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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 28, 2019

Top Story

DOE holds back ‘super-grid’ renewable study

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:31:47

A comprehensive laboratory study of how a new, continent-spanning transmission network could dramatically expand renewable energy resources to U.S. cities is being held back within the Department of Energy headquarters, speakers at a transmission conference said yesterday. The analysis by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, called the Interconnections Seam Study, “has been bottled up inside DOE,” said Charles Smith, executive director of the Energy Systems Integration Group, a Reston, Va., consulting group on power grid planning. “The study has been finished for a while,” said Christopher Clack, chief executive of Vibrant Clean Energy LLC. “I feel like it makes uncomfortable reading” for some at DOE, he added at the forum yesterday held by the WIRES advocacy group; the Embassy of Canada; and 16 energy, environment and labor organizations. “The analysis retires a lot of coal” by expanding delivery of wind and solar power, Clack said. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Offshore wind could power the world

By Charles Riley, CNN Business  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:32:21

Offshore wind turbines could generate enough electricity to power every home and business on Earth, according to a report published on Friday. The Paris-based International Energy Agency published the results of what it describes as the “most comprehensive global study” of offshore wind ever undertaken, an effort that involved analyzing hundreds of thousands of miles of coastline. The report says $1 trillion could be invested in the industry by 2040 as lower costs and government support encourage the installation of larger turbines and floating foundations that allow for deep water operations. [ read more … ]

Reaping Wind at Sea Could Become $1 Trillion Industry-IEA

By Stine Jacobsen, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:32:44

Offshore wind could become a cornerstone of the world’s power supply as steep cost reductions and improved technology unleash the potential of the green energy source, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday. Renewables replacing fossil fuel is crucial to meet a globally-agreed goal of limiting temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius this century and the expansion of offshore wind could avoid 5-7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from the power sector globally, said the IEA. [ read more … ]

Offshore wind could power most of Europe within 20 years

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:33:41

Offshore wind could be the largest single source of electricity for the European Union by 2040 if policy and technology continue to catapult the industry forward, according a report today by the International Energy Agency. The report describes offshore as a potential cornerstone in a future decarbonized energy sector, absorbing the lion’s share of electricity needs in Europe where the industry is most advanced. It’s an excerpt of the findings in the World Energy Outlook 2019, which will be published next month.
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Emails show bond between NOAA, fishermen against project

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:35:47

Meghan Lapp was steamed. It was late February, and Rhode Island regulators had just finalized a mitigation plan intended to blunt an offshore wind project’s economic impact on local fishermen. Lapp, who handles government relations at a Rhode Island fishing company, viewed the plan as a farce. “What happened last night in R.I. was an absolute roll over the fishing industry,” she wrote to two staffers at NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency that regulates commercial fishing. State regulators had taken little input from fishermen on the plan, she wrote. What input they did receive did not sway them. A calamari processor told Rhode Island officials his biggest customer would likely have to source squid from China if the 84-turbine project proposed by Vineyard Wind in federal waters off Massachusetts was allowed to proceed. [ read more … ]

Massachusetts opens first training facility for offshore wind workers

By Erin Tiernan, Boston Globe  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:35:18

Ahead of launching the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm, state officials marked the opening of the first facility in the nation that will train workers in the emerging offshore-wind industry. “This facility is an example of how all things maritime can meet the energy sector,” said Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, which is operating the new training facility. “This is the start of something very big, very sustainable and very important,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at Mass Maritime. [ read more … ]

University of Maine gets more funding for floating platform

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:37:42

The grant, announced Wednesday, is expected to be worth about $5 million for UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The center already has developed smaller floating hulls to support 6-megawatt turbines to be placed off the coast of Monhegan Island. That pilot project, dubbed Aqua Ventus, is viewed as a major test for floating wind turbine technology.
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Storage

Energy storage legislation sparks lobbying frenzy

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:39:35

Dozens of companies, associations and organizations said they are lobbying for energy storage technology incentives, including increased research funding and tax credits. The broad lobbying on the issue — including from renewable energy companies, utilities and public health groups — is a sign of the growing coalition that is forming in support of the nascent technology and seeking government help for it. The legislative proposals are not all new, but momentum for them both on and off Capitol Hill is picking up. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

D.C. Circuit rejects case against Trump rollback

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:34:11

A federal appeals court Friday handed a defeat to states and environmentalists pushing back on EPA’s rollback of Obama-era clean car rules. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit told California, the District of Columbia and 16 other states they couldn’t sue EPA because its actions didn’t constitute a “final rulemaking,” thus scrapping the case over a lack of jurisdiction. States and groups sued in May of last year, arguing the administration had sidestepped procedure and substantive review in announcing its reconsideration of Obama-era regulations on midterm greenhouse gas emissions evaluations for cars manufactured between 2022 and 2025. [ read more … ]

