Wind, water and sunlight could meet demand for all energy — not just electricity — in every state by midcentury, according to a new report. The study, published yesterday in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, concluded that the path to a cleaner future is technically feasible and affordable and would save thousands of lives from avoided pollution and averted disasters stemming from greenhouse gas emissions. All the while, the jobs created in the renewables sector would more than offset layoffs from shuttered coal mines and dismantled nuclear power plants.
Electric systems in Texas and Colorado are demonstrating that a range of actions can be used to successfully and reliably integrate large amounts of renewable energy, according to a new report completed for the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. The study, which is being made public today, was conducted with a focus on two entities — the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), that state’s main grid operator, and certain Xcel Energy Inc. operations in Colorado. Both states have seen increasing amounts of wind energy and both have kept electricity flowing.
“I just grew up surrounded by electricity and utility issues and sort of a thirst for ‘what’s next?'” Heinrich said. Heinrich is at the center of a growing discussion with other grid-savvy members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focused on how to bolster utility-scale renewables, energy storage and distributed generation in a comprehensive energy package.
A federal court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the nation’s largest coal companies and 14 coal-producing states that sought to block one of President Obama’s signature climate change policies. The lawsuit, Murray Energy v. E.P.A., challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. If enacted, the rule could shutter hundreds of such plants, freeze construction of future plants and slow demand for coal production in the United States. The lawsuit was the first in a wave of expected legal challenges to the E.P.A. climate change rules. Legal experts say they expect some of those challenges to make it to the Supreme Court.
Something historic is happening across the country. Wind and solar power provided 47 percent of all the new electric generating capacity installed across the country last year. In April of this year, every bit of our new capacity came from the wind and sun. Prices for solar panel installations are down nearly 50 percent over just the past five years, and wind turbine costs have fallen even more.
A carbon tax would raise the price of fossil fuels, with more taxes collected on fuels that generate more emissions, like coal. This tax would reduce demand for high-carbon emission fuels and increase demand for lower-emisson fuels like natural gas. Renewable sources like solar, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric would face lower taxes or no taxes. To be effective, the tax should also be applied to imported goods from countries that do not assess a similar levy on the use of fossil fuels.
The deal is another step in the extended progression of the so-called Clean Line project – an electric transmission line project that officials say will deliver up to 3,500 megawatts (MW) of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states in the Mid-South and Southeast.
The winds of change are blowing in South Dakota. Within two decades, wind energy here could power the equivalent of over 900,000 homes.
The co-founders of Tesla Motors Inc. yesterday invited executives of the nation’s dominant utilities to partner with the Silicon Valley electric carmaker to boost battery storage capacity across the U.S. power grid
“They want us to do something that they candidly acknowledge we have never done before: review the legality of a proposed rule,” wrote Kavanaugh, a Republican appointee. “But the proposed rule is just a proposal.”