When David Vieau left the battery maker A123 in 2013 after it went bankrupt despite having received about $147 million in government money, he didn’t go looking to start another energy storage business. But three years later, he is at it again, as chief executive of Vionx Energy. This time, though, he is pursuing a different strategy.
Renewables are powering a rare bright spot in the energy industry, with record job hiring in solar, wind and hydro partly offsetting the biggest round of job losses in the oil and gas sector in almost two decades. The boom in new green jobs is being led by Asia where governments in countries such as China and India are embarking on massive programmes to use more renewable energy.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to allow a California wind farm to incidentally kill up to three federally protected golden eagles over the next five years. The permit would require NRG Yield Inc., which owns the 153-megawatt Alta East Wind Project in Kern County, to retrofit at least 74 area power poles within a year to prevent electrocutions of birds and take other steps to reduce mortality.
U.S. EPA’s allies are jumping into the mammoth lawsuit over the Obama administration’s plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Environmentalists, public health groups and business groups who back the administration’s Clean Power Plan are asking a federal court to allow them to defend EPA as the agency’s critics look to topple the rule. Since the regulation opened up to lawsuits last week, opponents including 26 states and a broad array of industry and labor groups have challenged the rule in court.
Ryan Yonk’s Oct. 21 online letter does not mention his Utah State University institute’s funding from special interest groups, including the Koch brothers, and includes misleading information about the costs of wind power. Mr. Yonk describes his report as peer-reviewed and relying on “academically accepted practices,” but the report has not been published in an academic journal. His “sound data” come from groups financed by the same special interests that fund him.
The new record came the same day as the American Wind Energy Association reported Texas accounted for nearly half of the nation’s wind power growth in the third quarter of the year. Texas added 771 megawatts of wind generation in the third quarter and, nationwide, about 1,600 megawatts were put online. Texas now has about 16,400 megawatts of wind power, according to the AWEA, which is about 10,000 megawatts more than the second and third windiest states, California and Iowa.
The wind energy sector in Kansas has been busy over the last three months. According to the American Wind Energy Association, more than 200 megawatts worth of wind turbines came on-line in the third quarter of this year.
California has also been pushing a more recent initiative to link its entire transmission system to other states. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill earlier this month, S.B. 350, that directs CAISO to study how a regional transmission market would affect the state and then potentially change its governance structure by 2019 to allow in more members with legislative approval. It also raises the state’s renewables portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030, up from 33 percent by 2020
The court fights over U.S. EPA’s plans to curb power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions officially kicked off Friday as opponents rushed to challenge the rule in a federal appeals court. The high-stakes legal brawl promises to include dozens of interested groups including states, industries, labor groups and environmentalists. And it’s almost certain to drag on for months or even years as the appeals court — and possibly the Supreme Court — decide the rule’s fate.
The White House and congressional leaders last night closed in on a broad, two-year budget deal that would increase domestic spending and raise the debt limit through March 2017.
The deal would lift budget caps and boost defense and non-defense spending for fiscal 2016 and 2017, ending years of budget wars between the Obama administration and GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate, and would hand outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a victory as he prepares to leave Congress later this week.