The top Democrat on the panel considering President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Tuesday he is not ready to host hearings on the potential administrator’s confirmation. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Scott Pruitt has not yet responded to a list of about 50 questions the panel’s Democrats sent and that Pruitt’s standard FBI background check is not complete.
Rising global populism and pressure to reduce U.S. environmental regulation are among the issues to watch in 2017 as efforts to address climate change push ahead, a sustainability expert said Wednesday. Action to address global warming should be non-partisan to make the kind of ambitious progress needed, Andrew Steer, president of the Washington-based World Resources Institute, told reporters.
More than 600 U.S. companies are urging President-elect Trump to uphold the Paris climate agreement once he takes office, and is calling for the continuance of low-carbon initiatives as a way to ensure a slower rise of the global temperature. “All parts of society have a role to play in tackling climate change, but policy and business leadership is crucial,” Lars Petersson, president of IKEA U.S., said in a statement. “The Paris Agreement was a bold step towards a cleaner, brighter future, and must be protected.”
Clean energy investment worldwide fell by 18 percent to $287.5 billion last year due to sharp falls in renewable technology prices and less spending on projects by large markets China and Japan, research showed on Thursday. Chinese investment in renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, was $87.8 billion last year, 26 percent lower than an all-time high of $119 billion in 2015, while Japanese investment was 43 percent lower at $22.8 billion, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said in an annual report
China’s development of offshore wind farms could be set to accelerate, supported by favorable government-backed pricing and increased investment. “Offshore wind is becoming more and more economically attractive” after the government cut the tariffs for onshore projects, Ma Jinru, vice president of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., China’s biggest maker of wind turbines, said in an interview.
The report Reducing Wind Curtailment through Transmissions Expansion in a Wind Vision Future was complied by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).It used the DOE’s March 2015 Wind Vision report as its basis to discover how the transmission system would manage 35% of electricity being sourced by wind power — which the DOE said was “plausible” by 2050. The research discovered, however, that without a significant upgrade of the US western transmission network — on which the report focused — 15.5% of wind power would need to be curtailed due to grid limitations.
Stunning is how one renewable energy group described a decision by the state of New York to build the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. Kit Kennedy, the director of energy and transportation initiatives at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said New York was setting the bar high with its wind energy commitments to 2030.
Hawaiian Electric Co Inc is seeking information from developers about potential onshore wind projects on the island of Oahu that can take advantage of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The company wants to obtain projects that will lower costs for customers and help it achieve its goal of 100% renewable energy, it said last week as it issued the Request for Expressions of Interest (EoI).
President-elect Donald Trump may question the need to use more renewable power, but a growing number of Internet companies don’t.
A report issued Tuesday by the Greenpeace environmental group finds that many of the world’s largest Internet companies — including Apple, Facebook and Google — have made major progress powering their online operations with renewable energy. Almost 20 have committed to running their data centers and other facilities on 100 percent renewable energy as a way to fight global warming, although they differ on timetables and details.
As Donald Trump prepares to assume the presidency next week, it is appropriate to take a moment to appreciate the remarkable progress that the renewable energy sector has made, even in just the past year, as well as what opportunities may lie in the future. 2016 marked the inevitable emergence of clean energy as a major player in the nation’s energy market, evidenced by stunning growth and advances in technology, coupled with significant – and ongoing – drops in the cost of production.