But despite the time and money ALEC is pouring into fighting the transition to renewable energy, it seems that wind and solar have some powerful supporters, as well. Big businesses, including data services and clean energy developers, have paired with environmental advocates to stymie many of ALEC’s challenges. Last year, ALEC-affiliated legislators in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and Ohio proposed rolling back state RPSs. New Mexico and New Hampshire saw efforts, as well. Only the efforts in Ohio were successful, while Kansas reached a different agreement this year.
Energy is one of his hardest lifts. It’s an axiom in the industry that a new product can succeed only with the vast application of time and money. Otherlab is trying to hack both. On a shoestring annual budget of $12 million, it tries to accelerate the path to a product by making fewer mistakes. Griffith does this by applying extensive scientific rigor to his ideas, and by trying to create prototypes so good that fewer iterations are needed. In attempting to disrupt energy, one of the largest and slowest-moving industries on the planet, Griffith is fiercely committed to keeping Otherlab small, by spinning out its best ideas as fast as possible.
In more and more markets, renewables are competing on the grid with conventional generation or beating it. In 26 or so markets, and it’s growing quickly, renewables are competitive on the grid with any form of conventional generation. This is a game-changing event. For us, the issue no longer can we get to 20, 30 percent renewables. The issue is, what do we do when we get there? That’s going to require much more fundamental work on the transformation of power.
Siemens, the world’s largest maker of offshore wind turbines, has won an order from British utility Scottish Power to build more than 100 of the machines for the East Anglia One project, the first order for Siemens’ new UK factory in Hull. A source close to the deal said it was worth between 750 and 850 million pounds.
Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power plans to start building the 715-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Norfolk in 2017, with the turbines set for installation by 2019, the utility said.
The College World Series will be a little greener this year. The Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, which operates TD Ameritrade Park, says it will buy renewable energy certificates from the Omaha Public Power District to offset electricity used during the 11-day event, which begins June 13.
Colorado’s wind energy sector has generated $5 billion in direct investment and created between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs, or nearly 10 percent of the wind industry’s national workforce, according to data released yesterday by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national business group that tracks clean energy trends. But the group asserts that for Colorado to maintain its wind energy sector growth, lawmakers in Denver should extend the state’s renewable portfolio standard, which is set to expire in 2020, and use wind energy as a compliance tool in meeting requirements under U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
California’s Senate yesterday accelerated the state’s push for clean energy, passing a bundle of climate bills that aimed to shrink sharply greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable power to 50 percent of electricity and chop in half petroleum use by 2030. The upper chamber’s set of 12 measures also included one calling for two state pension funds, which are the nation’s largest, to divest from thermal coal. Another bill sought to ramp up transit and inner-city rail. There were multiple measures looking to develop plans to help the state adapt as climate change proceeds. The bills still must pass the state’s Assembly, and similar ones from that chamber must be reconciled with Senate versions. But Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D) cast the effort in momentous terms, calling the climate legislation “the most far-reaching not just in California history, but in U.S. history.”
Berkshire Hathaway Energy is hoping to win more Democratic support for its bid to ease purchase requirements for utilities under a 1970s law aimed at boosting renewables and efficiency, even if that means tweaking the language. Jonathan Weisgall, the company’s vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs, made another pitchbefore the House Energy and Power Subcommittee to change the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA.
“Mr. President,” he said, standing over a small dais in the back of the chamber in April, “the distinguished majority leader, the senior senator from Kentucky, is resolutely opposed to any serious conversation about climate change.” Four months into Sen. Mitch McConnell’s quixotic effort to return the U.S. Senate to consensus-building, the Democrat from Rhode Island laid a shot across McConnell’s bow. Whitehouse chastised McConnell for an open letter he sent to governors urging them to ignore a proposed U.S. EPA rule that would require states to build a plan for slashing power-sector carbon emissions.
Precisely how the Empire State will approach distributed generation and energy storage under its “reforming the energy vision” process has begun to take shape with major announcements this and last week by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on both fronts. NYSERDA, which is officially billed as a public benefit corporation but operates much like a state-run utility, has filed a proposal with state regulators detailing how it wants to approach renewable energy after the state’s renewable portfolio standard ends later this year.Separately, the organization last week announced awards to seven companies looking to scale up or invent new approaches to energy storage.