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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 9, 2020

Top Story

Price Is No Longer an Obstacle to Clean Power

By Peter R. Orszag, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:46:06

Renewable power costs are dropping so fast, both utility-scale solar and onshore wind power have become cheaper than natural gas or coal power, as Lazard’s levelized-cost-of-energy estimates from 2019 show. As I wrote when these numbers came out, multiple forces have driven costs down, including ongoing improvements in technology and lower capital costs. (In November, Lazard will have updated estimates of the cost of various energy technologies.) [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Wind, solar smash records. Analysts worry it won’t last

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:45:02

The United States is on pace to install record amounts of wind and solar this year, underscoring America’s capacity to build renewables at a level once considered impossible. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the U.S. will install 37 gigawatts of new wind and solar capacity this year, obliterating the previous record of almost 17 GW in 2016. The renewable boom boosts U.S. climate efforts. Energy modelers think the nation will need to deploy about 40 GW of wind and solar every year over the next decade to achieve deep decarbonization of its electric grids. [ read more … ]

Sens. Collins, King Announce Major Investment in Maine’s Leadership in Clean Energy

By Targeted News Service  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:43:57

“Maine is committed to the development of clean energy, the fight against climate change, and the pursuit of innovation to broaden and strengthen economic opportunities for our people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This important award will give Maine a roadmap for growing our clean energy economy in collaboration with our heritage industries, especially fishing, in order to support our state’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and sound the call that Maine intends to be a global competitor, innovator and leader in floating offshore wind.” [ read more … ]

Total adds floating wind project to growing green portfolio

By Francois de Beaupuy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:44:15

Total SE took a stake in a French floating wind farm project, its third investment in the nascent industry this year as the oil and gas giant reshapes itself for a low-carbon future.
While wind farms built directly on the sea bed have become widespread and cost-competitive with other forms of energy, floating turbines that would allow clean electricity to be generated in deeper waters are a relatively new technology. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar groups challenge FERC Broadview order reversing 40 years of PURPA precedent

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:39:52

PURPA has been a hot button topic for a long time, but focus on the 42-year-old law has heightened over the past year since FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on it in September of 2019, and a subsequent final rule in July. In neither of those proceedings did the commission weigh whether to change its stance on what qualifies as a facility’s maximum power threshold, SEIA said in its rehearing request , despite extensive review of other provisions in the FPA. Therefore, the group alleged that FERC’s ruling “is a violation of the APA and an abuse of discretion.” [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

Calif. blackouts show grid’s scary, hot future

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:41:28

Rotating power blackouts in August exposed California officials’ failure to align clean energy and grid reliability goals with the escalating threats from climate change, a report by state regulators has found. The outages cut off power to a total of 812,600 customers on Aug. 14 and 16, as a siege of temperatures across the West exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit pushed California’s grid to its limits. [ read more … ]

Newsom seeks to preserve 30% of land, water for climate

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:43:26

Nearly one-third of California land and coastal waters must be preserved by 2030 to help prevent the release of emissions that are causing climate change under an executive order signed by the governor yesterday. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) directed the California Natural Resources Agency and other departments to devise a plan by early 2022 for reaching the goal. The move comes as catastrophic wildfires ravage California and mark the latest effort by Newsom to accelerate state efforts to address climate change. [ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Feud over car defects could affect climate law

By Pamela King, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:42:49

A Supreme Court battle over the proper venue for a motor vehicle defect liability case soon could ripple through legal efforts by local governments to get Big Oil to pay for climate impacts. The nation’s highest bench heard arguments yesterday in Ford Motor Co. v. Montana 8th Judicial District Court, in which the Michigan-based automaker argued that a court in the Treasure State was not the proper home for litigation stemming from a 2015 car accident that killed Montana resident Markkaya Jean Gullett. Ford argued that the Montana courts did not have specific personal jurisdiction simply because Gullett’s accident took place in the state — a position that, if the Supreme Court accepts it, could throw a wrench into lawsuits by Rhode Island, Baltimore, and other cities and states seeking compensation from the energy industry for its contributions to climate-induced flooding, wildfires and storms.
[ read more … ]

D.C. Circuit showdown over Trump carbon rule begins

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:40:55

EPA will make a high-stakes courtroom argument today in favor of a more restrictive view of the federal government’s authority to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
The agency is coming before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this morning in a long-anticipated hearing to defend the Trump administration’s move last year to undo President Obama’s landmark 2015 Clean Power Plan (CPP) and replace it with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. EPA claims it can only take regulatory action that can be applied directly to coal-fired power plants, rather than take a systemwide approach championed by the agency under Obama. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden Considering New White House Office on Climate Change

By Ari Natter, Jennifer A Dlouhy and Tyler Pager, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:40:05

Democrat Joe Biden is considering creating a special White House office led by a climate “czar” to coordinate efforts to fight global warming if he is elected president, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Among the candidates being discussed to head the operation are former Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped broker the landmark Paris climate accord, and Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington who ran for the Democratic nomination on climate issues, according to the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss non-public deliberations. John Podesta, President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff, has also been mentioned. [ read more … ]

Harris played defense against Pence’s climate denial

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:42:12

Public reaction to the clash will test months and months of polling that suggests aggressive climate action is more popular than maintaining business as usual. But whatever the response, Harris’ performance indicated Democrats still struggle to frame climate policy as an economic benefit in the face of conservative attacks, despite the mounting costs of inaction. Pence doubled-down on questioning humanity’s role in warming. And some of his statements — like his assertion that the Trump administration shapes its policies according to climate science — were outright falsehoods. [ read more … ]

Pence suggests we don’t know why the Earth is warming. We absolutely do.

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-10-08 16:44:35

“The climate is changing,” Pence said during his first and only debate with Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). “The issue is, what’s the cause, and what do we do about it?” Scientists, in fact, are much more certain about the causes of climate change than Pence suggests. The burning of fossil fuels and other human activity are pumping the air with heat-trapping pollution that is warming the planet.  [ read more … ]


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