President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan aims for the United States to source 28 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030 – an aggressive goal that will require vast amounts of new transmission. In a March report by the Edison Electric Institute, the utility trade group found that 46 percent of $47.9 billion of U.S. transmission projects planned through 2025 are intended to support renewable energy resources. “It’s very much in line with what we believe this administration is trying to accomplish,” Michael Skelly, Clean Line’s president, of his company’s building plans.
Wind companies are continuing to plan projects that rely on the federal production tax credit, according to an industry lawyer, even though the incentive expired at the end of 2014 and there is uncertainty whether Congress will reinstate it.
Environmental activists at NextGen Climate yesterday unveiled the group’s latest step in its bid to push presidential primary contenders to embrace renewable energy policies, launching a new million-dollar ad campaign in New Hampshire and Iowa. The political action committee, backed by California billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, is pushing candidates from both major parties to adopt platforms that would shift the country’s energy production to 50 percent renewable resources by 2030.
China’s largest direct investment in Mexico has come in the wind energy sector, as a wind turbine manufacturer has acquired controlling stake in a large-scale wind energy portfolio. Envision Energy, a manufacturer of low speed wind energy turbines, has acquired a majority stake in a portfolio of wind energy projects with total capacity of 600 MW. The construction of the projects is yet to start — expected for 2016, with operations scheduled to begin by the end of next year — with the right to develop owned by ViveEnergia.
In another blow to offshore wind energy in New Jersey, the state Supreme Court has decided to let a lower court ruling stand that effectively blocks construction of a pilot wind farm off Atlantic City. The state Board of Public Utilities had denied the proposed wind farm multiple times, saying its financial plan was unsound and the subsidies necessary for the project to work would have cost state ratepayers too much.
The Obama administration announced Monday that 81 major companies have committed to large reductions in carbon emissions, part of a broad push by the White House to show progress ahead of international climate talks in Paris this year. The companies that have made the pledge include such iconic American brands as Levi Strauss & Company, McDonald’s, I.B.M. and Procter & Gamble. They have operations in all 50 states, employ over nine million people, and have more than $3 trillion in annual revenue and a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion, according to the White House.
Electricity bills may jump by as much as 16 percent by 2030 as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. said in a report posted on its website Friday. Texas joins other grid managers and utilities that have warned of higher prices and reliability issues from plant closures if the plan is finalized.
A conservative legal group is asking the Supreme Court to weigh the constitutionality of Colorado’s renewable energy standard after a lower court upheld the state’s program. The anti-regulatory nonprofit Energy & Environment Legal Institute has filed a petition asking the high court to examine the decision made by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year, the group announced this week.
A key figure behind the Clean Air Act provision being used by U.S. EPA to regulate the power sector’s carbon emissions yesterday said an economywide cap-and-trade system proposed in 2009 would have been a less costly way to curb America’s greenhouse gas output than the statute he wrote.
When the Energy and Power Subcommittee holds its hearing Thursday, the rules for new, modified and existing power plants may have already been published in the Federal Register. And that will set off a chain of events in the courts and on Capitol Hill that will consume much of the rest of the Obama administration and determine the fate of the central platform of the president’s Climate Action Plan. But while Republicans in the House and Senate are expected to devote some time this fall to knocking down the landmark climate rule, the question of whether the Clean Power Plan survives Obama’s presidency will likely be resolved in the courts.