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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 2, 2023

Top Story

After a Bumpy Year, Renewable Energy Looks Poised for Boom Times

By Dieter Holger, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:03:41

Net additions of renewable electricity rose to an estimated 352 gigawatts of capacity in 2022, up from 286 GW in the previous year, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA boosted its five-year capacity expansion forecast by nearly 30% this year, its largest-ever annual increase, buoyed by supportive policies and a renewed appreciation for energy security. What is more, by early 2025, the IEA said it expects renewable energy to be the largest source of electricity in the global power mix, surpassing coal. Here is a look back at the solar and wind installations, the power-purchase agreements and other advances in renewable energy this past year, as well as expectations for 2023 and the years ahead. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Soaring Costs Threaten U.S. Offshore-Wind Buildout

By Katherine Blunt and Jennifer Hiller, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:00:20

Offshore wind developers are facing financial challenges that threaten to derail several East Coast projects critical to reaching the Biden administration’s near-term clean-energy targets. Supply-chain snarls, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures are making projects far more expensive to build. Now, some developers are looking to renegotiate financing agreements to keep their projects under way.
[ read more … ]

The U.S. Will Need Thousands of Wind Farms. Will Small Towns Go Along?

By David Gelles, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:01:12

While policymakers may set lofty goals, the future of the American power grid is in fact being determined in town halls, county courthouses and community buildings across the country. The only way Mr. Biden’s ambitious goals will be met is if rural communities, which have large tracts of land necessary for commercial wind and solar farms, can be persuaded to embrace renewable energy projects. Lots of them. According to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the United States would need to construct more than 6,000 projects like the Monticello one in order to run the economy on solar, wind, nuclear or other forms of nonpolluting energy
[ read more … ]

Offshore wind in 2022: Billions in bids and new confidence

By Heather Richards, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:03:12

Offshore wind advanced at a dizzying pace in 2022, from billion-dollar bids in New York to turbine installation vessels arriving in New England waters. The landmark year buoyed confidence in investment in the U.S. market and saw the expansion of federal tax benefits — along with an increased government workforce — to support wind growth. Insiders continued to express confidence in the industry despite looming economic headwinds that threaten to slow the pace of President Joe Biden’s wind boom in the years ahead. [ read more … ]

US Ignored Own Scientists’ Warning in Backing Atlantic Wind Farm

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:01:34

US government scientists warned federal regulators the South Fork offshore wind farm near the Rhode Island coast threatened the Southern New England Cod, a species so ingrained in regional lore that a wooden carving of it hangs in the Massachusetts state house. The Interior Department approved the project anyway. [ read more … ]

Biden’s Offshore Wind Ambitions Face Another Setback

By Josh Saul, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:04:29

Shell New Energies, EDP Renewables and Engie asked regulators for a delay in the planning of a proposed joint-venture offshore wind farm, the latest potential setback to President Joe Biden’s goal of powering millions of homes from Atlantic gusts. The sharp spike in interest rates presents “significant challenges” to Mayflower Wind’s economics, the project’s lawyers said in a filing with Massachusetts regulators on Friday. They asked regulators for time to hold discussions with local utilities and other parties before approving contracts for the sale of the electricity the project would generate. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Spending bill earmarks to fund solar project bonanza

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:02:40

In total, the fiscal 2023 bill would allocate just over $50 million in solar-related earmarks. That’s up from $22 million in the last omnibus. While Shaheen led in total number of projects, other lawmakers secured more money. Spread across two projects, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) led the field with $4.5 million in solar earmarks. The spending is set for solar installations for the city of Kenosha, Wis., and an apartment building in Madison, Wis.
[ read more … ]

China Starts Work on Huge $11 Billion Desert Renewables Project

By Luz Ding, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:05:56

China broke ground on an 80 billion yuan ($11 billion) renewables project in Inner Mongolia, part of a massive clean-power rollout to achieve the nation’s ambitious climate targets.  The project, located in the Kubuqi Desert, will have 16 gigawatts of power capacity when completed, according to a statement by China Three Gorges Group, one of the two builders. It will be able to transmit 40 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province annually, with more than half from clean power, according to a report by state media Xinhua News.  [ read more … ]

Storage

Gates-Backed Venture Plans to Build $760 Million Battery Plant

By Mark Bergen, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:02:07

Form Energy Inc., an energy-storage company backed by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, is planning a $760 million factory in West Virginia, the latest plant announced in the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s landmark climate law. After years of depending on foreign imports for its clean-energy supplies, the US is on the verge of a revival in domestic cleantech manufacturing. A key product: energy storage for the country’s grids and electric vehicles. The support of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was critical to the passage of the climate law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act. [ read more … ]

Commentary

How to Destroy a Brand, Musk Style

By Paul Krugman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:00:40

The main reason to believe that Tesla’s huge market value doesn’t make sense has little to do with Musk’s antics at Twitter. The problem instead is that Tesla’s dominance of the electric vehicle market is already fading as we speak, so the company is unlikely to generate the kind of extraordinary long-term profits that would justify its stock price. That said, Musk has indeed been acting very oddly — and in ways that seem almost perfectly calculated to drive away his best customers.
[ read more … ]

Not So Fast on Electric Cars

By Allysia Finley, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:04:06

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda recently caused the climate lobby to blow a fuse by speaking a truth about battery electric vehicles that his fellow auto executives dare not. “Just like the fully autonomous cars that we were all supposed to be driving by now,” Mr. Toyoda said in Thailand, “I think BEVs are just going to take longer to become mainstream than the media would like us to believe.” He added that a “silent majority” in the auto industry share his view, “but they think it’s the trend, so they can’t speak out loudly.” [ read more … ]

EVs

Shift to EVs Triggers Biggest Auto-Factory Building Boom in Decades

By Nora Eckert, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 08:59:58

The U.S. auto industry is entering one of its biggest factory-building booms in years, a surge of spending largely driven by the shift to electric vehicles and new federal subsidies aimed at boosting U.S. battery manufacturing.  Through November, about $33 billion in new auto-factory investment has been pledged in the U.S., including money for the construction of new assembly plants and battery-making facilities, according to the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit organization based in Michigan.  [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Climate misinformation spreads on Musk’s Twitter

By Scott Waldman, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2023-01-02 09:06:23

At Tesla, Elon Musk helped kick-start an electric vehicle revolution that will meaningfully cut greenhouse gas emissions. Now, as Twitter’s CEO, he’s overseeing one of the world’s most popular social media platforms that’s rife with climate change misinformation. And it appears to be getting worse. [ read more … ]

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