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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Apr 25, 2013 9:17 AM Flag

    Tax break for wind energy sweeps forward in Nebraska Legislature

    By Paul Hammel
    WORLD-HERALD BUREAU
    Published Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:41 am

    LINCOLN — The state would be poised to gain a $300 million wind farm under a bill given resounding initial approval Wednesday.

    The measure would provide a sales tax exemption for the purchase of turbines, towers and other wind-farm components — a tax break that nearby states Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma have parlayed into a wind-energy boom.

    Meanwhile, Nebraska has lagged behind, ranking 26th of the 39 states that generate wind energy, despite having the fourth-best wind resources in the country.

    Iowa generates more than 13 times as much wind power as Nebraska — 4,536 megawatts to 337. And Nebraska ranks last among its neighboring states.

    Proponents of Legislative Bill 104 said the state needs to act now if it wants to develop its abundant wind resources, because a major wind-energy incentive — a federal production tax credit — is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

    “This discussion is extremely important and time-sensitive. It's as important as any decision being made this year,” said State Sen. Galen Hadley of Kearney.

    He said Nebraska just lost a major company, Facebook, to Iowa in part because the tech giant wanted access to wind energy to power a proposed data center. Facebook has a corporate goal of utilizing 25 percent renewable energy.

    Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, who made LB 104 his priority bill, said wind farms provide a needed boost for rural areas.

    Lathrop said a 200-megawatt wind farm planned near Allen in northeast Nebraska would provide lease payments to local landowners of $10,000 to $15,000 per turbine, create 200 construction jobs and 12 to 16 permanent jobs, and pay $700,000 a year in local taxes.

    TradeWind Energy will decide soon whether it will build in Nebraska or elsewhere, Lathrop said, so the Legislature cannot wait.

    But critics, including Gov. Dave Heineman, ...

    omahaDOTcom/article/20130425/NEWS/704259868

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    • Wind turbines 'less efficient than claimed'
      Wind turbines are 25 per cent less effective than the renewable energy industry claims, according to research.

      The John Muir Trust (JMT), one of Scotland's leading conservation bodies, has challenged the common assertion that wind farms run at an average of 30 per cent capacity over a year.

      A study carried out for the Trust into the energy generated by dozens of wind farms, the majority of which are in Scotland, between November 2009 and last month, found they actually ran at 22 per cent of capacity.

      Campaigners insist the figures, drawn from data provided by the National Grid, challenge the role of wind farms as an efficient source of renewable energy.

      They said hundreds of wind farms had secured planning permission across Scotland based on inaccurate assumptions of their output.

      "This analysis shows that over the course of a year, the average load factor fell well short of what the industry claims, yet the 30 per cent figure is peddled at every public inquiry into a proposed wind farm," said Helen McDade, head of policy at the JMT. "This data is needed to counter that hype."

 
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