News

As Texas Went Dark, the State Paid Natural-Gas Companies to Go Offline

Source: By Russell Gold and Katherine Blunt, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

The Journal’s analysis of grid records shows that participants included dozens of critical pieces of natural-gas infrastructure. Ercot ordered them to stay off for more than four days, as gas prices surged to extraordinary levels and some power plants stopped producing electricity because they couldn’t get enough fuel to function. The estimated value of the program for the five days of the blackout was about $2 billion—and participants including oil-and-gas companies earned a portion of that for turning themselves off at Ercot’s behest. Two companies petitioned Ercot for permission for idled facilities to come back sooner, the grid operator said. By the time they were allowed to restart, the crisis was nearly over.

The Lithium Gold Rush: Inside the Race to Power Electric Vehicles

Source: By Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton, photographs by Gabriella Angotti-Jones, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy. The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.

Energy Transfer Made $2.4 Billion From Texas Winter Storm

Source: By Gerson Freitas Jr, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Energy Transfer LP, the pipeline giant controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren, has emerged as the biggest winner so far from the deadly winter storm that paralyzed Texas in February. The company saw a positive earnings impact from the extreme weather of about $2.4 billion, it said Thursday in its first-quarter earnings statement. Energy Transfer raised its full-year earnings guidance to as much as $13.3 billion, from up to $11 billion previously. The stock jumped as much as 4.9% in after-hours trading.

Biden Promises to ‘Build Back Better.’ Some Climate Experts See Trouble.

Source: By Christopher Flavelle, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Just weeks from the start of hurricane season, climate experts warn that Mr. Biden’s administration has yet to take steps that would turn his pledge to “build back better” into reality. They cite its failure to reinstitute a rule on building in flood zones that former President Donald J. Trump scrapped, its lack of an overarching climate resilience strategy and the fact that it has yet to hire senior staff to manage and coordinate that work.

Biden touts electric car company potentially worth millions for his energy secretary

Source: By Kristen Holmes, CNN • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ efforts to sell their green agenda and infrastructure plan are being complicated by a thorny conflict of interest for Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm — who stands to gain a windfall from stock options in a private electric vehicle company. Last month, Biden took a virtual tour of Proterra, a company Granholm holds millions of dollars in vested stock options in and previously sat on the board of. During the tour Biden praised employees and the CEO for their work in the electric vehicle space.

What solar pioneer’s turbulent path means for Biden

Source: By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

“Beijing’s goal is global dominance of this industry,” he wrote. To give domestic manufacturers a chance, the Biden administration must keep persistent, long-term tariffs on foreign solar supply chain imports, and Congress should pass a solar tax credit and make “buy America” preferences mandatory for federal government agencies, Ferry argued. According to Granholm, the Biden administration has placed its bet on tandem technologies, too. “We only have a small amount of time to get this done,” she said at a solar briefing last month.

Massachsuetts Offshore Wind Pricing Plan Stirring Crosscurrents

Source: By Colin A. Young, State House News Service, WBUR • Posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

The plan for the state’s next and possibly largest offshore wind contract is now under Department of Public Utilities review and the regulators there have to decide whether to require bidders to commit to selling the clean energy they generate at a potentially lower price depending on what happens with the pricing of a project already in the pipeline. The state’s next offshore wind request for proposals was submitted to DPU for review and approval Wednesday, an early step towards the procurement of up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power with the goal of executing a final contract by the spring of 2022.

EU countries could face national renewable energy goals, official says

Source: By Kate Abnett, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, May 6th, 2021

European Union policy makers are likely to propose national targets on expanding renewable energy to try to ensure the bloc achieves its goals on cutting emissions, a senior official said on Wednesday. The European Commission is drafting a major package of climate change policies to be unveiled in July to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster across all sectors of the economy.

How an Oil Company Becomes a Renewables Company

Source: By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Last week a raft of oil majors released their first-quarter results, with companies like Royal Dutch Shell Plc showing a return to pre-pandemic profit levels. At the same time, some of the majors increased their energy transition commitments: as my Bloomberg Intelligence colleagues Salih Yilmaz and Will Hares noted on Twitter, Spanish firm Repsol SA devoted 40% of its capital expenditure to low-carbon projects, and France’s Total SE stated plans to increase its renewable energy capacity five-fold over the next four years.

Will Okla. disrupt Biden’s 100% clean energy goal?

Source: By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 6th, 2021

The state’s natural gas devotion is setting up a potential clash with the White House and environmental groups as Biden eyes climate action through a flurry of executive orders and his $2.2 trillion infrastructure plan. But while Oklahoma’s approach to electricity isn’t aimed at meeting the Biden administration’s decarbonization goals, state leaders are still betting they can foster renewables and slash emissions while keeping the lights on.