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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 18, 2020

Top Story

Locked down in Beijing, I watched China beat back the coronavirus

By Gerry Shih, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:59:24

The grocery stores were brimming with shoppers and produce. Around the corner, a line was forming outside a stall selling pillowy white steamed buns. The gray, brick-lined alleys of this old imperial capital, deserted several weeks ago, were congested again by newly licensed drivers struggling to park their outsize Audis. I knew then: Beijing was slowly, unmistakably, returning to normal. [ read more … ]

Coronavirus

‘An immediate and dramatic business concern’: How COVID-19 is disrupting the energy sector

By Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:59:08

The novel coronavirus outbreak will be a “significant global crisis, triggering an economic slowdown” — which will likely affect the broader clean energy transition, including renewables, energy storage, and electric vehicles, analysts at BloombergNEF said in a report published last week. The analysts are particularly concerned about demand —​ BNEF has reduced its 2020 global solar demand forecast from between 121 GW and 152 GW to a range of 108 GW to 143 GW, which could make this the first year that solar capacity additions have declined since the 1980s. 
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper than coal in all big markets around world, analysis finds

By Adam Morton Environment editor, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:58:38

Building new wind and solar plants will soon be cheaper in every major market across the globe than running existing coal-fired power stations, according to a new report that raises fresh doubt about the medium-term viability of Australia’s $26bn thermal coal export industry. While some countries are moving faster than others, the analysis by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a climate finance thinktank, found renewable power was a cheaper option than building new coal plants in all large markets including Australia, and was expected to cost less than electricity from existing coal plants by 2030 at the latest.
[ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar power has been growing for decades. Then coronavirus rocked the market.

By Emily Pontecorvo, The Grist  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:54:10

The spread of COVID-19, now declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, is expected to slow solar energy’s rate of growth for the first time since the 1980s. On Monday, two major solar panel manufacturers that supply the U.S. utility market, JinkoSolar Holding Co. and Canadian Solar Inc., both saw their stock prices fall by double digits. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research firm, previously predicted that global solar energy capacity would grow by 121 to 152 gigawatts this year, but on Friday, the group issued a new report dialing back its prediction to just 108 to 143 Gigawatts. [ read more … ]

Solar adds capacity gains in 2019

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:57:56

 Solar energy made up 40 percent of all new U.S. electricity generating capacity added last year — more than any other source of electricity, according to a new U.S. Solar Market Insight 2019 Year-in-Review report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie. [ read more … ]

RTOs

Operator of Power Grid Accused of Overcharging Utility Customers Billions of Dollars

By TOM JOHNSON, NJ Spotlight  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:56:56

The operator of the nation’s largest power grid is overcharging utility customers by buying more electricity than customers needed over the past decade, costing consumers up to $4 billion a year in unnecessary charges, according to a new study. The analysis, commissioned by the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, concludes that PJM Interconnection has overestimated how much power it needs to keep the lights on for more than a decade. [ read more … ]

Retail buyers may be key to clean energy procurement in ISO-NE, PJM, NYISO: Report

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:58:16

“Retail competition has a lot of benefits and may be very well suited for the resource transition, partly because it tends to find more and more innovative ways to engage demand side participants in markets,” said Rob Gramlich, founder and president of Grid Strategies. “So we really need to make sure that the system is set up to finance new generation and the way to do that is to make sure there are active buyers in the market.” [ read more … ]

PJM over-forecasting costs consumers up to $4.4B for unneeded energy capacity: Report

By Iulia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:57:22

Customers pay as much as $4.4 billion a year for unneeded energy in the PJM Interconnection, according to a new report published on Monday. The grid operator overestimated how much power it needs for more than a decade, according to an independent economic analysis created on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council. PJM’s reliability pricing model “results in commitments that are roughly 10% of peak load or more in excess” of the operator’s target reserve margin, resulting in over 15 GW of excess capacity in recent years, according to the study. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

New York taps developers for almost 1.3 GW of solar, wind and storage across upstate region

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:59:56

New York is moving quickly to bring more renewable energy online, with some of the newly-awarded projects expected to begin construction this year, and officials say all of the resources are expected to be operational by 2024. Still, advocates point to the need for changes to how energy resources are developed. “Now, more than ever, we can benefit from Gov. Cuomo’s plan to streamline the renewable energy siting process,” Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Trump’s Energy Dominance Dream Submits to Reality

By Liam Denning, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:55:41

One of the more notable ideas to float up last week — or, as I like to call it, my year indoors — was a federal bailout of some sort for U.S. oil and gas producers. Harold Hamm, founder of Continental Resources Inc. and sometime energy adviser to the president, called on the Trump Administration to help domestic frackers fight off low-priced barrels flooding in from Russia and Saudi Arabia even as coronavirus slams demand. [ read more … ]

Distilleries Are the Newest Players in the Hand Sanitizer Game

By Kate Krader, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:56:38

Some unexpected sources already have stepped up to fill the shortage of hand sanitizer. In France the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH is now using its perfume factories to make the product for hospitals. In the U.S. the Food and Drug Administration is now encouraging pharmacists to make their own. Earlier in March, Tito’s warned the public not to use its vodka for homemade versions because it didn’t meet the 60% alcohol requirement. But that hasn’t stopped small-batch distilleries in the U.S. and the U.K. from doing their part to pitch in on the effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. They are uniquely equipped to make hand sanitizer because the most effective germ-fighting ones are generally made with a base of 60%-plus alcohol, a product that distilleries have in abundance. [ read more … ]

Commentary

The United States is still too reliant on oil

By Varsha Koduvayur for CNN Business Perspectives  •    •  Posted 2020-03-17 15:56:06

Oil prices have been cratering in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s decision to ramp up production and offer customers a discount for its crude. A decade ago, that would have been welcome news for the United States. But now, as the US oil industry grows — transforming the United States into one of the top exporters — the crash in prices threatens to cause as much pain as relief. This underscores an important dynamic: The United States continues to remain too reliant on oil. [ read more … ]

 

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