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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 8, 2020

Top Story

New Research Links Air Pollution to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:13:14

Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates. In an analysis of 3,080 counties in the United States, researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that higher levels of the tiny, dangerous particles in air known as PM 2.5 were associated with higher death rates from the disease.
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Oil Companies Are Collapsing, but Wind and Solar Energy Keep Growing

By Ivan Penn, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:14:44

A  few years ago, the kind of double-digit drop in oil and gas prices the world is experiencing now because of the coronavirus pandemic might have increased the use of fossil fuels and hurt renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms. That is not happening. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Utility Customers Will No Longer Fund State’s Solar Projects, BPU Rules

By TOM JOHNSON, NJSpotlight  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:13:57

The state yesterday moved to close the way it funds new solar projects by the end of this month, a system that once propelled New Jersey into second place nationally in the number of solar installations. The decision by the state Board of Public Utilities had been expected sometime this spring, but not quite so soon. Nevertheless, it marks a critical evolution of New Jersey’s solar program, which now generates roughly 5.1% of the electricity in the state. [ read more … ]

New York becomes first state to establish renewables siting office in an effort to speed up deployment

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:15:04

In an effort to speed the development of large-scale clean energy resources, New York lawmakers authorized the creation of an Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) and took steps to accelerate transmission investment to move carbon-free electricity to load centers. The new siting rules will ensure renewables projects larger than 25 MW can receive approval within a year. Under the current process, siting for these projects takes two to three years, experts say.  [ read more … ]


The coronavirus is hitting renewable energy supply chains and factories, and could slow the global energy transition

By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:13:32

Global renewable energy capacity hit 2,537 gigawatts (GW) at the end of last year, an increase of 176 GW compared to 2018, but the coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over the sector’s prospects for 2020, impacting both supply chains and manufacturing facilities.  According to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) “Renewable Capacity Statistics 2020” report, new additions last year were slightly lower than the revised total of 179 GW added in 2018. [ read more … ]

COVID-19 Is Killing Oil And Gas But The Virus Could Also Poison Renewables

By Ken Silverstein, Barrons  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:12:54

Whiting Petroleum Corp. has succumbed to COVID-19 and the oil battle now taking place between Saudi Arabia and Russia. It filed for bankruptcy last week. Questions abound, ranging from how many more independent oil and gas operations could go under to what are the possible implications for energy markets.  Given the economic downturn — 7 million jobs lost in March alone — the demand for oil and gas will remain weak. That will cause prices to fall even further, perhaps as low as $20 per barrel. But the dip will be relatively short-lived. And while oil prices are expected to climb again, green energy’s future is now in limbo. With gasoline prices so low, the pressure is off to invest in alternative fuels.  [ read more … ]


Breaking up is hard to do

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:14:15

Utilities interested in ditching the power markets may find it harder than they would like, according to a new memo (attached) by utility attorney Ari Peskoe, director of the Electricity Law Initiative at Harvard Law School. FERC’s order last year to PJM Interconnection setting a minimum offer price in its capacity auction, an effort to nullify state subsidies to renewable and nuclear generators that Peskoe opposed, triggered several statewide efforts to consider leaving either PJM or ISO-New England. [ read more … ]


Texas Gets Double Punch From Coronavirus and Oil Shock. ‘There’s No Avoiding This One.’

By Collin Eaton and Jon Hilsenrath, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-04-07 16:12:36

Texas had one of the best economic records of any U.S. state after the 2008 financial crisis. In this crisis, it faces the prospect of a deep and prolonged downturn. The Lone Star State is exposed to many of the pandemic and shutdown’s economic ill consequences, with three cities—Austin, Houston and Dallas—home to an abundance of service-sector jobs, especially at risk. A downturn in the oil industry and other businesses big in Texas, including airlines and ports, will likely amplify its pain. Industry analysts expect the oil downturn to outlast the current viral outbreak. [ read more … ]

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