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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 16, 2020

Top Story

Want 100% clean power? Forget new technology, study says

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:56:28

The United States could transition to 100% carbon-free electricity more cheaply if it focuses on existing technologies and a national build-out of transmission, rather than next-generation technologies like carbon capture and small nuclear plants, according to a new study. Published in the journal Joule last week, the study finds that expanding transmission lines across states and regions, and implementing a national process for coordinating regional grids, could cut the cost of obtaining carbon-free power by 46% compared with a state-by-state decarbonization process. [ read more … ]

Relief Funding Bills

Exclusive: Congress reaches compromise on clean energy deal to be attached to government funding bill

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 15:01:29

House and Senate leaders have agreed to include a suite of clean energy innovation measures in a year-end omnibus spending bill to be introduced as soon as tomorrow. A bipartisan energy package hitched to the spending bill, seen by the Washington Examiner, includes provisions to boost technologies such as advanced nuclear power, energy storage, carbon capture utilization, and direct air capture. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Report: U.S. solar shrugged off pandemic, enjoyed 2020 boom

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:59:56

Multiple market forces pushed up U.S. demand for solar energy in late summer and early fall this year, more than offsetting an earlier slowdown attributed to the impacts of COVID-19. Solar energy sales, led by utility-scale projects, have accounted for 43% of all new electric generating capacity this year and are now seen as likely to lead to a record annual volume for sales. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Claims of ‘Bleak’ Environmental Justice Record Appear to Fell a Biden Favorite

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 15:00:29

When Joseph R. Biden, Jr. won the presidential election, his top candidate to lead the nation’s most powerful environmental agency appeared clear: Mary D. Nichols, California’s clean air regulator and arguably the country’s most experienced climate change official, was seen as a lock to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Now Mr. Biden’s team is scrambling to find someone else, according to several people who have spoken with the presidential transition team. The chief reason: This month, a group of more than 70 environmental justice groups wrote to the Biden transition charging that Ms. Nichols has a “bleak track record in addressing environmental racism.”
[ read more … ]

Former Google Executive Eyed as Biden Nears Climate Team Picks

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:57:39

President-elect Joe Biden is nearing decisions on the team of officials who will chart his environmental and energy policy, as transition advisers home in on government veterans who can move aggressively to drive his clean-energy agenda. The candidates include former EPA chief Gina McCarthy and onetime Googleexecutive Arun Majumdar as well as Senator Tom Udall and North Carolina environmental regulator Michael Regan, according to people familiar with the matter. [ read more … ]

Gina McCarthy emerges as top choice for climate adviser

By Scott Waldman and Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 15:00:07

President-elect Joe Biden wants his climate adviser to be a Washington combat veteran. And it’s looking increasingly likely his warrior will be former EPA chief Gina McCarthy. McCarthy has emerged as the top candidate for a domestic climate adviser position that would manage the administration’s global warming work across multiple agencies, two sources close to the transition talks said. If selected, McCarthy would focus on domestic climate policy, while former Secretary of State John Kerry would serve as international climate envoy. [ read more … ]


Message to Biden: Boost FERC, expand grid

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:59:26

Policy analysts are urging President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration to use existing authority to expand the nation’s electric grid and to consider boosting the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A study out of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity focused on the need for more long-distance transmission capacity to ship carbon-free solar and wind power across the country. [ read more … ]

Major hack hits energy companies, U.S. agencies

By Blake Sobczak, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:58:52

Top cybersecurity officials are scrambling to assess the fallout from a far-reaching hack of U.S. federal agencies and global companies, with electric power utilities, at least two Energy Department national labs and thousands of other organizations potentially breached. The Homeland Security, Treasury and Commerce departments have each had some networks hacked, Reuters first reported, though other agencies also likely fell victim to the cyber espionage campaign given its massive reach. [ read more … ]

Climate Accord

Countries roll out 2030 Paris Accord goals amid US absence

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:57:20

China, the United Kingdom and the European Union all laid out goals to achieve greater emission reductions as part of the Paris climate accord over the weekend at what was likely the last United Nations climate summit without a U.S. presence. The three powers all vowed to make greater emissions reductions by 2030 during the summit, which marked the fifth anniversary of the global climate accord. [ read more … ]


Exxon Sets New Emissions Goals Following Investor Criticism

By Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:58:15

Exxon Mobil Corp. entered 2020 with a multiyear growth plan projected to significantly increase its greenhouse-gas emissions. Then came Covid-19 and criticism from activist investors over its record on climate and financial returns. Now the year will end with Exxon setting new, more ambitious targets to reduce emissions per barrel of oil and disclose, for the first time, data on pollution related to customers’ use of its fuels. [ read more … ]


Toyota’s Solid-State Battery Prototype Could Be an EV Game Changer

By Aaron Gold, Motor Trend  •    •  Posted 2020-12-15 14:56:55

Imagine an electric car battery that provides more than 300 miles of range, charges in approximately ten minutes, requires no bulky heating and cooling systems, maintains 80 percent of its charge capacity for 800 cycles (about 240,000 miles), and isn’t prone to spontaneous combustion. Such is the promise of the solid-state car battery, a holy grail that automakers and manufacturers are racing to find. Now, Toyota announced it’ll have a running prototype with a solid-state battery ready by next year. [ read more … ]


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