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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 3, 2021

Top Story

After Historic Fall, Carbon Emissions Are Now Coming Back Fast

By Eric Roston, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:35:15

Pandemic restrictions in 2020 caused the largest absolute drop in carbon-dioxide pollution from energy use since World War II. But lockdowns eventually lifted, and as economic activity picked up, emissions resumed very quickly by year’s end. In December, worldwide emissions were 2% higher than the same month in 2019, according to new data from the International Energy Agency.  [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biden’s ‘Buy America’ plan may hit a solar wall

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:34:03

President Biden has pledged to make the United States a leader in clean energy manufacturing as part of his efforts to jump-start the economy and create “millions” of green jobs. But when it comes to boosting U.S. production of solar parts and modules — key technologies in Biden’s plans to zero out electricity-sector carbon emissions — the administration faces an uphill battle. Asia has maintained its status as the dominant solar manufacturing hub despite steep tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. What’s more, critics have said protectionist U.S. trade policies such as tariffs have backfired, hampering domestic solar deployment and increasing costs. [ read more … ]

Biden DOJ Says Trump ‘Lawfully’ Killed Solar-Tariff Loophole

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:31:51

The climate-focused Biden Administration said former President Donald Trump “acted lawfully and fully within his authority” when he killed a tariff exemption for two-sided solar panels, marking a potential setback to clean-power developers. The Justice Department on Monday asked the U.S. Court of International Trade to dismiss a lawsuit by parties including the Solar Energy Industries Association, which in December challenged Trump’s move to stiffen tariffs on imported solar equipment. [ read more … ]

Clean Energy Politics

After Stimulus, Biden to Tackle Another Politically Tricky Issue: Infrastructure

By Annie Karni and Jim Tankersley, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:33:19

Unless the parties can agree on how to fund an infrastructure plan, Mr. Biden might have to try to push through another sprawling spending package with only Democratic votes. The task could prove exceptionally difficult given the competing pressures the president will face from centrists and progressives in his party — and the absence of a pandemic emergency to help fuse those factions in support of the bill. [ read more … ]

Grid

Better Cables Could Halve U.S. Grid Emissions by 2030, Gates-Led Group Says

By Will Mathis and Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:35:50

The U.S. could cut emissions from its electricity grid in half within the next decade through investments in renewables and transmission, according to a research team backed by Bill Gates. At a cost of $1.5 trillion, the U.S. could reach 70% carbon-free electricity and reduce its emissions by 42% by 2030. The new model comes from Breakthrough Energy Sciences (BES), a division of the Gates-founded organization that works to promote innovation that will help eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. [ read more … ]

SCOTUS won’t review Minnesota “right of first refusal” law

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO AND MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:36:41

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear LS Power’s challenge to a 2012 Minnesota law giving transmission companies with a presence in the state a “right of first refusal” to build electric lines in their service areas, a law passed in the wake of FERC’s Order 1000 to facilitate new transmission to link regions across the U.S. [ read more … ]

Markets

Big Oil Faces Off Against Clean-Energy Giants

By Rochelle Toplensky, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:36:25

If renewables roll out at anything like the rate required to limit climate change according to the 2016 Paris agreement, there should eventually be enough growth to meet everyone’s ambitions. In the short run, however, there could be bottlenecks as the supply of assets and infrastructure struggle to match the rollout plans. Permits for new production sites and electricity lines aren’t always easy to obtain. As many oil companies have partnered with or bought existing developers, some in the green-energy industry argue it is simply the same old competitors with a different name. However, the oil majors add to the equation deep pockets, a high risk tolerance and a new strategic rationale to do deals. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden’s All-of-Government Climate Pledge Begins to Take Shape

By Courtney Rozen and Aaron Kessler, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:32:52

The Biden Administration’s decision to throw out the Trump White House’s method for calculating the social cost of carbon was one of the first tangible actions on the president’s lengthy climate change to-do list as he works to convince the world that the White House is once again serious about a global response to warming temperatures. The approach, announced Friday, pegs the social cost of carbon at $51 a ton for 2021 after adjusting for inflation at a 3% discount rate. The Biden plan, which replaces a Trump-era method that was as low as $1, will be used on an interim basis. A higher dollar figure makes it harder for agencies to issue new regulations that are more permissive to industry because it more starkly shows the benefits of tough rules outweigh the costs. [ read more … ]

Agriculture Secretary Sees ‘Early Wins’ on Climate From Farms

By Mike Dorning, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:32:22

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack predicted farms would provide “early wins” for the Biden administration’s efforts to counter climate change, and hinted he will draw on the department’s borrowing authority to fund initiatives to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. He told the National Farmers Union Monday that he believes USDA has “some flexibility” to draw resources for climate change initiatives from the Commodity Credit Corporation, a New Deal-era entity with borrowing authority that President Donald Trump tapped to fund his $28 billion trade bailout. [ read more … ]

EVs

Volvo says it will stop selling gasoline-powered cars by 2030.

By Jack Ewing, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-02 14:33:41

Volvo Cars said it would convert its entire lineup to battery power by 2030, phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles faster than other automakers like General Motors. Volvo, based in Sweden and owned by Geely Holding of China, has been ahead of larger rivals in converting to electric power. In 2019, all the models it sold were either hybrids or ran solely on batteries. [ read more … ]

 

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