Please add the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 6, 2019

Top Stories

Trump Move to Kill Solar Loophole Blocked by Trade Court

By By Brian Eckhouse and Brian Flood, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-12-06 04:22:14

A trade court handed U.S. solar developers a victory by temporarily blocking the Trump administration’s attempt to kill a loophole that’s helped the industry weather tariffs on imported panels. The U.S. Court of International Trade issued a preliminary injunction freezing the administration’s move to eliminate the provision that exempted bifacial — or double-sided — panels from duties. The ruling is a win for Invenergy LLC, Clearway Energy Group LLC and other American solar-farm developers that will continue to have a way to circumvent tariffs that Donald Trump imposed in early 2018. The exclusion for bifacial panels will now remain in place for potentially months until the issue is resolved in court. [ read more … ]

Climate models got it right on global warming — study

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:36:04

There’s a favorite argument among doubters of mainstream climate science: Climate models overestimate the rate at which the Earth is warming. That claim surfaces time and again and is frequently based on single examples of uncertainty or cherry-picked data. Various studies have gone back and closely examined individual climate models in recent years and have generally found that they’re working pretty well.
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Study makes case for Oregon offshore wind power

By Pete Danko, The Business Journals  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:36:31

 Oregon’s deep Pacific Ocean waters would require floating wind energy technology, which is “nascent” but advancing quickly, the report said. Strong winds around 20 miles offshore, where the turbines would likely be cited, make the South Coast in particular attractive for the technology. The prospects for offshore wind in Oregon look promising for large-scale electricity generation,” the report said. “Floating technology is maturing rapidly, and offshore wind can provide a carbon-free alternative electricity source in coastal regions, especially in the southern region where offshore annual average wind speeds are … among the highest in the United States.” [ read more … ]

FERC

Is FERC overstepping its authority and hurting renewables? States, power groups question PURPA plan

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:37:58

States, competitive market groups and other stakeholders criticized a federal proposal to overhaul the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in comments filed Tuesday, questioning the potential impacts those changes could have to the country’s renewable energy momentum. Stakeholders, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) raised concerns that the notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in September would unduly impact states outside regulated power pools. Meanwhile, states participating in regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) had their own concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed rule. [ read more … ]

EVs

GM venture to build battery factory near closed Ohio plant

By Tom Krisher, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:37:05

General Motors Co. and Korea’s LG Chem have Ltd. formed a joint venture to build an electric vehicle battery cell factory near Lordstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland. The companies also will work together on battery technology to bring down the cost for future GM electric vehicles. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Ohio’s coal, nuclear push ignites political war

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:38:22

The governing board for the state ratepayer advocate concluded in a 2016 report on the state of Ohio’s power sector with the title “Everyone Is Unhappy.” These days, there’s still plenty of unhappiness in the Buckeye State, four months after Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law that keeps struggling nuclear and coal plants running and weakens Ohio’s renewable energy and efficiency standards. [ read more … ]

NARUC names Trump loyalist as first-ever White House liaison

By Kristi E. Swartz and Edward Klump, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:38:40

The new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has tapped a staunch Trump supporter to help bridge any political gaps between the White House and the nation’s most powerful group of state regulators. Brandon Presley, a Democrat, asked Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta to be what Presley called his “personal liaison to the White House.” Presley announced the job — which he created — via Twitter this week. [ read more … ]

States follow EPA in slashing environmental oversight

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:39:14

In EPA’s current five-year plan, one of the agency’s three main goals is to “rebalance the power between Washington and the states to create tangible environmental results for the American people.” The problem with that February 2018 objective: Most states aren’t willing or able to take on the additional responsibility the Trump administration wants to give them, according to a new analysis of staffing and funding at state environmental agencies over the past decade. [ read more … ]

A big oil company wants to be carbon-free. Is that possible?

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:38:57

Oil companies increasingly tout emissions reduction targets. But it’s often unclear how they plan to actually cut greenhouse gases. The Spanish oil giant Repsol SA offered some clues earlier this week when it unveiled its goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The announcement itself was notable. While a growing number of companies have pledged to reduce greenhouse gases from their operations, none has committed to eliminating them, until now. [ read more … ]

Opinion

Iowa’s wind lesson

By Josh Opperman, Power Up Iowa  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:36:50

As the first in the nation caucus state, Iowa has a great responsibility in our national elections. We all understand that and take the role very seriously, but I think there is one area where we could use our platform even more — to explain to the rest of the country how renewable energy is a practical and profitable source of energy. More specifically, Iowa has a burgeoning wind industry that America would do well to emulate. Home to 114 wind farms and 10 wind-related manufacturing facilities, 34 percent of Iowa’s energy comes from wind. Iowa ranks second in the nation for wind power capacity with nearly 9,000 megawatts installed, producing enough electricity to power 2.08 million homes. Across the heartland — in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, and Kansas — wind energy just makes sense. Sometimes that gets forgotten in the national conversation around climate change, the environment, and clean energy goals. [ read more … ]

FERC is on the right track with resilience. Republicans can help by upholding conservative principles

By Charles Hernick, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-12-05 15:37:28

The pace of transition to a clean energy future is rapidly picking up. Since 2009, wind and solar generation capacity has quadrupled and natural gas generation has grown by 24%, driven by low-costs and high demand for clean energy. At the same time, populations are growing and shifting. And, electric vehicle sales grew 8o% last year. While still a small share of the market, the rise is notable. Indeed, the electricity system that served our grandparents and parents is changing. Just as mobile phones revolutionized the telecommunications sector, so are distributed renewables, microgrids and energy storage changing the power sector. [ read more … ]

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