Tesla envisions up to 20 ‘Gigafactories’ worldwide

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, June 9th, 2017

Tesla Inc. will open as many as 20 large factories worldwide as it makes multiple models of electric cars and batteries to store energy, co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said yesterday. Speaking at a shareholder meeting at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Musk outlined a vision of the company as far larger than it is now and one helping to bring a package of carbon-free solutions.

China passes U.S. as world’s top EV market

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, June 9th, 2017

Electric vehicle sales are surging but could still fall below increasingly ambitious goals if incentives aren’t maintained, according to the International Energy Agency. The number of EVs on the road jumped to 2 million in 2016, more than doubling from 2015, according to the Global EV Outlook 2017. More than 750,000 plug-in EVs were sold last year, a record high. However, that fast growth has been slowing down. In 2016, sales of the clean cars grew 60 percent, down from 77 percent in 2015 and 85 percent in 2014.

Trump’s plan to cut basic energy research finds an unlikely opponent: oil executives

Source: By Steven Mufson, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, June 9th, 2017

A group of business leaders has sent a letter to the top Democrats and Republicans on the Appropriations committees urging them to maintain basic research funding, especially in energy, that President Trump has proposed to slash or eliminate. The letter signed by 14 senior figures from the business world — including trade group leaders and current or former executives in technology, finance, utilities, oil exploration, and military and civilian aerospace — said Congress should “invest in America’s economic and energy future by funding vital programs in energy research and development at the Department of Energy.”

US Bucks Trend Amid Increases for Clean Energy Research

Source: By Matthew Brown, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, June 9th, 2017

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli outlined a massive effort to update transmission lines, develop cleaner burning coal plants and continue expanding solar and wind power capacity, in which China already ranks number one in the world. Zhang said China intends to make clean energy a “new growth point” in its slowing economic expansion. He singled out the U.S. for potential future cooperation.

85 percent of the top science jobs in Trump’s government don’t even have a nominee

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Trump is facing science-focused problems and issues with a key limitation: lack of staffing. As of June 6, Trump had announced a nominee for just seven, or 15 percent, of 46 top science posts in the federal government that require Senate confirmation, according to a Post analysis. This failure to fill top science jobs across the federal government has become even more pointed in light of his Paris choice. Recaps of Trump’s decision-making process have highlighted many influences upon it, but none of them principally scientific in nature.

Op-Ed: Why red states should oppose Trump on climate

Source: By Gant CNN • Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

For these reasons, many Republican political leaders had urged Trump to stay in the Paris treaty and pursue the expansion of wind energy. The bi-partisan Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition, which includes governors from 20 states, wrote to Trump back in March arguing, “The nation’s wind and solar energy resources are transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the passage of the Homestead Act over 150 years ago.”

Nev. makes its claim to be America’s green leader

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Many states make claim to the title of America’s clean energy leader. Few states have a case like Nevada. Silver State lawmakers passed 11 energy bills before the clock ran out on the legislative session in Carson City on Monday. Among the approved measures: a plan to restore net metering for solar panel-owning homeowners, a proposal to boost the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 40 percent by 2030 and a requirement that state regulators consider the costs of carbon dioxide emissions when reviewing long-term utility plans.

Meet the designer of Trump’s solar wall

Source: Adam Aton, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

When reports surfaced late yesterday that President Trump was floating the idea of a border wall covered in solar panels, many observers found it hard to take seriously. “I mean, it’s physically possible. It seems politically silly,” said Michael Webber, deputy director of the University of Texas’ Energy Institute. “This is a bizarre way do do solar power, and it’s a bizarre way to build a wall.”

Ditching Paris had nothing to do with science

Source: Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Ever since U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt helped orchestrate the United States’ withdrawal from an international climate accord backed by decades of scientific research, he has spent days deflecting dozens of questions about science. The hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” tried more than 10 times to get Pruitt to answer whether or not President Trump believes in climate change and whether that played any role in his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Pruitt says coal losses make the grid vulnerable. Not really

Source: Emily Holden, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

U.S. EPA chief Scott Pruitt and President Trump have appeared on national television to warn Americans that if coal power continues to decline, the lights could go out. But real-life examples and an expansive body of research by grid operators, engineers, nongovernmental organizations and scientists suggest that’s an exaggeration.Yesterday, Pruitt said if the share of coal use falls below 30 percent nationally, it could expose the United States to terrorist attacks.