As if the fossil fuel industry needed more bad news, the US Energy Department has just put out the call for new, longer wind turbine blade technology that will unlock an additional one million square miles of land for wind energy development. The new funding opportunity is relatively small at $1.8 million dollars but this is truly a case of a little going a long way.
The Supreme Court is asking the solicitor general (SG) to provide the administration’s views on whether the justices should review a set of appellate rulings that states say thwart procurement of new cleaner generating capacity, including renewable or gas generation that the petitioners say will be needed to comply with EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) rule for existing power plants.
Former New York Times reporter Matthew Wald is joining the Nuclear Energy Institute next month to serve as senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning.
Liberal legal lion Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor who taught constitutional law to President Barack Obama, is the new GOP darling in the fight against the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming climate regulations for power plants. Tribe handed Republicans a ready-made talking point during a House hearing this week, when he accused his former student of “burning the Constitution” in the effort to combat global warming. And two days later, McConnell pointed to Tribe in a letter Thursday to the governors of all 50 states, urging them to refuse to comply with EPA’s climate rules
German taxpayers could end up spending billions of euros to help close the country’s nuclear plants as current funding plans involving utilities risk falling short, a report commissioned by the government and seen by Reuters showed on Friday. At least part of the 36 billion euros ($42 billion) in provisions set aside by Germany’s four nuclear operators should be taken under government control, the report by law firm Becker Buettner Held recommended.
McConnell “is going way outside the bounds of the position that he was elected to,” White House senior adviser Brian Deese said Friday at an event in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “I think that we all would be better served if he and others spent less time trying to lecture states about what they should be doing.”
The Minnesota Legislature is pushing energy policy in two different directions this year. Some legislators are trying to make energy cheaper, while others want to make it cleaner. There’s no consensus about what Minnesota’s energy problems are, let alone how to solve them.
One city in Texas aims to be the first to power itself entirely on renewables. Georgetown, Texas, 30 miles north of Austin in central Texas, has announced its intention to be all-renewable by 2017. The city of 50,000 has signed a deal with SunEdison to supply it with solar power for the next 25 years. It comes on the heels of a a deal the city made last year to source electricity from a wind farm currently under construction 50 miles west of Amarillo that will start to provide power next year. The two deals—for 150 megawatts of solar and 144 megawatts of wind—will make Georgetown Utility Services one of the largest municipally owned utilities in the U.S. to get all its electricity from renewables.
“The calculus is, not only does it bring power prices down, but it sharply decreases our water usage and is not subject to environmental regulation on greenhouse gases,” said Jim Briggs, general manager for the city’s utility. SunEdison vice president Paul Gaynor told The Associated Press that the company is planning to concurrently build another major solar installation in Texas, but it declined to provide details. Gaynor added that more cities will shift to renewable resources as they seek to shield themselves from the fluctuating prices of fossil fuels.
Thousands of wind turbines have sprung up across West Texas and up and down the Gulf Coast. Companies as diverse as Google and Dow Chemical are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Texas in a race to lower their carbon emissions. With almost 20 percent of the country’s total capacity, Texas has become the undisputed king of wind energy. With so much success, state politicians are asking whether it’s time for Texas to end its support for the renewable power industry.