Montana is lucky to have one of the best wind resources in the country and it has been driving energy development in the state for more than a decade. As other Western states look to reduce carbon emissions and purchase the lowest cost renewable resources available, Montana will likely see even more wind energy growth and accompanying economic benefit ahead.
A measure reducing the amount of renewable energy sources utilities would have to tap to provide electricity for their customers by 2020 has narrowly passed the New Mexico House. New Mexico’s standard increased from 10 to 15 percent at the start of the year. It’s required to hit 20 percent in 2020.
Ohio’s decision to freeze for two years the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards has cost the Buckeye State hundreds of millions of dollars in energy investment and “will come to represent a missed opportunity for Ohio to lead the country in building a clean energy economy.” That is the finding of a new analysis from the left-leaning Center for American Progress, which draws its conclusions from surveys and interviews with Ohio business leaders and energy experts who have witnessed what CAP describes as the Ohio’s retrenchment on clean energy policies.
An independent study commissioned by several California agencies could help state officials justify ambitious new renewable electricity and biofuel programs policymakers are seeking as they debate ways to achieve a strict new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for 2030. The study, by consulting firm Energy & Environmental Economics (E3), was requested by California agencies — including the state air board and energy commission — as part of their PATHWAYS project to support setting a 2030 GHG target, which is expected to be debated by state lawmakers this year.
“It is time … to do real cost accounting. The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the price of immediate energy needs. We have to include the long-term cost of carbon pollution. We have to factor in the cost of survival,” he said. “We’ll have to stop government money from going toward nonrenewable energy sources, like coal and oil. It makes no sense to be subsidizing that.”
Global energy emissions stayed stable last year even though the economy grew, according to data released Friday that could boost chances for a landmark climate accord later this year. The rising use of renewable energy, particularly in China, played a role in keeping emissions from the energy sector to 32.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide last year, the same as in 2013, the International Energy Agency said.
Somebody tapped the brakes. Carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s energy producers stalled in 2014, the first time in 40 years of measurement that the level did not increase during a period of economic expansion, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency.
What changes should U.S. EPA make to its Clean Power Plan proposal to add clarity and flexibility on multi-state and regional program options? During today’s OnPoint, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, discusses expected changes to the power plan as the agency prepares its final proposal. Nichols also responds to the growing momentum surrounding the “just say no” option for state compliance.
The full implications of S.B. 310 and H.B. 483 will become clearer over the course of the coming year. However, the initial evidence indicates that the legislation is saddling Ohioans with economic harms and will come to represent a missed opportunity for Ohio to lead the country in building a clean energy economy. Other states across the country are currently considering similar actions to roll back or repeal their renewable energy standards, energy-efficiency standards, or programs to promote clean energy. For those states, Ohio should serve as a cautionary tale about the detrimental consequences of regressive energy policies.
“I imagine that as long as there are ALEC members in Colorado, they’ll continue to push the priority agenda that ALEC has,” Elsner says. “And right now, a lot of ALEC’s energy members have an interest in weakening clean energy policies.”