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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

July 13, 2015

The Clean Energy Case for Transmission Has Never Been Stronger

By Bill White & John Jimison, Green Tech Grid  •    •  Posted 2015-07-11 06:47:55

In the two years since we outlined how smarter transmission policy could accelerate and reduce clean energy costs in America’s Power Plan, evidence continues to mount that robust high-voltage transmission networks are indispensable to a clean energy future. Smart transmission planning has enabled most of the wind and solar now operating in the United States and has done so while generating large net economic benefits; one study estimated that co-optimizing generation and transmission planning could save an incredible $90 billion. [ read more … ]

Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand

By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2015-07-13 06:52:44

So much power was produced by Denmark’s windfarms on Thursday that the country was able to meet its domestic electricity demand and export power to Norway, Germany and Sweden. On an unusually windy day, Denmark found itself producing 116% of its national electricity needs from wind turbines yesterday evening. By 3am on Friday, when electricity demand dropped, that figure had risen to 140%. “It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for trade body the European Wind Energy Association. “Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonisation – and also security of supply at times of high demand.” [ read more … ]

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown, U.S. mayors to travel to Vatican for climate meetings with Pope Francis

Scott Detrow, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-07-11 04:56:52

Pope Francis and California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) have led very different lives since they both began studying for the priesthood in the 1950s. Brown left the Jesuit seminary after only a few years, realizing his vocation lay in the family business of politics, rather than the church. Francis, of course, went on to become the leader of the world’s 1 billion Catholics. But this month, the two men whose paths took them in dramatically different directions will meet to discuss a common concern: climate change. [ read more … ]

As Obama heads to Africa, his signature energy program there seeks firmer footing

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-07-13 06:53:31

Power Africa, the Obama administration’s effort to infuse billions of energy investment dollars across sub-Saharan Africa, is entering its third year focused on completing up to 30,000 megawatts of new generation projects while adding 60 million new grid connections across the world’s least-electrified continent. Yet for all its ambition, the $7 billion program, rolled out in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2013 and likely to be touted by Obama on his upcoming trip to East Africa this month, has gained relatively little media attention or public notoriety compared with other major energy initiatives happening here. For many Africans and Africa observers, the massive Medupi and Kusile coal plants being built by South Africa’s Eskom at a cost of more than $20 billion, or the 6,000-MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam under construction on the Blue Nile River for an estimated $4 billion, are hallmarks of the continent’s progress toward electrification.
[ read more … ]

Top and Bottom Wind Energy-Producing States in the US

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2015-07-13 06:53:53

The U.S. Department of Energy wants 20 percent of the nation’s energy to come from wind power in the next 15 years, up from the 5 percent wind generates now. A new Energy Department report finds that wind technology featuring taller towers and larger turbines may get the nation to that goal by opening up areas to wind farm development that were previously dead zones. New data based on wind resources at higher elevations show that the Southeast, which currently has no commercial wind farms, could be a viable location.
Here’s a look at the top wind-producing states, as measured in megawatts, as well as the eleven states that currently have no commercial wind power [ read more … ]

White House opens doors to eleventh-hour pleas on Clean Power Plan

Rod Kuckro and Emily Holden, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-07-13 06:54:11

Multiple state environmental regulators will meet Tuesday with senior Obama administration staff in an attempt to shape the final version of the forthcoming U.S. EPA rule to curb carbon emissions from power plants. The meeting is the latest in a string that began about a month ago with a visit by a six-person delegation from the Sierra Club to an Office of Management and Budget conference room in Washington, D.C. OMB, an arm of the White House, is leading the interagency review that will culminate in the final EPA rule being released sometime in August, according to the current administration schedule. [ read more … ]

Pacific NW smart grid project called a success as it concludes

Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-07-13 06:54:31

A five-year regional smart grid project spanning five states in the Pacific Northwest recently ended with a healthy note of optimism from the consultant that ran the pilot. Project leader Battelle, which oversaw the experiment for the Energy Department, praised the demonstration as one of the nation’s largest rollouts of a complex smart grid to date, noting a number of lessons learned on the ground both good and bad. The project was a $178 million affair involving 11 utilities; the Bonneville Power Administration; two universities; and multiple companies in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. It was funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act through DOE along with matching funds from participants. [ read more … ]

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