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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 10, 2015

Washington Blackout Highlighted Aging Electrical Grid

By REUTERS  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:48:11

The fact that a severed transmission line in Maryland could cut power to much of the nation’s capital became the latest warning sign that the country’s aging electrical grid can’t meet modern demands. Tuesday’s widespread power outage came just weeks before the Department of Energy (DOE)is expected to release recommendations for modernizing the country’s electricity infrastructure. The department recently spearheaded a 15-month review that examined the country’s energy transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure. [ read more … ]

Jindal, Perry, Santorum take aim at bureaucratic overreach

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:48:41

Bureaucratic overreach was a common theme as potential presidential candidates Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum discussed federal energy policies Thursday in Des Moines. Perry, the former governor of Texas, Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, and Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, used the forum to mostly take shots at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule that would require utilities to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. The three Republicans said the proposed rule would add costs, hinder business investment and kill jobs. Affordable energy, they said, is critical to national defense. [ read more … ]

Obama Turns to Diplomacy at Americas Summit

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:49:06

Punishing electricity costs that are as much as five times more expensive than prices on the U.S. mainland and a lack of energy security have long been major concerns in the scattered islands of the Caribbean. The sun-splashed, wind-swept region derives nearly all of its electricity from plants that burn imported oil and diesel. Obama on Thursday announced a $20 million effort to help jump start private and public sector investment in clean energy projects in the Caribbean and Central America. “If we can lower those costs through the development of clean energy and increased energy efficiency we could unleash, I think, a whole host of additional investment and growth,” Obama said. [ read more … ]

Texas, once left in the shade, plans major moves into solar 

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:49:39

Austin Energy, the municipally owned utility providing power to roughly 1 million people in the Texas capital, will add 600 megawatts of solar to its generation portfolio by as soon as 2017. Under a request for proposal announced yesterday, Austin Energy said it would consider acquiring the solar power under power purchase agreements with independent solar firms, or it could own the solar capacity outright. [ read more … ]

Ross: Other cities should follow Georgetown’s lead on solar energy

By Dale Ross, Special to the American-Statesman  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:50:05

The city of Georgetown recently announced that our municipal electric utility will move to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2017. That probably caught some folks by surprise. No, environmental zealots have not taken over our City Council, and we’re not trying to make a statement about fracking or climate change. Our move to wind and solar is chiefly a business decision based on cost and price stability [ read more … ]

If We Dig Out All Our Fossil Fuels, Here’s How Hot We Can Expect It to Get

By Michael Greenstone, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:50:31

There are essentially only three long-run solutions to the climate challenge. The first is to price carbon emissions to reflect the damages from climate change. In practice, this means pricing carbon in as many parts of the world as possible — and ideally, globally — so that there is a level playing field for all energy sources. There has been important progress in this area, including in the European Union, individual American states and regions (for example, California and the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative), and parts of China. [ read more … ]

Solar-storage combo poses grave threat to traditional utilities — report 

Krysti Shallenberger, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:50:55

Public utilities will face additional future hurdles to their traditional business model that could cost them as much as $34 billion in revenue, according to a new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based research nonprofit. Titled “Economics for Load Defection,” the report asserts spikes in electrical rates coinciding with decreased costs for solar and battery storage will spur customers to purchase less power from grid operators, with smaller-scale solar-plus-battery systems powering the majority of their electrical generation. This could squeeze out public utilities and other electrical providers unless they take action now, said spokesman and author James Mandel. [ read more … ]

Obama Adviser During Recession Is Given New Challenge: Climate Change

By CORAL DAVENPORT and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2015-04-10 06:51:15

Brian Deese’s first job at the White House included churning out economic doomsday scenarios, like how many communities might see unemployment rates hit 25 percent in the event of cascading bankruptcies across the Midwest. It was so harrowing,” Mr. Deese recalled of the grim months of recession in the earliest days of President Obama’s first term, when as a 31-year-old Yale Law School student he played a central role on the White House team that executed an $85 billion government bailout of Chrysler and General Motors. [ read more … ]

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