The Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled its plan to tackle climate change today, but the major research institution’s endowment will not divest from fossil fuels. University President L. Rafael Reif defended the decision not to remove fossil fuel companies from the university’s investment portfolio by arguing climate change is “a global moonshot” only achievable if universities and governments work with industry.
Black Hills Energy on Wednesday got the go-ahead to build a 60 megawatt wind farm in southern Colorado, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission said. Black Hills, based in Rapid City, S.D., serves about 94,000 customers in Pueblo, Cañon City and other parts of southern Colorado. The proposed project, called Peak View Wind, will place 34 wind turbines on about 31,000 acres in Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
The US added about 3,600 megawatts of wind power capacity in the first nine months of 2015, almost triple the amount from a year earlier, as businesses and local governments moved to line up their own supplies of electricity. Thirteen wind farms accounted for 3,596 megawatts installed through September, up from 1,254 megawatts a year earlier, according to a report Thursday from the American Wind Energy Association. The 1,602 megawatts added from July through September were almost four times the total in last year’s third quarter, the Washington-based trade group said.
An epic legal battle surrounding the Obama administration’s signature climate change rule formally kicks off today. U.S. EPA is set to publish its Clean Power Plan — a rule to crack down on power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions — in the Federal Register. The bureaucratic move will trigger a flurry of lawsuits and launch what promises to be a lengthy war in the courts over the Obama administration’s regulation.
Google has made a reputation for itself in recent years as a major investor in renewable energy. And, the company announced its newest investment: a wind power project in Kenya that, when completed, will be the continent’s biggest wind farm. The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, which broke ground in July, is expected to generate 1,400 gigawatt-hours of power per year, or 15 percent of the country’s electricity consumption, according to a fact sheet from Vestas, one of the project’s co-developers. The project will include 365 wind turbines, spread along the shore of Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
Procter & Gamble has found a new source for making Tide detergent: wind. The global consumer products giant is teaming up with EDF Renewable Energy to build a wind farm in Texas that it says will power all of its North American plants that manufacture home care and fabric products. Those facilities make some of the company’s best-known household items, including Tide, Febreze and Mr. Clean. It is Procter & Gamble’s biggest foray into wind power, and is the latest in a burst of partnerships between major American corporations and renewable energy companies.
An autumn rainstorm was moving across the Kotzebue Sound in late September as Matt Bergan stopped by the power plant to check how much renewable electricity was flowing into this northeastern coastal community. Four miles outside town, 19 wind turbines were spinning steadily in the breeze, producing 60 to 65 percent of the power being used by the city’s 3,200 residents.
Secretary of State John Kerry said today the administration has learned from the mistakes of the past and is laying the groundwork for a “durable” climate agreement in Paris. Speaking at a climate and clean energy event for private-sector stakeholders at the State Department, Kerry said his aim in working for last year’s bilateral agreement with China — which is seen to have injected new life into the United Nations negotiations — was to “try to change what prompted the failure in Copenhagen.”
Former U.S. EPA Administrator William Reilly said today the Clean Power Plan would survive legal challenges, urging regulators to start writing state plans. Reilly — who was President George H.W. Bush’s EPA chief — criticized Republican elected officials who have publicly opposed EPA’s bid to reduce the power sector’s carbon footprint and said it would be a “bad idea” to not write state implementation plans, or SIPs, to comply with the program. “Move ahead with planning and assume the rule will survive,” he told an Environmental Council of the States meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Renewable energy should be given priority, complemented by conventional energy in a local network with peak shaving, in order to reduce the need for constructing grid capacity to export electricity,” said a document released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Though the regions should build more transmission lines to increase outbound capacity, the authority also urged them to attract more energy-intensive industries from China’s east, helping to better absorb the supply of renewable energy locally.