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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 26, 2021

Top Story

Clogged power grid is blocking renewables. Here’s a fix

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:53:52

Although the Watt Coalition study suggests grid enhancements are an obvious solution, it also raises a question: Why aren’t utilities and other transmission owners pursuing them already? Rob Gramlich, executive director of the Watt Coalition, said the reason is twofold. The first he calls the iPhone effect. Just as consumers couldn’t envision how useful smartphones would be until they actually used them, utilities haven’t fully realized the benefits of grid technology because deployment has been so limited and most companies have no experience with them. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Driving on sunshine

By Sarah Kaplan and Aaron Steckelberg, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:50:00

Aptera Motors, a California company whose name comes from the ancient Greek for “wingless,” is rolling out the first mass-produced solar car this year. It’s a three-wheel, ultra-aerodynamic electric vehicle covered in 34 square feet of solar cells. The car is so efficient that, on a clear day, those cells alone could provide enough energy to drive about 40 miles — more than twice the distance of the average American’s commute. [ read more … ]

Politics & Clean Energy Policy

House Republicans huddle quietly to plot climate strategy

By George Cahlink, Emma Dumain and Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:55:27

The House’s top energy and environment Republicans met privately in Utah last weekend to try to find ways to “reclaim the narrative” from Democrats on combating climate change and promoting conservation. Utah Rep. John Curtis, a new member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, organized the meeting that drew roughly two dozen Republican lawmakers. [ read more … ]

Clean energy politics could run through GOP-led districts

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:55:49

Republican-held congressional districts running through the nation’s center hold the most potential for creating jobs in wind and solar power and could be a key to jump-starting successful clean energy political strategies, a Brookings Institution study concludes. But from Texas to Montana and the Dakotas, a lot of congressional districts with clean energy potential are also hubs for coal, oil or gas production. Analysts at Brookings said that creates a high barrier for developing a national climate policy. [ read more … ]

Shaky bipartisanship kicks off infrastructure talks

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:56:08

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee struck a bipartisan tone on infrastructure and climate legislation yesterday, but lawmakers still have few answers for sticky questions about pay-fors and scale. Senators from both parties said during a hearing they’re hoping to craft a bipartisan bill that invests in crumbling highways and bridges and vastly expands the nation’s electric vehicle infrastructure. [ read more … ]

Blackouts

Texas power market in turmoil after devastating blackouts

By Edward Klump and Mike Lee, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:51:36

Texas’ competitive power market is in disarray after last week’s harrowing outages and high prices as companies, state leaders and grid officials try to chart a path forward and avoid another disaster. Bill Magness, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, took criticism during a virtual board meeting yesterday and said the grid operator wants to provide an “explanation, not excuses.” [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

How far will Biden go to fix the climate crisis? Pay attention to this gas project

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:52:48

A few days after Joe Biden claimed victory in the presidential election, a San Diego company quietly asked federal officials for permission to send 5 million tons of natural gas each year across the U.S.-Mexico border to an export terminal the company hopes to build along the Gulf of California. The facility would be Sempra Energy’s second fossil fuel export plant in Mexico. The Biden administration’s decision could offer an early preview of how aggressively it will confront the climate crisis. [ read more … ]

What Biden’s battery order means for EVs, DOE

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:51:05

A sweeping Biden executive order yesterday is fueling debate about whether a U.S.-based electric vehicle supply chain can be jump-started affordably by the federal government without damaging the environment. The plan signed by President Biden yesterday calls for a review of the state of domestic supplies of batteries, key battery minerals and semiconductors used in electric cars — along with the “rare earth” minerals used in wind turbines and, potentially, other materials used in clean energy. The administration wants to figure out how to wean the U.S. off of its reliance on China for many of those EV technologies and avoid shortages that could slow adoption — or, in its view, imperil national security. [ read more … ]

FERC

A conversation with Allison Clements

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-02-25 15:50:37

 In a conversation with Pro’s Eric Wolff, FERC Commissioner Allison Clements explained when the power regulator should get out of the way of state policy, when it should jump in, and why it needs to get buy-in from states to allow more transmission. [ read more … ]

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