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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 8, 2021

Top Story

Bay Area cities have banned gas to fight climate change. But not Los Angeles

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:56:36

Over the last two years, 42 California cities and counties have banned or discouraged gas hookups in new buildings. The policies vary from place to place, but the goal is to shift homes and businesses from gas furnaces and stoves — which generate planet-warming emissions — to electric alternatives such as heat pumps and induction cooktops. Los Angeles had hoped to be a leader in this area. The sustainability plan released by Mayor Eric Garcetti in April 2019 said all new buildings should be “net-zero carbon” by 2030, with existing buildings converted to zero-emission technologies by 2050. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Floating Wind Turbines Buoy Hopes of Expanding Renewable Energy

By Sarah McFarlane, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:55:01

Off the east coast of Scotland, in water more than 300 feet deep, five towering turbines weighing thousands of tons float in the North Sea. Installed in 2017, the turbines power about 36,000 homes a year. Wind farms have been erected on land and at sea for decades, but Hywind Scotland, operated by Norwegian oil giant Equinor AS A, is the first to float. Instead of being inserted into steel tubes buried in the seabed, the turbines sit in cylindrical buoys that are fixed to the seabed by mooring lines. The approach promises to enable wind farms in much deeper water, where there are often stronger winds, opening up swaths of untapped coastline to renewable energy. [ read more … ]

Rich Hamptons Residents Scared of ‘Violent Energy Releases’ From Offshore Wind Farm Cable

By Molly Taft, Gizmodo  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:53:00

If New York doesn’t meet its renewable energy goals over the next few years, some billionaires might be to blame. A group of well-heeled Hamptons property owners filed a lawsuit this week seeking to block a key piece of infrastructure needed to construct a large wind farm off the coast of Long Island. The Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott’s suit alleges that the town of East Hampton’s board rushed ahead with plans to install a cable along a small beach and town roads in the hamlet of Wainscott. The cable would connect the proposed South Fork Wind Farm owned by Danish company Ørsted to the grid. It’s one of five offshore wind projects New York is pursuing to help meet its target of 70% renewable energy in the next decade. [ read more … ]

South Korea unveils $43 billion plan for world’s largest offshore wind farm

By Hyonhee Shin, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:49:18

South Korea unveiled a 48.5 trillion won ($43.2 billion) plan to build the world’s largest wind power plant by 2030 as part of efforts to foster an environmentally-friendly recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is a major component of President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal, initiated last year to curb reliance on fossil fuels in Asia’s fourth-largest economy and make it carbon neutral by 2050.South Korea unveiled a 48.5 trillion won ($43.2 billion) plan to build the world’s largest wind power plant by 2030 as part of efforts to foster an environmentally-friendly recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
[ read more … ]

Denmark to build North Sea island to serve as wind power hub

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:52:39

Denmark has agreed to build an island in the North Sea that would gather and distribute electricity from wind energy farms. The 210-billion-kroner ($34 billion) artificial island will be created about 50 miles off the country’s west coast and will connect to several European countries. It would start with 3 gigawatts of capacity, enough to cover the electricity needs of 3 million European households, the Danish Energy Agency said. [ read more … ]

U.S. Wind Power Installations Surged to Record in 2020

By Josh Saul, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:54:10

The U.S. wind industry had its strongest year ever in 2020, nearly doubling installations from the prior year to reach a record high. Developers built almost 17 gigawatts of capacity during the year, enough to power over 5 million homes, according to a report from the American Clean Power Association, a trade group. Most of that growth came in the fourth quarter as developers moved to complete projects before the expected expiration of federal tax incentives at year-end. [ read more … ]

Clean Energy

Democratic senator pushes for clean electricity standard

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:57:13

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) on Thursday pushed for the adoption of a clean electricity standard, and for potentially using budget rules that sidestep the filibuster to get it done. “We have to understand that this transition will happen and we can either choose to lead in this clean energy transition, or we can follow,” Smith told reporters Thursday.  “The clean electricity standard is a powerful tool for realizing this positive transition. [ read more … ]

