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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 1, 2020

Top Story

2019 set records for renewable energy jobs

By Nathanial Gronewold, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:18:10

About 11.5 million workers — a record number — were employed worldwide by the renewable energy industry in 2019, according to new market research. It’s an encouraging sign for the burgeoning field, though one that comes with an asterisk — as the figures provide a snapshot of a sector still largely unaffected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Solar jobs led the pack last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. About 3.8 million employees were working in solar photovoltaic manufacturing and installations. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

U.K. Plans to Create Offshore Grid to Connect Wind Farms

By Rachel Morison, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:14:48

The U.K. is the largest market in the world for offshore wind and has set a target to build 40 gigawatts by 2030, a four-fold increase from now. Achieving this would cost as much as 50 billion pounds and require one turbine to be installed every weekday during the whole of the 2020s, according to Aurora Energy Research Ltd. Linking all this capacity to the onshore grid is likely to be both costly and difficult. [ read more … ]

Fusion Energy

Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest

By Henry Fountain, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:17:18

Scientists developing a compact version of a nuclear fusion reactor have shown in a series of research papers that it should work, renewing hopes that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achieved and eventually contribute to the fight against climate change. Construction of a reactor, called Sparc, which is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is expected to begin next spring and take three or four years, the researchers and company officials said. [ read more … ]

Fusion energy possible within this decade — scientists

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:15:23

The dream of making a power plant that doesn’t require fossil fuels or pose the potential for dangerous nuclear meltdowns has stumbled along since the late 1950s, when Russian scientists began experimenting with a fusion-powered reactor they called a tokamak. But fusion brought its own set of hard problems that kept pushing it into the distant future — until yesterday. An international team of 47 researchers published seven papers asserting that the physics for creating peaceful, economical power from fusion may be demonstrated this decade. [ read more … ]

States

Backers of consumer-owned power utility move to put question on Maine ballot

BY TUX TURKEL. Portland Press Herald  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:17:50

Advocates for buying out Maine’s two investor-owned electric utilities and replacing them with a ratepayer-owned entity have begun an effort to bring the question to voters next year.
The supporters of a consumer-owned power authority filed a request on Sept. 18 with the Secretary of State’s Office. It reads: “Do you want to create a not-for-profit, consumer-owned utility called the Maine Power Delivery Authority, to replace the two investor-owned utilities known as Central Maine Power and Versant (Power) and to be governed by a board that is elected by Maine voters and required to focus on lower rates, better reliability and Maine’s climate goals?” [ read more … ]

Markets

France’s Total says oil demand could peak by 2030

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:15:45

French oil major Total SE said oil demand could peak by 2030 under a scenario where global warming is limited to 1.7 degrees Celsius, according to a company report yesterday. The report, “Total Energy Outlook,” said that under a “rupture scenario” where all countries are committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions, oil demand peaks by decade’s end and coal “almost disappears” on a worldwide scale. [ read more … ]

EVs

Clean-Energy SPACs Are Flooding the Market

By Tim Quinson, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:14:32

A different kind of clean-energy vehicle is emerging, and it isn’t made by Tesla. At least nine clean-energy companies, most of which have little to no revenue, are planning to go public between now and the end of the year via reverse mergers with “blank-check” financiers, also known as special purpose acquisition companies. The deals are emerging at a time of increasing scrutiny of SPACs. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said last week that regulators are examining whether investors are receiving appropriate disclosures from these vehicles about insiders’ lucrative pay structures. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Bare-knuckled debate tests Biden, Trump claims on energy

By Lesley Clark, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:15:02

Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden pledged his plan for a carbon-free energy sector by 2035 would create “millions” of jobs in a chaotic first presidential debate last night marked by testy exchanges and frequent interruptions. Biden’s defense of his clean energy plan that would involve a massive overhaul of the U.S. power sector came as he parried President Trump’s inaccurate assertion that Biden’s plan to tackle climate change would cost $100 trillion. [ read more … ]

It’s the dumbest.’ Climate crashes wild debate

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:16:00

Between cross-talk and insults, climate change got more attention last night than in any other presidential debate in history. Voters might not have noticed. The bare-knuckle bar fight of a presidential debate was nearing the end when it turned to fuel economy standards and the Clean Power Plan. [ read more … ]

Trump misled viewers on clean cars and gas mileage

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:16:16

President Trump misrepresented his rollback of clean car standards and his record on electric vehicle subsidies at the first presidential debate last night, in a remarkably substantive exchange on climate and transportation policy. As part of an unexpected series of questions on climate change, moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked Trump why he loosened fuel economy standards established by former President Obama, a move that will increase pollutants in the atmosphere. Trump said earlier that he wanted “immaculate air.” [ read more … ]

Joe Biden walks political tightrope by saying he does not support the Green New Deal

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:16:35

While Biden’s plan is more aggressive than anything from any other major party candidate, the Green New Deal sought for more. That plan, which Biden’s eventual running mate Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) co-sponsored, called for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the entire U.S. economy within just 10 years. Ocasio-Cortez and Markey’s nonbinding resolution set a goal, but didn’t specify how those emissions cuts would be achieved, and labor leaders said the timeline was too unrealistic.  [ read more … ]

FirstEnergy

Former ComEd VP pleads guilty, agrees to cooperate with feds in bribery case orbiting House Speaker Michael Madigan

By Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune  •    •  Posted 2020-09-30 15:16:59

Former Commonwealth Edison executive Fidel Marquez could have faced years behind bars for his role in a massive bribery scheme that directed illicit payments to allies of powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Instead, by cooperating with prosecutors, Marquez is in line to avoid prison altogether. [ read more … ]

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