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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 8, 2019

Top Story

An introduction to the state of wind power in the U.S.

By Philip Warburg, Yale Climate Connections  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:06:34

Advances in technology, improved economics, and broad political support are making wind power a formidable twenty-first century energy resource. Top-ranking Denmark draws 41% of its electricity from wind; Ireland follows with 28%; the European Union as a whole gets 14% of its power from wind. America’s wind farms currently produce 6.6% of the nation’s electricity. As a share of total power generation, that may sound relatively modest, but the U.S. ranks second only to China in the quantity of power-generating capacity that comes from wind. Moreover, the U.S. has scarcely begun to tap its vast wind power potential. On land, U.S. wind resources are capable of yielding about nine times the nation’s power needs. Offshore wind – wholly unexploited to date – could meet nearly twice the nation’s electricity demand. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar

By Bruce Horovitz, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:07:21

Target’s famous bull’s-eye is so cosmically linked with the brand that it’s hard to imagine the retail behemoth ever messing with the logo’s red color. But over the past decade — under pressure from customers, shareholders and employees — Target’s retail future is morphing into a very different hue: eco-green. The Minneapolis retailer best-known for its trendy, private-label brands and its millennial-friendly prices, has very publicly embraced the renewable energy passions of its millennial-heavy consumer base and is adding rooftop solar panels to its stores to generate renewable electricity at a breathtaking pace. [ read more … ]

Trump does tariff U-turn in blow to solar industry

By Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:07:43

The Trump administration eliminated a previously granted exemption from solar tariffs Friday, sparking pushback from renewable advocates who said the measure was needed to boost the industry as federal tax credits are phasing down. In an online notice, the U.S. trade representative said the earlier exemption of “bifacial” panels — which absorb sunlight and generate power on both sides — would “undermine the objectives” of broader solar tariffs announced by President Trump in January 2018. [ read more … ]

Va. to develop 4 new solar projects

By Jimmy O’Keefe, Capital News Service/Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:08:06

Permits were issued Thursday for the construction and operation of four new solar projects that are expected to offset carbon dioxide emissions in the state by 459 million pounds — the equivalent of driving more than 44,000 cars for a year. “Virginia is adopting solar technology at record rates, and we are building an economy that is cleaner and greener as a result,” Gov. Ralph Northam (D) stated in a press release announcing the permits, issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Minnesota Legislature considers ‘Clean Energy First’ policy

By Walker Orenstein, MinnPost/Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:09:46

The centerpiece of Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor lawmakers’ plans to fight the climate crisis is a mandate that would make the energy grid carbon-free by 2050. But at the Minnesota Capitol, another climate measure, this one known as “Clean Energy First,” has drawn just as much attention — and may have better odds of becoming law. [ read more … ]

US government opens California land to oil, gas drilling

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:08:34

The federal government has opened 725,000 acres in Central California to oil and gas drilling on land that has been off-limits since 2013. The Bureau of Land Management issued its final decision Friday to allow oil and gas leases on plots that are mostly in the Central Valley, but also include parts of the Central Coast.
[ read more … ]

Study: Northeast renewable plans inadequate for carbon goals

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-07 16:10:05

New England’s six states are falling short of the low-carbon energy deployment needed to reach their shared 2050 climate goals, according to a new analysis from the Brattle Group. By midcentury, every state in New England aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% over 1990 levels.
[ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.