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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 14, 2019

Top Story

Who Willed the Electric Car? China, and Here’s Why

By Lauren Silva Laughlin, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:26:52

The 2006 documentary “Who Killed The Electric Car” portrayed Big Oil executives as cartoonish enemies of a green future when EVs were in their infancy. Today, EVs really are a major threat to future demand for Exxon’s main commodity. But there is at least a grain of truth to Mr. Woods’s criticism. China, the world’s largest crude importer, is also the world leader in electric vehicles. But it still gets much of its power from coal, the dirtiest source of electricity. Add in the energy-intensive process of making batteries, which China also seeks to dominate, and EVs aren’t particularly green—at least in China.
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

In a Reversal, Wind Power Industry Wants More U.S. Tax Credits

By Chris Martin, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:23:25

Less than a year after the U.S. wind industry swore off federal tax credits, its top lobbyist wants another go at the incentive that helped it become the cheapest source of new energy in much of the world. The tax credits are now needed for the industry to maintain its cost advantage against competing sources such as solar and natural gas plants. That’s because President Donald Trump’s import tariffs on steel and other wind-farm components have raised costs by as much as 28%, said Tom Kiernan, chief executive officer of the Washington-based American Wind Energy Association. [ read more … ]

US Wind Industry Seeks Same Tax Incentives as Solar

By Karl-Erik Stromsta, GreenTech Media  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:24:18

The U.S. wind industry has begun a push in Washington, D.C. to level the tax-incentive playing field with solar energy, pivoting from its longstanding but now fading wind Production Tax Credit (PTC). The American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s main trade group, wants to see onshore wind projects be made eligible for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) currently available to solar plants, said AWEA chief executive Tom Kiernan, speaking Thursday in New York. [ read more … ]

U.S. could get 50% of its power from wind, with advances

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:23:53

A group of wind power experts from 15 countries released plans yesterday for their “grand vision” of the future resource. They posed a number of scientific, technological and economic challenges that, if met, could harvest enough wind to produce 50% of the Earth’s electricity needs by 2050. Currently wind power amounts to 5% of the global electricity supply. At least eight countries have generated 10% of their electricity needs from wind turbines, and in two of them, Portugal and Denmark, it has reached 30%. At moments, wind generation in Denmark has reached 100% of its electricity demand, the scientists pointed out in a paper published in the journal Science. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

La. kills net metering. Will other states roll back solar?

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:25:43

Louisiana’s multiyear brawl over rooftop solar policy finally has a winner — regulated utilities, much to the dismay of renewable energy advocates in the United States. A 3-2 vote by the Louisiana Public Service Commission last month to abandon net metering starting next year ended a long-running fight and is another milestone in the messy, state-by-state fight over distributed solar. [ read more … ]

Californians learn that solar panels don’t work in blackouts

By Christopher Martin, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:26:10

Californians have embraced rooftop solar panels more than anyone in the U.S., but many are learning the hard way that the systems won’t keep the lights on during blackouts. That’s because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid — not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a home can handle. Conversely, they don’t produce power at all at night. So systems are tied into the grid, and the vast majority aren’t working this week as PG&E Corp. cuts power to much of Northern California to prevent wildfires. [ read more … ]

Transmission

Trump axes smart grid panel created by Obama

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:25:02

The Trump administration has eliminated an advisory committee at the Commerce Department focused on developing smart grid technology, an agency spokesperson said last week. The termination of the Smart Grid Advisory Committee — which fell under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) — follows Trump’s executive order in June calling for the elimination of a third of all federal advisory boards. [ read more … ]

Congestion on transmission lines hinders new North Dakota wind farms

By AMY R. SISK, Bismarck Tribune  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:25:24

As wind developers seek to build more wind farms in North Dakota, they’re encountering a problem: congestion on the power lines. The topic came up Wednesday in a discussion involving the Public Service Commission and wind industry representatives, who told regulators that the issue is causing companies to think twice about locating a project in the state. “There is just no room on the transmission system.” [ read more … ]

EVs

Tesla advises customers hit by Calif. blackout to charge up

By David R. Baker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:27:03

Before PG&E Corp.’s massive blackout swept across Northern California, Tesla Inc. issued a politely worded but urgent message to its many area customers: Charge up your car, now. Customers tweeted photos Wednesday of the notice popping up on the touch screens of their electric cars, advising them to top off their batteries while they still could. Utility owner PG&E began shutting off electricity to parts of the region early Wednesday to prevent its power lines from sparking fires during an expected windstorm. [ read more … ]

6 US regions leading the way on electric buses

By Jason Plautz, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:27:23

Although electric buses can present technological and logistical hurdles for cities and school districts, advanced planning and dedicated resources can make them fit into any environment. That’s the message of a new report from the United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and Environment America, which examined six U.S. cities and regions that have taken the lead on phasing out diesel buses. 
The report, developed with the Frontier Group, found that electric buses can be successful in a diverse mix of areas, even those with cold winters. The report profiled: Seneca, SC; Chicago; King County, WA; Albuquerque, NM; Twin Rivers, CA; and a bus pilot in Amherst, Cambridge and Concord, MA.  [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Minnesota will track urban air pollution by ZIP code

By Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune  •    •  Posted 2019-10-13 04:27:53

“We do understand that there is some kind of relation between air pollution and asthma,” said MPCA environmental research scientist Monika Vadali. “The goal was to understand how air pollution varies from ZIP code to ZIP code because we don’t have any data on that.” State health officials have already shown that hospitalization rates for asthma, for example, vary greatly by ZIP code in Minneapolis and St. Paul, with neighborhoods that are poorer and more heavily minority suffering significantly higher rates. [ read more … ]

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