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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 6, 2022

Top Story

Biden extends Trump’s solar tariffs with key exemptions

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:22:32

President Biden announced on Friday that he would extend the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar imports for another four years, but with key exemptions that pleased developers and disappointed U.S. manufacturers. In a presidential proclamation, Biden kept tariffs on solar panels made outside the U.S., saying they were still necessary to protect domestic producers. That defied the wishes of the solar industry’s main trade group, which has long sought a repeal of the tariffs, arguing they would dampen growth. [ read more … ]

States

Texas Deep Freeze Lingers While Electrical Grid Holds Steady

By Naureen S Malik, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:24:26

A bitter cold blast is gripping Texas in the wake of a winter storm, but the state’s power grid is managing to keep up with demand as residents cranked up heaters. Saturday early morning temperatures in Dallas were at 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 degrees Celsius), while Midland, in the oil- and natural gas-rich Permian Basin, was at 10 degrees, with highs later in the day only expected to reach the 30s. “That’s a solid 20 degrees below average,” said Marc Chenard, a meteorologist at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. While the snow has moved out of Texas, some roads remain dangerous. “If you have to head out be alert for icy roads and be sure to wear layers as the wind chills are pretty low.” [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biden Extends Trump’s Solar Tariffs With Key Exemption

By Justin Sink, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:23:44

President Joe Biden is extending tariffs on imported solar equipment but leaving in place a critical exemption, attempting a middle-ground approach that could boost domestic manufacturing as well as U.S. renewable-energy deployment. The tariffs had been scheduled to expire in early February and will now run for another four years, under a proclamation Biden issued Friday. Former President Donald Trump introduced the tariffs in 2018.

Biden’s move includes an exemption for imported two-sided, or bifacial, panels that are widely used in utility-scale solar projects. The exclusion was first granted by Trump, and though he later tried to eliminate it, the exemption remains in place.
[ read more … ]

California heeds solar outcry

BY MATTHEW CHOI AND JOSH SIEGEL, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:25:10

The California Public Utilities Commission is indefinitely holding off on a controversial proposal to slash rooftop solar incentives following fierce blowback from solar backers, celebrities and clean energy advocates alike. CPUC Administrative Law Judge Kelly Hymes wrote that new agency President Alice Reynolds “has requested additional time to analyze the record and consider revisions. [ read more … ]

Battery Storage

Inside Clean Energy: In the New World of Long-Duration Battery Storage, an Old Technology Holds Its Own

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:23:24

Power providers continue to work on developing long-duration energy storage, the kinds of systems that can fill in the gaps left by the intermittent nature of wind and solar power. Some companies and investors are betting on emerging technologies to provide this storage. But a project announced last week got my attention because it uses a technology that is old—or at least middle-aged. [ read more … ]

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power: CO2 fix or cost disaster?

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:22:15

President Biden’s plan to decarbonize the U.S. electricity sector by 2035 could give a boost to nuclear power, but that may hinge on two key questions: Can carbon targets really incentivize the technology, and can it compete cost wise with natural gas? It’s a debate that is resurfacing, considering recent surging prices of natural gas. [ read more … ]

Pollution

How states could topple Biden’s Justice40 goals

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:24:53

State officials could severely restrict President Biden’s promise to steer 40 percent of federal funding into communities of color that are shouldering the bruising effects of climate change, according to experts. Biden came into office last year pledging to redress historical inequities in investment and environmental racism by ensuring that disadvantaged communities would reap 40 percent of the benefit from “relevant” federal investment — a commitment his administration dubbed the Justice40 initiative. [ read more … ]

Major study documents methane ‘ultra-emitters’

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:25:55

Stopping methane leaks from oil and gas “ultra-emitters” could provide billions of dollars in climate benefits, according to a new study. Published yesterday in the journal Science, the study details about 1,200 such ultra-emitters detected by satellite between 2019 and 2020, referring to intermittent events involving at least 25 metric tons of methane leaks per hour. In total, the high-emitting events — which usually are undetectable — constituted about 12 percent of the oil and gas industry’s total, although they were not included in national greenhouse gas inventories. [ read more … ]

Markets

Food Prices Approach Record Highs, Threatening the World’s Poorest

By Ana Swanson, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:25:33

Food prices have skyrocketed globally because of disruptions in the global supply chain, adverse weather and rising energy prices, increases that are imposing a heavy burden on poorer people around the world and threatening to stoke social unrest. The increases have affected items as varied as grains, vegetable oils, butter, pasta, beef and coffee. They come as farmers around the globe face an array of challenges, including drought and ice storms that have ruined crops, rising prices for fertilizer and fuel, and pandemic-related labor shortages and supply chain disruptions that make it difficult to get products to market. [ read more … ]

BBB Bill

Will climate action this year matter in the midterms?

By Timothy Cama, Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:26:50

Congressional Democrats think they’ve found a way to head off the trouncing they’re expected to receive in the midterm elections: Pass their aggressive climate change agenda. As congressional leaders and President Biden pick up the pieces and plot the future for at least some provisions of the $1.7 trillion “Build Back Better Act,” many Democrats are pushing for the $555 billion in climate spending, and tying it to the elections. Supporters argue that voters will reward Democrats in November if they pass the massive package that includes new electric vehicle subsidies, clean energy tax incentives, funding for electric grid infrastructure and other policies. [ read more … ]

EVs

Rising Battery Prices Add Uncertainty to Electric-Vehicle Costs

By Scott Patterson, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-02-06 14:24:06

Since 2010, lithium-ion battery prices on average have tumbled 90% to about $130 per kilowatt-hour. The magic number that makes electric vehicles competitive with internal-combustion engine vehicles is roughly $100 a kilowatt-hour. Many expected the battery industry to reach that mark in 2024, a goal that is looking increasingly elusive. Lower costs helped boost EV sales by 112% in 2021 to more than 6.3 million units world-wide from the previous year, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, which tracks the global battery supply chain. Now, prices are soaring for the key ingredients in batteries. Battery-grade cobalt prices are up 119% from Jan. 1, 2020, through mid-January 2022, nickel sulfate gained 55% and lithium carbonate rose 569%, according to Benchmark. [ read more … ]

 

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