Shutdown could hinder infrastructure projects, permits

Source: By E.A. Crunden, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Concerns are mounting over impacts of a possible federal government shutdown on critical infrastructure projects and permitting activities. The White House has confirmed that certain permitting work overseen by EPA and the Department of the Interior would be impacted if a freeze were to go on for any meaningful period of time. Even if a shutdown is momentary, the preparation involved for the possibility of such an event can drain resources and time.

Wind power industry drifts off course

Source: By y Nina Chestney, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, September 28th, 2023

A perfect storm of supply chain delays, design flaws and higher costs in the offshore wind industry has put dozens of projects at risk of not being delivered in time for countries to meet climate goals, industry executives, investors and analysts said. The race to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is putting pressure on manufacturers and supply chains to keep pace with demand for more clean energy, especially in the European Union which is finalising a legally binding goal to produce 42.5% of energy from renewables by 2030.

Projects Could Power 18 Million American Homes With Offshore Wind Energy

Source: By U.S. Department of Energy • Posted: Thursday, September 28th, 2023

The U.S. offshore wind energy project development and operational pipeline reached a potential generating capacity of 52,687 megawatts (MW) at the end of May 2023, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analysis recently released in the Offshore Wind Market Report: 2023 Edition. If fully developed, these projects would be enough to power more than 18 millionAmerican homes.

Ford battery plant delay emboldens Hill critics

Source: By Hannah Northey, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Ford Motor Co.’s decision to halt construction of a controversial $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan is empowering critics of the project, even as supporters downplay the severity of the automaker’s move. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, hailed Ford’s decision to stop work on the plant in Marshall, Mich. The facility would use technology from China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., the world’s largest producer of lithium iron phosphate batteries.

Strike lines become the front line in EV war

Source: By Scott Waldman, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Many of the Republican presidential candidates are offering the same message to striking autoworkers: Kill President Joe Biden’s plan to dramatically expand the electric vehicle market. That position promises to be a theme at the second GOP debate Wednesday as seven candidates compete for airtime with former President Donald Trump, who is skipping the nationally broadcast debate to hold a rally in Michigan near the lines of striking autoworkers.

Battery storage seen as ‘backbone’ of reliable electric grid but adoption uneven across US

Source: By Robert Zullo, States Newsroom • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Energy storage, particularly battery storage, can provide big benefits for the broader grid. It can bank excess power from renewables for when demand spikes, enabling renewable facilities to function more like traditional power plants. And the discharge of the electricity from batteries is nearly instantaneous, providing an attractive degree of flexibility for grid operators who have to match electric demand and supply in real time. California’s grid operator avoided blackouts during record-setting heat last year thanks in part to the 3,500 megawatts of storage added between 2020 and 2022, the state’s grid operator said. Solar and rapidly growing battery storage has been credited with helping Texas get through punishing summer “heat domes” this year.

Giant Batteries Helped the U.S. Power Grid Eke Through Summer

Source: By Jennifer Hiller, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Battery storage has emerged as a tiny but important slice of the electrical-power mix during summer heat waves, helping bridge the gap at sundown when solar generation fades but everyone continues to crank air conditioners. Electric-grid operators from Pennsylvania to California have skated through a season of high temperatures with a combination of existing and new energy supplies, including batteries, that have added up to enough to avoid rolling blackouts. Large-scale batteries have filled in when large power plants tripped offline and helped stabilize the grid.

‘Not a fan’: UAW workers give thumbs-down to Biden’s EV plan

Source: By David Ferris, Hannah Northey, Mike Lee, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Autoworkers aren’t just turned off by electric vehicles because they might kill their jobs. They also don’t want to purchase them, and aren’t buying into either party’s approach to electrification — a view that signals political risks for both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner. In interviews across the country Monday, many striking members of the United Auto Workers said they would likely shun EVs because of charging worries and the vehicles’ high prices. While some said they were inclined to credit Biden for walking the picket line Tuesday, others expressed distrust that either the president or Trump could do anything to save their jobs in the face of the EV transition.

FERC would largely close under government shutdown, but DOE OK for brief period

Source: By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Nearly all Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff will be furloughed if the government shuts down at the end of this month while the Department of Energy has enough funding to handle a short lapse in federal appropriations, according to FERC and DOE.

Shutdown won’t freeze work on climate law

Source: By Kevin Bogardus, Robin Bravender, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

The climate law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, has received multiyear funding from Congress, so it isn’t subject to the same spending limitations as other government programs that are funded on a per-year basis. That means climate law programs — at least some of them — can continue if lawmakers don’t reach a spending agreement before the fiscal year ends Oct. 1.