News

This grid technology could make or break Biden’s solar plans

Source: By Peter Behr, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, September 16th, 2021

President Biden’s blueprint for getting 40 percent of the nation’s electricity from solar power by 2035 depends on development of a device that would take the place of fossil fuel plants in setting the heartbeat of power grids, experts say. Called a grid-forming inverter, the tool is a combination of electronics and software and could also enable solar panels on millions of homes to help restore a blacked-out power network like that left behind in Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Ida. Today, solar panels cannot serve that role.

Moniz wants to turn more focus to clean alternative fuels, negative emissions

Source: By Jasmin Melvin, S&P Global • Posted: Thursday, September 16th, 2021

“I believe when you think this through that you reach the conclusion that while electricity and electrification are the lead horse in the decarbonization race, we also need a fuel,” Moniz said during a fireside chat at Siemens Energy’s North America Energy Week conference. The economy in general and particularly the hard-to-decarbonize sectors, such as the transportation, industrial and agricultural sectors, will need a fuel source, and there are a number of possibilities if sufficient attention is paid to the issue, Moniz asserted. Among those possibilities are biofuels, which Moniz said “have been a promise for a long time without fulfilling the promise,” as well as newer fuel alternatives such as an emerging class of carbon-neutral electrofuels produced with hydrogen and hydrogen itself.

An Outdated Grid Has Created a Solar Power Economic Divide

Source: By Eric Niiler, Wired • Posted: Thursday, September 16th, 2021

If the United States is ever to make a dent in its production of planet-warming carbon emissions, it will have to crank up the use of solar energy, much of which can be generated from rooftops on homes and businesses. Solar provides only 3 percent of the US energy supply today, but the White House and states like California are pushing to boost that to more than 40 percent in the coming decades.

GM advising some Bolt EV owners to park 50 feet away from other cars in case of fire

Source: By Michael Wayland, CNBC • Posted: Thursday, September 16th, 2021

General Motors is advising some Chevrolet Bolt owners to not park their electric cars within 50 feet of other vehicles to reduce the risk of a potential fire spreading to nearby cars and trucks.
The warning follows the Detroit automaker recalling more than 140,000 of the EVs produced since 2016 due to the risk of batteries spontaneously catching fire from “two rare manufacturing defects.”

Major utility questions Biden’s signature climate plan

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

One of America’s largest power companies is raising concerns that the president’s signature climate proposal would force utilities to develop clean energy “too rapidly.” American Electric Power asserted in a letter to other utilities and congressional offices that the Clean Electricity Performance Program would “adversely impact the reliability and resilience of the electric grid.”

The government helped Tesla conquer electric cars. Now it’s helping Detroit, and Elon Musk isn’t happy.

Source: By Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

President Biden held a splashy event on the White House’s South Lawn last month to announce an ambitious goal: to make half of new passenger vehicle sales electric, plug-in hybrid or fuel-cell electric vehicles by 2030. But a key player in the industry was nowhere to be seen. Elon Musk and the country’s leading electric-car manufacturer, Tesla, had been left out of the festivities.

Biden calls for climate action ahead of historic legislation

Source: By Scott Waldman, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Dealing with climate change doesn’t have to be hard, President Joe Biden said yesterday: All it takes is for people to come together. “Something that is caused by humans can be solved by humans,” he said. If only it were that easy.

Democrats Put Off Hard Decisions on $3.5 Trillion Spending Plan for Now

Source: By Kristina Peterson and Andrew Duehren, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Democrats on Capitol Hill have hard choices to make if they want to pass a sprawling package of healthcare, education and climate-change programs without any GOP support. So far, they have avoided making them. Centrist Senate Democrats are raising concerns over Democratic leaders’ plans to assemble a package of $3.5 trillion in spending and tax cuts, even if offset by other sources of revenue and savings. Because Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote from their own caucus in the evenly-split Senate, that means that overall spending level will likely have to come down, either by excluding or shortening the length of some proposed programs.

Study: Dem plan could cut emissions by nearly a gigaton

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

 The reconciliation bill working its way through Congress could cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a gigaton by 2030, according to a new report. The analysis, released today by the Rhodium Group, an independent research firm, offers a first look at how the sprawling suite of climate policies Democrats are considering as part of their $3.5 trillion package could overhaul energy and contribute to President Biden’s Paris Agreement emissions-cutting pledge.

House committee approves $150B Clean Electricity Performance Program

Source: By Jason Plautz, Utility Dive • Posted: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

Text of the plan, released last week, detailed a $150 billion program that would require electric providers to increase the amount of clean energy distributed to customers by 4% year over year. Providers that meet the goal would get grants from the Department of Energy, while those falling short would owe money.