Trump could target Calif. pact with Canada on clean cars

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:34:41

The Trump administration may not be finished attacking California’s authority to combat climate change. After the administration this week sued California over its cap-and-trade agreement with Canada, another suit could be coming over a similar agreement related to clean cars, critics fear. The Department of Justice’s complaint this week took aim at the Golden State’s 2017 agreement with the Canadian province of Quebec to cooperate on a cap-and-trade program to lower emissions at power plants, at industrial facilities, and from oil and gas distributors [ read more … ]

EVs

Democrats propose major clean cars program

By Maxine Joselow and Geof Koss, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:37:24

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer last night introduced a proposal to boost sales of clean cars, in a rebuke to the Trump administration and a sign of Democrats’ broader strategy on climate change legislation. The New York Democrat proposed a program called “Clean Cars for America,” which would provide rebates for consumers to trade in their old gas guzzlers for new zero-emission vehicles. The $400 billion program would help take more than 63 million gas-powered vehicles off the road over 10 years, according to Schumer’s office. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Nebraska Power Alliance releasing economic impact report to coincide with state’s Wind and Solar Conference

By Lauren Snedden, Nebraska Power Alliance  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:38:32

“Nebraska has been transformed by the wind industry. The wind industry investment in Nebraska is an investment in jobs. Jobs in operations, maintenance, construction, and here in Lancaster County, jobs in the engineering and design businesses. But the renewable power industry does so much more. It directly supports our school districts, our counties, our farmers and our ranchers. It is one of the few investment strategies that grow our rural economies,” said Lancaster County Commissioner Sean Flowerday in the Nebraska Power Alliance report. “The untapped potential of renewable energy in Nebraska is easy to see,” says Jeff Clark, President of the Advanced Power Alliance, the parent organization of the Nebraska Power Alliance. “In addition to wind power, Nebraska has a significant opportunity to achieve leadership positions in the growing solar and energy storage sectors.” [ read more … ]

Government Loophole Gave Oil Companies $18 Billion Windfall

By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:38:58

The United States government has lost billions of dollars of oil and gas revenue to fossil-fuel companies because of a loophole in a decades-old law, a federal watchdog agency said Thursday, offering the first detailed accounting of the consequences of a misstep by lawmakers that is expected to continue costing taxpayers for decades to come. The loophole dates from an effort in 1995 to encourage drilling in the Gulf of Mexico by offering oil companies a temporary break from paying royalties on the oil produced. However, the rule was poorly written, the very politicians who originally championed it have acknowledged, and the temporary reprieve was accidentally made permanent on some wells. [ read more … ]

World ‘Awash’ in Oil As U.S. Sees Its Shale Boom Barreling Ahead

By Anthony Dipaola, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:39:15

Global markets are “awash” in crude thanks to the surge in U.S. oil output, and the boom looks set to continue, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in a Bloomberg TV interview. U.S. shale production has turned the world “on its head,” and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is “off a bit” in a report last week saying that the bonanza is fading, Perry said on Sunday in Dubai. [ read more … ]

Tesla solar bounces back as Musk launches new product

By Tamara Ward, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:39:57

Tesla Inc.’s solar deployments in the third quarter rose by almost 50% compared with the prior quarter — the first time in a year installations have increased for the technology company. The California-based business also announced on its earnings call this week that it would be releasing a new version of its solar roof product this week, although CEO Elon Musk delayed the original scheduled announcement until today.
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New York City wants that sweet sweet Canadian hydro

BY ERIC WOLFF, Politico  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:40:37

Mayor Bill de Blasio is breathing new life into a dormant underground transmission project that would carry carbon-free Canadian hydro power into the five boroughs , an effort to meet the city’s climate goals. The city is exploring purchasing hydropower from the Champlain Hudson Power Express, and De Blasio said the city may loan the company some of the $3 billion needed to get the project built, in addition to agreeing to buy half the power on the transmission line. However, the idea faces resistance from environmentalists who say large dams harm local ecosystems. [ read more … ]

Amazon backs projects on path to 100% clean power

By James Thornhill, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:40:54

Amazon.com Inc. will invest in three new wind and solar projects as it moves toward a goal of meeting 80% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2024, and 100% by 2030. The company has entered the U.K.’s largest corporate wind power purchase agreement as part of its backing for the 50-megawatt Amazon Wind Farm on the Kintyre Peninsula of Scotland, it said in a statement. Amazon also announced solar projects in North Carolina and Virginia with a combined generating capacity of 215 megawatts. [ read more … ]

Energy lobbyist Mike McKenna to take White House job

By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-27 04:40:18

Energy lobbyist Mike McKenna is taking a job at the White House on Monday, a White House official confirmed yesterday to E&E News. McKenna will work under Eric Ueland, the legislative affairs director, who was tapped for the post this summer. McKenna will also serve as deputy assistant to the president, and is expected to work on energy and environmental issues. [ read more … ]

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