The subject is unlikely to come up when Chinese President Xi Jinping meets President Donald Trump in Florida later this week. Yet as the U.S. retreats from its climate commitments, the world is looking to China to lead the fight against global warming. The country deserves cautious praise for cleaning up and slowing the production and use of coal at home. It should strive to be equally responsible abroad.
The new administration is taking notice: wind energy is a job-creation engine that speeds up the path to American energy independence. “Renewable energy, like offshore wind, is one tool in the all of the above energy toolbox that will help power America with domestic energy, securing energy independence, and bolstering the economy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently said.
Maryland has increased its renewable energy portfolio standard from a target of 20% by 2022 to an impressive 25% by 2020. The move was actually made back at the beginning of February by legislators in both houses of the state’s General Assembly, at the same time as they moved to override the governor’s veto of a bill which sought to increase the use of renewable energy in the state. As can be seen in the graph below, Maryland’s percent of retail electricity sales has been climbing, steadily, and the new target allows for that growth to continue.
In the last four years, North Carolina has become the second largest solar market in the United States, behind only California. It has installed more solar energy than Texas, which has nearly three times the population; more than Arizona, which has twice as many sunny days; and more than New York, which has far more aggressive renewable energy targets. North Carolina’s solar boom is rooted in a federal law enacted four decades ago – one that has only recently had much impact.
Those who believe that the Trump administration will end American leadership on climate change are making the same mistake as those who believe that it will put coal miners back to work: overestimating Washington’s ability to influence energy markets, and underestimating the role that cities, states, businesses and consumers are playing in driving down emissions on their own.
A British developer is bidding to build power turbines under the sea in Scotland in a contest for government contracts that starts Monday, aiming to prove for the first time that its technology is commercially viable. Atlantis Resources Ltd. is among the companies vying for 290 million pounds ($363 million) of electricity-generation contracts the U.K. government is auctioning off. Winners will be notified between June and September and will get a firm price for the power they sell under a program meant to stimulate cleaner forms of energy.
Iowa’s electric rates are lower now than nearly two decades ago, says an Iowa City group, pointing to wind energy for helping to keep costs low. Iowa power users paid an average of 8.35 cents per kilowatt hour in 2015, that when adjusted for inflation is about 5 percent less than 1998, when wind energy got its start in the state, said David Osterberg, who founded the Iowa Policy Project and released a study Thursday looking at energy costs.
“In the US, the renewable energy sector has become a major job creator: since 2009, the solar industry created one out of every 80 new jobs, and the country’s fastest-growing occupation is wind turbine technician. “While President Donald Trump may have promised to bring back coal jobs, he will no doubt find resistance – in both Congress and statehouses – should his efforts come at the expense of clean energy jobs.”
A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.
At a time when the agency is considering a controversial rollback in fuel efficiency standards adopted under President Obama, the plan would cut by more than half the number of people in EPA’s division for testing the accuracy of fuel efficiency claims by automakers. It would transfer funding for the program to fees paid by the automakers themselves.