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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 20, 2015

Wind slowdown stirs debate about industry’s plans for extreme weather

Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-20 07:59:02

Lower-than-average winds in the western United States in the first half of the year have cut into production and revenues at wind farms there, according to company data. Now, the industry is trying to figure out how it will deal with variable weather in the future. Wind energy is booming in the United States, with prices at an all-time low. The sector grew 8 percent in 2014, boosting domestic capacity to almost 66,000 megawatts and providing around 4.4 percent of the country’s electricity, according to the Department of Energy [ read more … ]

MacArthur Foundation vows to push climate solutions, starting with $50M pledge to green groups

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-20 07:59:20

The charitable foundation known for its annual “genius grants” and its public broadcasting underwriter’s message promoting “a more just, verdant and peaceful world” is deepening its commitment to addressing climate change under a new multimillion-dollar program aimed at building leadership capacity and political consensus around climate solutions. Roughly $50 million in initial funding, announced yesterday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will be shared by nine nonprofits engaged in climate policy and advocacy. It is being characterized by the foundation as “a down payment on a major new commitment to help curb global climate disruption by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” [ read more … ]

Cost of Calif. crisis climbs to $2.74B — study

Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-20 08:00:09

California’s four-year drought is hitting the state’s agricultural sector hard economically. The statewide impact to agriculture and related industries is $2.74 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2014, according to a report out today from the University of California, Davis, Center for Watershed Sciences. The state’s agricultural economy will lose about $1.84 billion and 10,100 seasonal jobs because of the drought, with the Central Valley hardest hit, the report says. That’s about 30 percent more workers and cropland out of production than last year. Most idled land is in the Tulare Basin.
[ read more … ]

Calif. program subsidized more efficient energy use for both rich and poor. Guess whose habits didn’t change?

Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-20 08:00:32

A 2005 subsidy to encourage more efficient energy use in sunny California worked remarkably well to reduce energy usage in lower-income communities, a new study determined. But the program had little effect on people’s behavior in cooler and wealthier coastal residences, so the study raises questions about the program’s overall cost-effectiveness. Because substantial rebates were paid to the richer, coast-dwelling participants in the program, which is no longer in effect, the study’s author concludes that it was not as cost-efficient at reducing carbon emissions as it may have been. [ read more … ]

Grain Belt Express hits dead end with Missouri Public Service Commission

Eric Dundon, Hannibal Courier-Post managing editor  •    •  Posted 2015-08-20 07:59:37

Another setback for a wind energy project proposed to go through Ralls County has developers evaluating “all available options to move the project forward in Missouri.” Should the developers of the Grain Belt Express seek to move forward with the multi-state wind line project, it could include filings with the appellate court in Missouri. [ read more … ]

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