House Democrats want to boost clean energy incentives

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:57:53

The bill would extend to 2026 the production and investment tax credits for wind and solar energy, with the solar credit staying as is and the wind credit continuing at its 60% phase-down level. The bill would enable energy storage technologies to qualify for the investment tax credit. The carbon capture and storage credit, known as 45Q, would also get an extension to 2026, and companies would be able to get direct payments, a top industry priority. The credits received short-term extensions as part of the broader pandemic relief and spending omnibus package Congress passed at the end of last year.
[ read more … ]

How Democrats may try getting around the filibuster on climate change

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:59:11

Some Democratic lawmakers are throwing their weight behind the idea of circumventing an arcane Senate rule to pass a major piece of President Biden’s climate plan — with just 51 votes.
Standing in his way is the Senate filibuster, requiring most bills to get 60 votes to pass. Democrats have a razor-thin 50-50 edge in the Senate, with Vice President Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. [ read more … ]

Manchin warns Democrats against pursuing a carbon tax

By Jeremy Dillon and Adam Aton, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:59:37

The Senate’s most-watched Democrat ripped into his own party yesterday, drawing red lines on energy policy and warning President Biden to rein in his base-pleasing progressive actions. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he wants Biden’s agenda to pass with Republican support, but that the president has already endangered that prospect with his early moves, which included an array of executive orders on climate and a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal. [ read more … ]


How states may drive — or foil — Biden’s clean energy plan

By Kristi E. Swartz and Edward Klump, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:52:14

While President Biden may motivate climate action, a trend has also formed at state capitols that could drive action on clean energy: From Phoenix to Atlanta, lawmakers are pushing topics like jobs, energy justice and revival of pandemic-wrecked economies along with bills that call for more electric vehicles as well as additional renewable technologies and battery storage. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still hanging over the nation, legislatures are being tasked first with saving shattered state budgets, clouding the outlook for comprehensive energy bills. [ read more … ]


FERC’s new Republican on CO2 price, batteries and ‘Spinal Tap’

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:53:34

The independent commission could play a critical role in Biden’s agenda as the administration moves to decarbonize the grid and meet aggressive climate goals. For its part, FERC hosted a marathon technical conference to weigh carbon pricing last October, and several regional grid operators are drafting proposals. But Christie said his main objective as a federal regulator is to ensure reliable electricity at affordable costs. “We have a lot of Americans that are struggling, and we have to be very concerned about what they’re going to pay,” he said. [ read more … ]


Ford to go all in on electric vehicles

By Tom Krisher, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:50:29

The company said yesterday it is generating strong cash flow and will go all in on electric vehicles. Ford said it would now spend at least $22 billion developing them from 2016 through 2025, nearly double what it previously announced. Before taxes the company made $1.7 billion for the year, but it was brought down by restructuring costs in Europe, South America and elsewhere. Also contributing were a $610 million government-ordered recall of 2.7 million vehicles with dangerous Takata air bag inflators and a $1.2 billion one-time accounting charge for falling pension-fund values.
[ read more … ]

Auto industry peers into an electric future and sees bumps ahead

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:47:42

Will Ferrell has it out for Norway. “Did you know that Norway sells way more electric cars per capita than the U.S.?” he asks before smashing his fist through a plastic globe. In an unlikely and very expensive Super Bowl ad made by the usually-staid General Motors, a disheveled, bearded Ferrell shouts “Well I won’t stand for it!” During a break in the Super Bowl action, the comedian vows to “crush” Norway and recruits help from Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” and actress and rapper Awkwafina in a multimillion-dollar promotion for GM’s Ultium battery. At the end, after Ferrell mistakenly winds up in Sweden and Thompson and Awkwafina mistakenly end up in Finland, the ad says “We’re coming, Norway.” [ read more … ]

Big Oil is backing EVs: What is going on?

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-07 13:51:12

An oil giant is readying a plan to help the U.S. oil capital charge electric vehicles. London-based BP PLC is headlining a new program with Uber Technologies Inc., the ride-hailing company, to explore the placement of rapid EV charging hubs in Houston. Details remain elusive, including how many chargers may get built and at what cost. But the scope and timeline could firm up later this year, and the plan may include charging hubs in parking lots and other locations. [ read more … ]



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