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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 24, 2020

Top Story

How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared

By Peter Fairley, The Atlantic  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:49:38

On August 14, 2018, Joshua Novacheck, a 30-year-old research engineer for the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was presenting the most important study of his nascent career. He couldn’t have known it yet, but things were about to go very wrong. He was about to share the results of the Interconnections Seam Study, better known as Seams. It was an elegant solution to a complicated problem.  [ read more … ]

California

As California wildfires rage, new round of lightning-ignited blazes is forecast into Monday

By Andrew Freedman and Hannah Knowles, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 15:02:24

California has seen a significant uptick in large-wildfire activity because of a combination of climate change, land-use practices and other factors. Large fires have also increased across other parts of the West, which climate studies tie to human-caused climate change that alters the timing of precipitation, makes summers hotter and vegetation drier, and leads to more days with extreme weather that enables fires to spread rapidly. Studies show that climate change is lengthening the fire season and leading to larger blazes than would otherwise occur. The 2018 National Climate Assessment, published by the Trump administration, projected that those trends are likely to continue for several decades. [ read more … ]

Why California Keeps Having Blackouts

By Rebecca Smith and Katherine Blunt, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 15:19:55

Now that California has experienced rolling blackouts for the first time since the 2001 crisis, few in the state dispute the need for more contracted sources of power to address what went wrong. But whereas some believe the state has gone too far in squeezing out gas-fired generation, others are urging state officials to accelerate the transition to a fossil-fuel-free future. In a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state’s utilities commission and grid operator were unequivocal in their commitment to the state’s clean-energy goals. The letter cautioned that renewables shouldn’t become a scapegoat and said, “Clean energy and reliable energy are not contradictory goals.” [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Md. approves world’s largest turbines after NIMBY protests

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:48:22

The largest offshore wind turbines on the market stand 853 feet, with the sweep of their blades covering the surface area of seven football fields. And despite a fight with local politicians in eastern Maryland, the state’s first offshore wind farm will deploy those machines, following a decision by the Maryland Public Service Commission. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar windows could turn skyscrapers into power plants

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:48:47

Advances in solar windows have the potential to make solar energy more cost-effective overall, said Lance Wheeler, a materials scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, who did not participate in the research. That’s because the concept integrates the costs of glass used in nontransparent solar photovoltaics — which is the most expensive part of PV modules — with the costs of installing windows in buildings. [ read more … ]

Storage

World’s biggest battery connects to Calif. grid in crisis

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 15:24:50

California’s electricity crunch over the past week, amid a crisis of a heat wave, wildfires and a pandemic, is being eased in part by a massive new battery installation outside San Diego.
Gateway Energy Storage, a 230-megawatt installation, is the largest plant to come online since the state issued its first storage mandate in 2010 and is the largest in the world. [ read more … ]

Climate

Revealed: how the gas industry is waging war against climate action

By Emily Holden, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:52:14

When progressive Seattle decided last year to wipe out its climate pollution within the decade, the city council vote in favor was unsurprisingly unanimous, and the easiest first step on that path was clear. About one-third of the city’s climate footprint comes from buildings, in large part from burning “natural” gas for heating and cooking. Gas is a fossil fuel that releases carbon dioxide and far more potent methane into the atmosphere and heats the planet. It is plentiful and cheap, and it’s also a huge and increasing part of America’s climate challenge. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Storing carbon in the prairie grass

By Mary Beth Gahan, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:50:46

Scientists say the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by mid-century to avert catastrophic effects from global warming. Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas; the amount in the atmosphere has been rising as humans burn fossil fuels. Not only must the world stop releasing more carbon, some CO2 already in the air also must be removed, experts say. That’s where the prairie comes in. [ read more … ]

EVs

GM’s new charging network is less than it seems

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:51:14

General Motors Co. got a lot of headlines a few weeks ago after announcing it would collaborate with EVgo to create a constellation of 2,700 electric vehicle fast-charging stations in cities around the country. On its face, it’s one of the biggest commitments ever to a U.S. charging network by an automaker. Looking deeper, though, GM’s role is less than it might seem — and underscores how difficult building an electric fueling network really is. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden on energy: Climate change is an ‘enormous opportunity’

By Lesley Clark, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:47:54

Joe Biden cited climate change as one of four crises facing the country and declared that it represents an opportunity for U.S. leadership on clean energy during his acceptance speech last night for the Democratic presidential nomination. “We can, and we will, deal with climate change,” Biden said. “It’s not only a crisis; it’s an enormous opportunity, an opportunity for America to lead the world in clean energy and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process.” [ read more … ]

Biden vows climate action in first speech as nominee

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:49:09

Joe Biden cloaked himself in the language of climate activists and union workers Thursday night as he delivered one of the most important speeches of the 2020 election. Accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden cast the election as a choice between creating clean energy jobs and pursuing environmental justice, or succumbing to the “existential threat” of climate change. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Wind energy produces ‘incredible benefits’ for Iowa

By Debi Durham, Sioux City Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-08-23 14:47:22

Iowa was one of the first states in the nation to recognize wind energy’s economic potential, and because of that we have reaped incredible benefits for our state. Today, Iowa ranks first in the nation for its share of in-state electricity generated by wind. On the national front, wind energy’s environmental impact and declining costs in recent decades have made it the leading source of renewable energy. Wind power emerged from 2019 as the country’s top choice for new power, representing 39 percent of new utility-scale power additions, 120,000 jobs, and 530 domestic manufacturing facilities. It’s difficult to overstate the impact of wind energy on our nation, and Iowa is at the forefront of it all. [ read more … ]

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