News

War between energy titans could shape New England climate

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

or five years, two of the world’s largest power companies have been locked in an all-out battle over the future of New England’s electric grid. The outcome could determine the fate of the region’s decarbonization efforts for decades. The fight pits Avangrid Inc., a subsidiary of the Spanish power giant Iberdrola, versus NextEra Energy Inc., the most valuable power company in America. It effectively is a contest between hydro power — generated by dams in Quebec and carried on a 146-mile transmission line built by Avangrid across Maine — versus a large nuclear plant operated in New Hampshire by NextEra.

Sales of Electric Vehicles Surpass Diesel in Europe, a First

Source: By Jack Ewing, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Europeans bought more electric cars than diesels in December, a stunning illustration of the growing popularity of battery power and the decline of diesel, which was once the most popular engine option in Europe. More than 20 percent of new cars sold in Europe and Britain in December were powered solely by electricity, according to data compiled by Matthias Schmidt, an analyst in Berlin who tracks electric vehicles sales. Sales of diesel vehicles, which as recently as 2015 accounted for more than half of the new cars in the European Union, slipped below 19 percent.

Can Anyone Satisfy Amazon’s Craving for Electric Vans?

Source: By Karen Weise and Neal E. Boudette, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

In the fall, Jeff Bezos tweeted praise for Rivian, a start-up under contract to make 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon, and its founder, R.J. Scaringe, calling him “one of the greatest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met.” Then, Mr. Bezos worked in a jab: “Now, RJ, where are our vans?!”

House Dems want climate BBB action

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Senate Democrats are still at a stalemate over their reconciliation package and its $555 billion in climate spending. With voting rights legislation and midterms coming up, the laser focus on Democrats’ climate and social spending package is fraying, and many political operatives are afraid the party will have to campaign without a major leg of its domestic agenda.

Will Texas have more blackouts? 5 issues to watch

Source: By Edward Klump, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Cold temperatures blasted Texas this month, revealing strains in the natural gas system and offering a reminder that the state remains vulnerable to blackouts. Texans’ power mostly stayed on, but many observers said they’re worried the state still isn’t ready for the sort of prolonged freeze that arrived last February and caused deadly blackouts — and forced the state to consider a major revamp of the electric grid.

Climate advocates argue against breaking up BBB, call it a ‘mistake’ for Democrats and the planet

Source: By Maxine Joselow, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

House Democrats facing tough reelection fights are urging party leaders to break up President Biden’s sprawling Build Back Better bill into a series of narrow measures and pass them individually.
These swing-district members have argued to House leaders in recent days that holding votes on politically popular provisions in the bill, such as curbing prescription drug costs and extending the child tax credit, would help Democrats survive a potential Republican wave in the midterm elections.

A North Sea Auction Produces Big Plans for Scottish Wind Farms

Source: By Stanley Reed, New York Times • Posted: Monday, January 17th, 2022

Oil giants like BP and Shell as well as Iberdrola, the Spanish utility, look like the big winners in Scotland’s first offshore wind auction, whose results were announced on Monday. If the proposed wind farms are constructed, they would triple Britain’s capacity to generate electricity from turbines at sea. They would also advance still nascent plans to transform the Scottish North Sea region from oil and gas production into a major area for renewable electric power.

Car Advertising Finally Goes Electric

Source: By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, January 17th, 2022

If you watched NBC’s Monday Night Football in the fall, you might have seen a Hyundai ad called “Gas Card.” It goes like this: a dad gives his daughter a gas station gift card; she never uses it because she drives a plug-in hybrid Tucson from Hyundai; she gives the card back to him on his birthday. The style, as with the other spots in Hyundai’s campaign for its new electrified SUVs, will be familiar to any regular viewer of American television: A bit of light humor unfolds in some sunny place where yards are well-manicured, traffic is light, and neighbors are friendly.

DOE launches hiring blitz, Clean Energy Corps

Source: By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News • Posted: Monday, January 17th, 2022

The Department of Energy officially this morning kicked off a hiring blitz that seeks to add approximately 1,000 new employees to the agency’s ranks. Dubbed the Clean Energy Corps, the new hiring effort aims to help the department spend some $62 billion from last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law. DOE officials previewed the hiring blitz after President Biden signed the law in November. Today’s announcement includes a new application portal and list of positions the administration is looking to fill.

2021 was the sixth hottest year on record

Source: By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News • Posted: Monday, January 17th, 2022

Earth experienced its sixth hottest year on record in 2021, scientists from NOAA and NASA announced today. The title for all-time hottest year still goes to 2020. It’s the latest installment in a relentless pattern of global warming, driven by greenhouse gas emissions. The seven hottest years on record have all occurred in the last seven years. Each of those seven years has been at least a degree Celsius warmer than the 19th-century average, the baseline scientists use to estimate Earth’s temperatures before the industrial revolution.