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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 6, 2021

Top Story

How China Beat the U.S. to Become World’s Undisputed Solar Champion

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:34:54

A rapidly growing competitor had also set its sights on dominating solar manufacturing. China, eager to prove the supremacy of its socialist-market model, was mustering government investments that dwarfed the U.S. effort and coupling them with national mandates that forced utilities to use renewable power. It established an end-to-end supply chain — the country now makes most of the world’s polysilicon, a key material in solar panels — and ignored pleas by environmentalists to close coal plants that supply the cheap electricity needed to make solar equipment. It also kept its labor costs lower than those in most industrial countries and has been willing to prop up unprofitable operations. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Expanding Wind Power While Killing Fewer Migratory Birds Is Biden’s Quandary

By Katy Stech Ferek, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:38:00

President Biden has taken steps to restore criminal penalties for accidental killing of migratory birds, a move that if adopted as expected later this year would add pressure to wind power developers who are working to fulfill his mandate to boost wind-farm developments as sources of clean energy. Wind turbines—some with 200-foot blades spinning up to 180 mph—are estimated to kill between 140,000 and 500,000 birds a year through accidental collisions, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [ read more … ]

Ohio Senate passes bill creating new hurdles for wind, solar development

By Jake Zuckerman, Ohio Capital Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:36:00

The Ohio Senate passed legislation Wednesday granting new powers to county commissions to scuttle wind and solar development projects. Senate Bill 52 would require the green energy developers — before filing a separate application with the state Power Siting Board that currently exists in law — to hold a public hearing with advance notice to local officials. County commissions could then pass resolutions to ban wind or solar projects outright or limit them to certain “energy development districts” in the county. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar Power’s Land Grab Hits a Snag: Environmentalists

By Jim Carlton and photographs by Bridget Bennett, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:37:46

This windswept desert community is full of clean energy supporters including Suzanne Rebich, an airline pilot who recently topped her house with 36 solar panels. About 200 homes generate their own solar energy and a quarter of the local electricity supply comes from hydroelectric power. All the same, many here are dead set against a planned solar plant atop the Mormon Mesa, which overlooks this valley 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Slated to be the biggest solar plant in the U.S., the Battle Born Solar Project by California-based Arevia Power would carpet 14 square miles—the equivalent of 7,000 football fields—with more than a million solar panels 10 to 20 feet tall. It would be capable of producing 850 megawatts of electricity, or roughly one-tenth of Nevada’s current capacity. [ read more … ]

Fla. solar plans stoke fight over ‘environmental racism’

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:36:17

A northern Florida town is at the center of a clash between renewable energy developers and residents of a historically Black community — one that highlights an emerging rift between President Biden’s environmental justice and clean energy goals. Many Archer residents are descendants of slaves and some of the nation’s earliest Black landowners. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden Narrows Infrastructure Request, but Hurdles Remain for Bipartisan Deal

By Jim Tankersley and Emily Cochrane, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:35:25

President Biden offered a series of concessions to try to secure a $1 trillion infrastructure deal with Senate Republicans in an Oval Office meeting this week, narrowing both his spending and tax proposals as negotiations barreled into the final days of what could be an improbable agreement or a blame game that escalates quickly. A deal still appears to be a long shot, with potential tax increases the biggest hurdle to winning the kind of Republican support that Mr. Biden has said he is seeking. But the continued movement underscored his hopes for a revival of bipartisanship. [ read more … ]

Climate

An enormous missing contribution to global warming may have been right under our feet

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:34:35

Long before the era of fossil fuels, humans may have triggered a massive but mysterious “carbon bomb” lurking beneath the surface of the Earth, a new scientific study suggests. If the finding is correct, it would mean that we have been neglecting a major human contribution to global warming — one whose legacy continues. The researchers, from France’s Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences and several other institutions across the globe, suggest that beginning well before the industrial era, the mass conversion of carbon-rich peatlands for agriculture could have added over 250 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of more than seven years of current emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for energy. [ read more … ]

What a Dutch Court Ruling Means for Shell and Big Oil

By Diederik Baazil and Laura Millan Lombrana, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:35:10

Climate lawyers are preparing to take on more fossil-fuel companies after a Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc to cut its emissions faster than planned, on the grounds that the oil giant is violating human rights by contributing to global warming. It was a turning point for climate court cases, which boomed after the Paris Agreement on global warming was reached in 2015. Initially, many cases challenged governments’ plans, but litigators are increasingly targeting companies.
[ read more … ]

What US policymakers can glean from Iceland’s clean energy evolution

By Einar Hansen Tomasson, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:37:12

As the U.S. imagines a clean energy future, policymakers can find inspiration in the remarkable energy transition that occurred in my country, Iceland. Today, Iceland is the world’s largest green energy producer per capita, but it was not always that way. [ read more … ]

EVs

Ford Production of Electric Mustang Exceeds Gas-Powered Models

By Keith Naughton, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-06-06 11:35:41

Ford Motor Co. surpassed a significant milestone in its conversion to electric vehicles, producing more battery-powered Mustangs so far this year than gasoline-fueled versions of its iconic pony car. Ford has built 27,816 electric Mustang Mach-E models at a plant in Mexico this year compared to 26,089 copies of the traditional internal combustion engine Mustang at a factory in Michigan, according to production data the automaker released Thursday. [ read more … ]

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