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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 14, 2022

Top Story

Frustrated With Utilities, Some Californians Are Leaving the Grid

By Ivan Penn, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-03-14 15:28:33

In the Gold Rush, Northern California attracted prospectors looking for financial independence. Now, this area is at the vanguard of a new movement — people seeking to use only the energy they produce themselves. Angry over blackouts, wildfires caused by utilities and rising electricity bills, a small but growing number of Californians in rural areas and in the suburbs of San Francisco are going off the grid. They can do so because of a stunning drop in the cost of solar panels and batteries over the last decade. Some homeowners who have built new, off-grid homes say they have even saved money because their systems were cheaper than securing a new utility connection.
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Utilities

Why Your Electric Bill Is Soaring—And Likely to Go Higher

By Katherine Blunt, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-03-14 15:29:13

U.S. electricity customers are facing some of the largest bills in years because of volatile natural-gas prices, which are being driven higher by winter demand and a global supply shortage being made worse by Russia’s war against Ukraine. Already, the natural-gas supply crunch has made it substantially more expensive for utilities to purchase or produce electricity. As a result, some customers have seen winter power bills increase by 20% or more compared with the year before, in addition to seeing higher home-heating bills. [ read more … ]

States

Washington legislators again mandate 100% electric new car sales by 2030

by Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2022-03-14 15:27:07

Washington lawmakers last week passed legislation adopting a target for the state to end the sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2030, a deadline that is five years ahead of neighboring California, making it the most ambitious goal in the country. The target was included in a broader, nearly $17 billion transportation package that included funding for infrastructure, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and addressing the harmful impacts that the transportation system has on communities of color. It is now headed to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk.  [ read more … ]

Storage

Gravity could solve renewable energy’s biggest problem

By Nell Lewis, CNN Business  •    •  Posted 2022-03-14 15:27:23

In the Swiss municipality of Arbedo-Castione, a 70-meter crane stands tall. Six arms protrude from the top, hoisting giant blocks into the sky. But these aren’t building blocks, and the crane isn’t being used for construction. The steel tower is a giant mechanical energy storage system, designed by American-Swiss startup Energy Vault, that relies on gravity and 35-ton bricks to store and release energy. When power demand is low, the crane uses surplus electricity from the Swiss grid to raise the bricks and stack them at the top. When power demand rises, the bricks are lowered, releasing kinetic energy back to the grid. [ read more … ]

Ukraine

Congress set to keep focus on Ukraine, energy prices

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-03-14 15:26:47

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and high gas prices are dominating the political discussion as Congress returns this week, continuing to complicate Democrats’ efforts to revive their stalled climate and social spending bill. The war has ignited an energy policy battle on Capitol Hill, with Republicans blaming President Biden’s policies for skyrocketing oil prices and Biden pointing the finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin. [ read more … ]

Climate

U.S. spending for global climate response ‘pitifully too low’

By Sara Schonhardt, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-03-14 15:29:47

Ahead of global climate talks last year, President Biden said the United States would dramatically increase its international investments in combating climate change. But the money Congress approved last week as part of its $1.5 trillion spending package falls far short of Biden’s vision. The setback will make it even harder for his administration to meet its pledge to boost climate finance and maintain its credibility as a climate leader in the eyes of the world, activists say. “They’re pitifully too low. There is no way to spin it,” said Jake Schmidt, head of international programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council. [ read more … ]

 

 

 

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