well in some urban areas. A northwest company has developed residential-sized turbines to push renewable energy to cities. The portable turbines could also generate power during disasters.

During southern California’s hot summers, people ramp up air conditioners and use more power than normal. That forces utilities to conserve energy and shut off power at specific times and places.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

You may have seen wind turbines springing up all over the Pacific Northwest in the past decade. So far this year, the region’s wind industry has faced a different story. 

Not a single new wind farms is under construction in the Pacific Northwest. It’s been that way since 2013 began. Compare that to last year’s boom, which increased wind capacity in the region by about 20 percent.

Wind Power Tax Credit to Expire Soon

Dec 28, 2012

Some clean energy jobs will disappear from the Pacific Northwest in 2013. Industry leaders say that’s a consequence of letting a wind tax credit expire on Monday.

Wind developers say the production tax credit is critical to the growing industry. But critics of the credit say taxpayers should not subsidize wind energy.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Idaho Power must honor its obligation to purchase energy from wind farms. But it stopped short of taking enforceable action while the Idaho Public Utilities Commission decides how to rule on the case.

Gene Fadness is a spokesman with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. “This order comes even before we’ve made a decision," explains Fadness. "The wind developers wanted something before a commission order hoping that that would perhaps sway the commission in their deliberations.”