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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 27, 2020

Top Story

Senate Strikes Deal on Coronavirus Stimulus Package That Excludes Help for Renewables

By Jeff St. John, Green Tech Media  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:50:44

The U.S. Senate reached an agreement on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill early Wednesday morning, but the package does not include the tax credit extensions and direct pay provisions sought by the wind and solar industries to help them weather the supply-chain and economic disruptions caused by the global pandemic. Clean-energy industry groups confirmed Wednesday that the stimulus bill, the largest of its kind in U.S. history, lacks extensions of the federal wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which would have prevented them from losing access to full credits and threatening their financial viability. The Senate passed the bill late Wednesday night. [ read more … ]

Nearly $2T stimulus package omits direct renewable sector aid after Trump, McConnell opposition

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:51:04

Relief for the renewable energy sector was not included in the $2 trillion support package the Senate unanimously passed on Wednesday. Despite a push from Democratic Senators and clean energy leaders to include tax credit extensions and other provisions in the package, Senate leadership chose instead to focus on healthcare and broader economic aid.  [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Minnesota solar industry says pandemic increases pressure for legislation

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:47:02

Faced with a potential economic catastrophe from the coronavirus pandemic, Minnesota’s solar industry wants lawmakers to increase the budget for a solar program funded by Xcel Energy. The money would come from the Xcel Renewable Development Account, a long-standing program the utility funds in return for being allowed to store spent nuclear fuel at two power plants. The account’s best-known program, Xcel’s Solar Rewards, pays incentives for qualified residential and small commercial solar systems.
[ read more … ]

Coronavirus

Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:48:38

As much of his government battles the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump is pushing ahead with major reversals of environmental regulations, including a restriction on scientific research that some doctors worry would complicate future pandemic controls. Federal employees across multiple agencies said the administration was racing to complete a half-dozen significant rollbacks over the coming month. They include a measure to weaken automobile fuel efficiency standards, which one person familiar with the plans said would be issued as early as next week.
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Electricity demand dips as coronavirus alters work, school patterns

By Jared Anderson, S&P Global Platts  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:51:22

U.S. and Canadian power system operators are beginning to see effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but isolating those impacts from weather-related load fluctuations remains challenging. Grid operators such as the Midcontinent ISO and ISO New England have noticed demand in mid-March coming in below expectations for the period, but other grid operators are monitoring for potential impacts as cities and states continue to take increasing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. European power grids showed declines in demand in certain countries such as Italy, which implemented a lockdown in early March. [ read more … ]

States

Wash. governor signs bill to ban single-use plastic bags

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:47:59

A law that will ban single-use plastic bags in the state was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, in what he called “”a victory for our environment.” The legislation, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, bans retailers from giving out single-use plastic carryout bags and requires an 8-cent charge for other bags.
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How COVID-19 is impacting 5 state energy legislation efforts

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:48:18

The novel coronavirus global threat is beginning to hit state legislatures, a development that could hinder state clean energy policies, according to several industry stakeholders. 24 states and counting, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, have suspended or postponed their state legislative sessions in response to the epidemic, which had infected over 436,000 people globally and over 55,000 in the U.S. as of Wednesday morning, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
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Massachusetts is 3 months from implementing nation’s 1st clean peak standard

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:49:29

Massachusetts has finalized regulations to implement the nation’s first Clean Peak Energy Standard (CPES), a mechanism designed to provide incentives to clean energy technologies that can supply electricity or reduce demand during seasonal peak demand periods. The administration of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker filed the regulations on March 20 with the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) to begin a formal review process. The CPES application portal is scheduled to go live in July, to allow participants to submit their [ read more … ]

Markets

In some states, oil-price collapse brings back 99-cent gas

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:47:43

It happened at one in Kentucky. Then at another one in Tennessee. And then at four more in Oklahoma. A handful of fueling stations across the country are bringing back something that hasn’t been seen since the days of big hair and brick phones — 99-cent gasoline. [ read more … ]

Ten signs the oil industry is bent out of shape

By David Gaffen, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:49:09

The oil industry has been hit by a simultaneous demand and supply shock in March as the coronavirus pandemic cuts fuel consumption and top producer Saudi Arabia raises output to full capacity to fight a price war with rivals. International crude oil prices have lost about 45% this month and fallen below the cost of much of the world’s production, causing energy companies worldwide to slash spending by tens of billions of dollars. [ read more … ]

EVs

Electric car emissions myth ‘busted’

By Roger Harrabin, BBC  •    •  Posted 2020-03-26 15:49:50

Fears that electric cars could actually increase carbon emissions are a damaging myth, new research shows. Media reports have questioned if electric cars are really “greener” once emissions from manufacture and electricity generation are counted. The research concludes that in most places electric cars produce fewer emissions overall – even if generation still involves fossil fuels.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.