News

Global warming will weaken wind power, study predicts

Source: By Damian Carrington, The Guardian • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Wind farms are key to tackling climate change but warming will significantly cut the power of the wind across northern mid-latitudes, including the US, the UK and the Mediterranean, according to new research. However, some places, including eastern Australia, will see winds pick up. The research is the first global study to project the impact of temperature rises on wind energy and found big changes by the end of the century in many of the places hosting large numbers of turbines.

Officials dedicate 2 large solar electric generating plants

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Two large solar-powered generating plants built near Las Vegas to power the operations of commercial data company Switch in northern and southern Nevada were dedicated Monday by elected, company and business officials. The industrial-sized power plants at an industrial park in North Las Vegas are designed to generate the equivalent amount of electricity to meet the needs of 46,000 Nevada homes, according to a company statement. But the 179 megawatts output will be used by Switch plants in Reno and Las Vegas.

DNR: Wind Helps Iowa Reduce GHG Emissions Statewide

Source: By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is highlighting how greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in Iowa dropped for the second year in a row, primarily from a decrease in power plant emissions. This includes notable increases and decreases in wind power and coal, respectively, the agency says. The DNR’s legislatively mandated, newly released “2016 Iowa Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report” shows GHG emissions statewide decreased 2% from 2015 levels and 9% from their peak in 2007.

Senate Democrats urge Republicans to fix ‘assault’ on wind and solar in tax bill

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Senate Democrats on Tuesday urged Republicans to make changes to provisions of their legislation that would reduce investments in renewable energy sources, as the House and Senate reconcile their differences to complete final legislation. “This is a direct assault on job creation in sectors that are growing very rapidly,” said Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., in a press conference with fellow Democrats. “There is no assault on any oil gas or coal tax credit. This is a designed plan to harm the renewable energy and [electric vehicle] revolution.”

Final bill likely quiet on energy controversies

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said yesterday that disputed provisions in the House bill that target the renewable production and investment tax credits would likely be jettisoned over fears of losing the support of wind- and solar-friendly GOP senators. While the Senate’s tax bill was largely silent on energy matters, one vexing issue is the measure’s base erosion anti-abuse tax (BEAT) provision, which renewable sectors say would force foreign investors to pay a 100 percent tax on money spent in U.S. renewable projects. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said yesterday he’s still working with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on a fix.

Sources: Trump supports Pruitt’s plan to question science

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

President Trump has privately said he supports a public debate to challenge mainstream climate science, according to administration officials. But there’s infighting about how it should occur — if at all. The president has told U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during several conversations that he supports Pruitt’s plan for a “red-team, blue-team” debate aimed at challenging the prevailing scientific consensus about humans’ impact on climate change, a senior administration official told E&E News. Another administration official said that “there is support for the initiative at the highest levels.”

Trump admin to launch ‘clean coal’ effort

Source: Zack Colman, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

The White House is launching an effort to expand the use of U.S. coal abroad by cooperating with countries that are highly reliant on the fossil fuel. White House energy aide George David Banks is leading the effort known as the “Clean Coal Alliance,” though the official said it will likely include natural gas exports, as well. The Energy Department is taking the departmental lead, according to State Department spokesman Scott Lueders. DOE did not respond to a request for comment.

‘Wake’ mystery is mostly fixed, helping turbines best coal

Source: John Fialka, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Since 2005, as utilities and consumers began to understand the future economic and environmental benefits of installing more wind power, the nation’s capacity for turning wind into electricity has multiplied 10 times. There are now more than 52,000 whirling turbines, and because the price of wind power continues to drop, this forest of rotating blades is expected to grow. Driven by federal and state subsidies, it began as a remarkable leap of faith into a poorly understood technology. Some American engineers and scientists working on it suspected it would be a hard problem. Despite the enthusiasm of environmental groups and the tendencies of a growing number of utilities to harness the breeze, pieces of this puzzle were still missing.

Wind energy is supposed to help fight climate change. It turns out climate change is fighting back.

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

A changing climate is beginning to change wind energy’s potential to provide power in key regions, part of what could be a broader diminishment of a key renewable energy source in part of the world, according to two scientific studies. The world is turning more and more to renewable sources of energy – wind, solar power, and in some cases energy from flowing water – to fight climate change. But what if climate change itself alters the distribution of wind, or sunlight falling on the Earth’s surface, or river flows, and so changes or even shrinks the potential of these energy sources?

First step to replace climate rule coming this month — EPA

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

The Trump administration plans to take its first formal step toward replacing the Clean Power Plan by the end of December. U.S. EPA is expected to announce that it’s drafting a replacement rule even as it continues the process of repealing the Obama administration’s signature climate change rule, which aimed to slash greenhouse gas emissions at power plants.