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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 29, 2021

Top Story

California hit 95% renewable energy, but challenges remain

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:30:28

Something remarkable happened over the weekend: California hit nearly 95% renewable energy. I’ll say it again: 95% renewables. For all the time we spend talking about how to reach 100% clean power, it sometimes seems like a faraway proposition, whether the timeframe is California’s 2045 target or President Biden’s more aggressive 2035 goal. But on Saturday just before 2:30 p.m., one of the world’s largest economies came within a stone’s throw of getting there. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Wind power a smaller contributor to Texas electricity crisis than initially estimated, ERCOT analysis shows

By Erin Douglas,  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:31:43

An updated analysis of February’s Texas power crisis by experts at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows that lost wind power generation was a small component of the huge losses in electric generation that plunged much of the state into darkness during the severe cold weather. While Texas Republicans were quick to blame renewable energy during the storm — and have continued to target renewable energy for reform during this year’s legislative session — a recently updated report on the causes of generator outages during the week of Feb. 14 show that the most significant cause of the low power supply to the grid came from natural gas plants shutting down or reducing electricity production due to cold weather, equipment failures and natural gas shortages. [ read more … ]

Mills pushes for 10-year ban on offshore wind development in state waters

BY TUX TURKEL, Portland Press Herald  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:32:03

As fishing interests geared up early Wednesday for a rally against offshore wind power development, the administration of Gov. Janet Mills introduced legislation to create a 10-year ban on new projects in state waters. The proposed moratorium would set aside state waters, which extend up to three miles from shore, for fishing and recreation. It would focus commercial-scale wind project development in federal waters of the Gulf of Maine, where the Mills administration has proposed a first-in-the-nation research array to study floating offshore wind technology. [ read more … ]

Air Pollution

Deadly air pollutant ‘disproportionately and systematically’ harms Americans of color, study finds

By Juliet Eilperin and Darryl Fears, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:30:52

The findings of researchers from five universities, published in the online journal Science Advances, provide the most detailed evidence to date of how Americans of color have not reaped the same benefits as White Americans, even though the country has made major strides in curbing pollution from cars, trucks, factories and other sources. The particles studied have diameters of no more than 2.5 micrometers — one-thirtieth the width of a human hair — and can become embedded in the lungs. Known as Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, they account for between 85,000 and 200,000 premature U.S. deaths each year. [ read more … ]

People of Color Breathe More Hazardous Air. The Sources Are Everywhere.

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Nadja Popovich, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:31:08

The coronavirus pandemic, which has taken a disproportionate toll on Black, Latino and other communities, added to the burdens. “A lot of families have kids with asthma. There’s high rates of respiratory illness. Many people have died from cancer and other types of diseases,” said Vivian Huang, a director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, which works with communities that live at the fence line of refineries and other polluting facilities in California. “The Covid pandemic has just exacerbated these immense inequalities.” [ read more … ]

Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:32:34

The Senate voted on Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation designed to clamp down on emissions of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate change promises. Taking a page from congressional Republicans who in 2017 made liberal use of a once-obscure law to roll back Obama-era regulations, Democrats invoked the law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer. That rule had eliminated Obama-era controls on leaks of methane, which seeps from oil and gas wells.
[ read more … ]

Biden Administration

The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy

By Dave Merrill, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:33:04

At his international climate summit last week, President Joe Biden vowed to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The goal will require sweeping changes in the power generation, transportation and manufacturing sectors. It will also require a tremendous amount of land. Wind farms, solar installations and other forms of clean power take up far more space on a per-watt basis than their fossil-fuel-burning brethren. A 200-megawatt wind farm, for instance, might require spreading turbines over 19 square miles (49 square kilometres). A natural-gas power plant with that same generating capacity could fit onto a single city block. [ read more … ]

EVs

Why some electric car owners revert back to buying gasoline-powered vehicles

By Bob Yirka, Tech Xplore  •    •  Posted 2021-04-29 16:31:23

A pair of researchers with the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis has looked into the problem of some people who buy electric vehicles reverting back to gasoline powered cars as their follow-up vehicles. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, Scott Hardman and Gil Tal describe the survey they sent out to electric vehicle buyers in California and what they learned from those who filled out and returned them. [ read more … ]

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