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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 21, 2022

Top Story

Green Energy’s Big Looming Problem Is Red Tape

By Jinjoo Lee, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:11:37

Between rising interest rates and input costs, green-minded investors have a lot to worry about these days. Their biggest concern could end up being boring old red tape. Wind and solar, which require heavy upfront investment, grew rapidly over the past decade in the U.S. while certain conditions were just right. Interest rates were closer to zero for nine out of the last 13 years, during which time wind and solar generation increased more than sixfold. Over that same period, the cost of installing solar has declined almost 90%, while for wind it has fallen 72%, according to Lazard. Tax credits helped bring costs down, too. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Are wind, solar lulls a challenge for a zero-carbon grid?

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:11:56

Last August, wind farms across the Midwest stopped producing electricity almost entirely for 12 straight hours. The turbines — capable of generating almost 30,000 megawatts — produced only 1 percent of the electricity needed to keep the lights on across the sprawling territory of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. A day later, it happened again, for 10 straight hours. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar industry braces for forced labor law

BY MATTHEW CHOI AND KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:13:51

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act officially takes effect this week, prohibiting the importation of any goods mined, produced or manufactured wholly or in part from the Xinjiang region of China, unless an importer can prove that the products were not made with forced labor. The law, signed by President Joe Biden last year, creates a so-called rebuttable presumption that could be of particular concern for the solar industry. About 50 percent of the world’s supply of polysilicon came from the Xinjiang region last year. “I don’t see how this cannot be a major disruption,” Michael Parr, executive director of the Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance, told ME ahead of the implementation. [ read more … ]

Solar-Power Developers Pledge to Buy U.S. Panels—If Someone Makes Them

By Phred Dvorak, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:10:37

A group of U.S. renewable-energy developers is making a $6 billion offer to solar manufacturers: Build panels in the U.S. and we will buy them. The group—AES Corp., Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments—is offering to buy as much as 7 gigawatts worth of U.S.-made solar panels a year. That is equivalent to more than a quarter of what the U.S. installed last year. [ read more … ]


To stop climate change, regulate carbon as a toxic substance

By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:13:35

“We should have started taking action decades ago. That’s the best time,” James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate experts and the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told me last week. “The second-best time is now.” Hansen is among a group of scientists who are trying a novel approach to force our government to act more boldly. On Thursday, they filed an official petition with the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to require the EPA to regulate carbon under existing legislation, the Toxic Substances Control Act. But it’s all there in black and white in the Toxic Substances Control Act, which passed and was amended with bipartisan support. Textualists will have to tie themselves in knots to explain why the law’s words don’t mean what they clearly say. [ read more … ]


Appeals court partly strikes down FERC approval of ISO New England winter reliability program

By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:14:14

A federal appeals court partly struck down the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of a plan to pay power plant owners in New England an incentive to have three-days worth of on-site fuel during two upcoming winters. Echoing a 2020 dissent of then-FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday rejected allowing an estimated $40 million a year in “windfall payments” to coal, hydroelectric, biomass and nuclear generators as part of ISO New England’s Inventoried Energy Program, or IEP, saying the incentive wouldn’t affect their behavior. Payments to other types of generators, like gas-fired power plants or oil-burning units, can go forward under the ruling. [ read more … ]


Oil refineries are making a windfall. Why do they keep closing?

By Evan Halper, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:14:51

Oil refineries across the country are being retired and converted to other uses as owners balk at making costly upgrades and America’s pivot away from fossil fuels leaves their future uncertain. The downsizing comes despite painfully high gasoline prices and as demand globally ramps up amid sanctionson gasoline and diesel produced in Russia, the third-biggest petroleum refiner in the world, behind the United States and China. [ read more … ]

Big Oil Bets That Green Hydrogen Is the Future of Energy

By Francois De Beaupuy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:15:07

After years of dabbling, major oil companies are finally planning the kind of large-scale investments that would make green hydrogen a serious business.  They’re chasing a very particular vision of a low-carbon future — multibillion dollar developments that generate vast concentrations of renewable electricity and convert it into chemicals or clean fuels that can be shipped around the world to power trucks, ships or even airplanes. [ read more … ]


Canadian enviros seek to replicate U.S. climate lawsuits

By Lesley Clark, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:12:16

Canadian environmentalists are launching a new effort to sue the fossil fuel industry over climate change, hoping to imitate similar lawsuits in the United States and abroad. The Sue Big Oil campaign began last week with a website that asks British Columbians to sign a declaration calling on local governments to set aside $1 per person for a community fund to do more about climate change, including taking the industry to court to seek damages. The novel effort comes a year after a record-breaking heat wave sent temperatures in parts of Canada’s westernmost province soaring above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. [ read more … ]


Biden eyes deal as Manchin resists clean energy incentive

By Nico Portuondo, Jeremy Dillon, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:12:33

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have been meeting to craft a possible accord with provisions to address climate change. “Senator Schumer is working with his caucus to try to get a final package in place. And we’re hopeful that we’ll see progress on that in the coming weeks,” said Deese. [ read more … ]

Clean energy, water projects get boost in spending bill

  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 11:32:13

House Democrats’ $56.3 billion fiscal 2023 Energy-Water spending bill released last night seeks to bolster a host of Biden administration clean energy and water infrastructure deployment goals that are running into funding limitations this year. In total, the bill’s topline number would represent an increase of $3.4 billion above the fiscal year 2022 level, including $48.2 billion for the Department of Energy, $8.9 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers and $1.9 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation. [ read more … ]

House appropriators release bill to bolster EPA, Interior

By Kevin Bogardus, Scott Streater, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:13:10

House appropriators have proposed sizable increases for the Interior Department and EPA in a $44.8 billion spending bill as Democrats look to bolster President Joe Biden’s ambitious agenda. The Interior-Environment bill for fiscal 2023 would be a $6.8 billion, 18 percent increase over current funding levels. The legislation, released late afternoon yesterday, is slated for a subcommittee markup this afternoon. [ read more … ]


Electric automakers make last-ditch plea for more tax credits before U.S. election

By David Shepardson, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2022-06-21 16:11:05

Shifting political winds during the U.S. November mid-term elections could spell trouble for automakers’ hopes of getting billions of dollars in consumer tax credits that would help the United States compete with Chinese and European rivals. General Motors Co  Ford Motor Co, Chrysler-parent Stellantis NV and Toyota Motor Corp have pledged to invest more than $170 billion through 2030 to bolster EV development, production and sales. [ read more … ]

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