Largest U.S. grid operator can comply with rule — study

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

The nation’s largest grid operator said it could comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan while acknowledging its findings were based on unknowns about future nuclear reactor closures and gas pricing forecasts. PJM Interconnection LLC, which spans 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states, said in an analysis that power plants within its jurisdiction could comply without skyrocketing costs. PJM found the price of compliance would range from 1 percent to 3 percent of average wholesale electricity costs.

Obama to use post-presidency ‘megaphone’ on climate change

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

President Obama wants to make climate change a big part of his life and work after leaving the White House next year, he said yesterday. “I think anybody who has the megaphone that even an ex-president has needs to be working on this and raising awareness,” Obama told pool reporters during a visit to Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to highlight his conservation legacy

Reform bill conference to meet on Thursday

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

With the clock ticking on the abbreviated election-year legislative calendar, the conference committee aiming to reconcile the House and Senate’s competing energy reform bills will hold its first public meeting this week. Conferees will meet Thursday morning to deliver opening statements, said a notice leaders circulated last night. Members’ remarks are limited to two minutes, but longer statements can be submitted for the record.

Rare Harmony as China and U.S. Commit to Climate Deal

Source: By MARK LANDLER and JANE PERLEZ, New York Times • Posted: Monday, September 5th, 2016

President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China formally committed the world’s two largest economies to the Paris climate agreement here on Saturday, cementing their partnership on climate change and offering a rare display of harmony in a relationship that has become increasingly discordant. On multiple fronts, like computer hacking and maritime security, ties between China and the United States have frayed during the seven and a half years of Mr. Obama’s presidency. The friction has worsened since the ascension of Mr. Xi as a powerful nationalist leader in 2013.

Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun

Source: By JUSTIN GILLIS, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, September 4th, 2016

For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline. Now, those warnings are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.

Green Climate Fund needs ideas with low-carbon wow factor: ex-head

Source: By Megan Rowling, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2016

The Green Climate Fund, which aims to channel billions of dollars to help poorer nations tackle global warming, is not yet backing the right kind of projects to bring about a sea change in low-carbon development, said its recently departed executive director. Héla Cheikhrouhou, who was appointed as Tunisia’s minister for energy, mining and renewable in its new government on Friday, urged the $10.3-billion fund to provide clearer guidelines on what it is seeking to finance in areas such as water, urban development, energy and transport.

The Challenge of Cutting Coal Dependence

Source: By Eduardo Porter, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2016

It won’t be easy to get rid of coal. Worried the nation might miss its 2020 target to drastically cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the German government proposed a steep levy last year on the most heavily polluting generators. The tax was intended to deliver a decisive blow against lignite or brown coal, the dirtiest fuel around and Germany’s main source of electricity.

Paris deal will cost at least $1.28T — economist

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2016

With signals President Obama is on the verge of formally joining the landmark Paris climate agreement, an environmental economist is investigating whether the United States can actually afford to hold up its end of the deal. The rough estimate for the cost of hitting the target ranges from $42 billion to $176 billion every year until 2050, according to Columbia University’s Geoffrey Heal.

South Dakota: Plug Pulled For Now

Source: BY RANDY DOCKENDORF, Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan • Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2016

A proposed wind farm near Avon has pulled its application for a state permit, one week after nearly 300 people attended a sharply divided public hearing for the project. Prevailing Winds investors withdrew their application Tuesday with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The move came shortly before the three-member PUC held its regular meeting that morning in Pierre.

Eastern U.S. can handle 30% clean power — report

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Wind and solar can supply 30 percent of the annual power for the nation’s Eastern grid without reliability concerns, new research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said. The Eastern Interconnection, which stretches from Maine to New Mexico, currently gets less than 7 percent of its annual power from the two renewable sources. Prior to the study, there was an assumption that 30 percent wind and solar penetration wasn’t possible in the region, said NREL researcher Aaron Bloom. Nobody had conducted a review like NREL’s, which modeled the year 2026 as a test.