On video: Vermont Environmental Collaborative sets legislative agenda

Andrea Stander, executive director of the Vermont League of Conservation Voters

Representatives from the state’s major environmental groups held a press conference on Tuesday to lay out their agenda for the rest of the legislative session.

Andrea Stander, the new executive director of the Vermont League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, announced the list of priorities and goals for the coalition of environmental organizations, including VPIRG, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation and SmartGrowth Vermont.

The four groups support passage of an omnibus energy bill that expands the cap on net metering, a more integrated approach to permitting, increased investments in conservation and an expansion of the bottle bill.

Anne Galloway


  1. This is some great work, however many Vermonters would also love to see more forest protection, simultaneous with advocacy for more sustainable forest practices when logging does occur. Let’s not forget that forests are doing a lot of the climate change work for us just by growing…

  2. Wind power in Europe is losing some of its glow for various reasons. One indication is that MWs of wind installations were less than MWs of PV solar installations in 2010.
    Denmark’s prevailing winds are from the North Sea, across Denmark, to the Baltic Sea. Denmark has more than 4,000 onshore wind turbines with a capacity of about 3,150 MW, nearly unchanged since the end of 2003. The increases in capacity in 2009 and 2010 are due to offshore wind turbines. About 90% of the wind turbines are supplied by Vestas. 
    Denmark exports most of its wind power to the pumped-storage hydro plants of Norway and Sweden, which, for a fee, integrate the power into the Scandinavian grid. The power is subsequently used elsewhere in Scandinavia and Germany. 

    It may be a surprise to many people that Denmark is not a good place for wind power. Denmark’s national average wind capacity factor is a mere 0.242 for the 5 years ending 2009. 
    A capacity factor of about 0.40, such as in many areas of the Great Plains states, is required for the costs of moderately subsidized wind power to be about equal to the cost of power generated with existing coal, gas and nuclear plants. Great Plains wind power costs will be less than the cost of power of NEW coal, gas and nuclear plants. 
    The low capacity factor, the transmission losses, the integration fees and the additional grid management efforts all combine to make Danish wind power a rather poor investment; its losses are recovered by raising residential electric rates which have become the highest in Europe. The Danish COMMERCIAL electric rates are kept at about 1/3 of the residential rate for international competitive reasons; an illegal trade subsidy?
    If the Danes cannot make wind pay at a national average wind CF of 0.242, the Dutch (CF 0.186) and the Germans (CF 0.167) will not be able to make it pay either. Plus there is major opposition developing against the 3 MW, 400-plus-ft tall wind turbines.
    Moving them offshore to reduce visual impact and catch steadier winds is hugely expensive and uneconomical as life-cycle, cash flow analyses of the proposed Cape Wind project have shown. Fifty percent of the power of that project has been sold at very high rates. The project is currently trying to sell the other 50% of its power so financing can proceed; so far no takers.



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