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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 20, 2021

Top Story

West Risks Blackouts as Hydroelectric Power Dries Up

By Katherine Blunt and Jim Carlton, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:13:07

States across the West are at risk of electricity shortages this summer as a crippling drought reduces the amount of water needed to generate hydroelectric power. Some of the region’s largest reservoirs are at historically low levels after a dry winter and spring reduced the amount of snowpack and precipitation feeding rivers and streams. The conditions are especially dire in drought-stricken California, where officials say the reservoir system has seen an unprecedented loss of runoff this spring—800,000 acre-feet, or enough to supply more than a million households for a year. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

The Dark Side of Solar Power

By Atalay Atasu, Serasu Duran, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Harbard Business Review  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:11:20

Economic incentives are rapidly aligning to encourage customers to trade their existing panels for newer, cheaper, more efficient models. In an industry where circularity solutions such as recycling remain woefully inadequate, the sheer volume of discarded panels will soon pose a risk of existentially damaging proportions.
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Battery Storage

California Battery Boom Didn’t Come Fast Enough to Beat the Heat

By Brian Eckhouse and David R Baker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:14:34

Big batteries intended to save California from blackouts haven’t been added in time to stave off the threat of outages as the state struggles to meet power demand during this year’s first major heat wave. That leaves the Golden State again dependent on conservation pleas to ease demand for tight electricity supplies amid soaring temperatures, an approach that fell short during the hot weather that forced rolling outages in August. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden hits roadblocks on path to low-carbon economy

By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:13:36

When President Joe Biden announced in April that he was planning to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half over the next nine years, administration officials believed the goal was ambitious but achievable through policies that would accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and effectively ban power plants from emitting carbon dioxide. But a series of early setbacks in both court and Congress is providing a reality check for the administration. Biden is quickly finding out that achieving such a sharp drop in emissions over such a short period will be inordinately difficult in the current political climate. [ read more … ]

States

Inslee lauds wind-energy jobs during visit to Port of Vancouver

By Anthony Macuk, Seattle Times  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:12:39

Gov. Jay Inslee paid a visit to the Port of Vancouver to tour one of the terminals where a shipment of wind-turbine blades is in the process of being unloaded and trucked out to a wind-energy project near Wasco, Ore. The port has positioned itself as a major import destination for wind-energy components, bringing in components for more than 2,700 wind turbines last year, which contributed to a record-breaking financial year despite the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Maine Becomes First State to Order Public Fossil-Fuel Divestment

By Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:13:55

Maine became the first U.S. state to enact a law requiring divestment from fossil fuels, after Governor Janet Mills signed a measure ordering public funds to jettison investments in coal, petroleum, natural gas and related products. The state treasury and the $17 billion public employees’ pension fund must dump any fossil-fuel holdings by 2026, according to the measure signed on Wednesday. The Maine Public Employees Retirement System holds more than $1.3 billion in fossil fuel companies, according to environmental group Stand.earth. Holdings as of the first quarter included Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., with both companies among the fund’s top 30 investments by market value, data posted on its website show. [ read more … ]

FERC

To address transmission issues, FERC and NARUC agree to tackle barriers through a new task force

By DAVID WAGMAN, PV Review  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:11:47

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved creating a joint task force with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) to address issues related to electric transmission. The Joint Federal State Task Force on Electric Transmission will consider a range of topics, including how states can voluntarily coordinate in order to identify, plan, and develop regional transmission projects. [ read more … ]

EVs

EV Startups Are in Trouble. Investors Don’t Care.

By Eliot Brown, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-06-20 14:12:15

Lordstown Motors Corp. RIDE 3.30% , an electric-truck startup, is off to a bumpy start as a public company. In the past month, it said it missed its targets on costs and production, acknowledged it overstated preorders, told investors it didn’t have enough money to start full production and parted with its CEO and CFO. Yet the company’s investors are rather unfazed: Lordstown’s share price is roughly the same as in mid-May.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.