News

Coal country jobs can go solar with modest retraining — study

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

As many as 150,000 workers from the U.S. coal mining and coal-fired power sectors could be retrained for jobs in the fast-growing solar photovoltaics (PV) industry at a relatively low cost to business and governments, according to new research from public policy and engineering experts. The analysis, published in the journal Energy Economics by scholars at Michigan Technological University and Oregon State University, is among the first to calculate the labor force impacts of one of the most sweeping U.S. energy-sector transitions of the last century. Its relevance is heightened by recent policy positions staked out by the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees.

How Producing Clean Power Turned Out to Be a Messy Business

Source: By DAVID GELLES, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

On the edge of a bucolic field in Princeton, N.J., an eco-friendly office building recently opened its doors. Plants festoon the roof, a living wall is planned for the lobby, and rainwater storage tanks supply the building’s needs. In the parking lot there are wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations. It is the picture of a sustainable future, one in which society’s insatiable demand for electricity can be met without polluting the planet. The same cannot be said of the building’s tenant, NRG Energy.

Trump on warming: ‘It goes up, it goes down’

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

Trump spoke to the Miami Herald at the shorefront Fontainebleau hotel, in an area where local officials and the federal government are working to stem sea-level rise. “I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” Trump reiterated to the paper, rejecting mainstream scientific evidence of global warming. “I would say that it goes up, it goes down,” Trump told the paper.

Clinton vows to make U.S. ‘clean energy superpower’

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

Citing the potential to create millions of jobs and drawing contrasts to her Republican opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today called for making the United States the global leader in clean energy. “Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century and create millions of jobs and businesses. It’s probably going to be either China, Germany or America. I want it to be us,” Clinton said in an economic address in Warren, Mich.

R.I. department unveils $17M for efficiency, renewables

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, a quasi-public agency, said yesterday it will provide $17.2 million in financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the state. The money will go to six cities in Rhode Island — Cranston, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, West Warwick and Westerly — officials said. “This isn’t just about environmental investment,” RIIB CEO Jeff Diehl said. “It’s good business sense as well as it’s good for the environment.”

Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it

Source: By William Yardley, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

Not long after it became clear that the robust winds that blow down from the Rocky Mountains and across the sea of sagebrush here could produce plenty of profit in a world that wants more renewable energy, some of the more expansive minds in the Wyoming Legislature began entertaining a lofty question: Who owns all of that wind? They concluded, quickly and conveniently, that Wyoming did.

Opposition blows up: Some object to second coastal wind farm

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

As the largest windfarm in the southeastern United States takes shape near Elizabeth City some people are concerned about plans for a second wind farm with even larger turbines a short distance away near the North Carolina coast. The wind farm under construction will provide power for Amazon data centers in the state of Virginia. But The News and Observer of Raleigh reports opponents backed by law firms in Raleigh and Durham are fighting a second wind farm – the Apex Timbermill Wind project. Some state lawmakers want stricter standards for wind farms.

Feds Shop Ocean Off the Outer Banks to Build Wind Turbines

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Obama Administration is inviting companies to bid for the right to build wind energy turbines off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The Interior Department on Friday announced a proposed lease sale for 122,000 acres beginning about 28 miles off Kitty Hawk that includes part of the Outer Continental Shelf. The government has previously announced lease availability for two offshore areas near Wilmington and four areas offshore of South Carolina.

Ending oil tax breaks saves money but not the environment — report

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, August 15th, 2016

The federal government would have billions more in cash if the oil and gas sector in the United States gave up its tax preferences. That’s according to a new discussion paper published by the Council on Foreign Relations. “The big takeaway here is that we can free up $4 billion a year in the federal budget without doing any appreciable harm to the domestic oil and gas industry,” said author Gilbert Metcalf, a professor of economics at Tufts University.

DOE-backed survey finds Americans ‘in the dark’ about solar

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 12th, 2016

Americans are “mostly in the dark” about solar power’s costs and options, according to a survey funded by the Department of Energy. The poll of more than 2,000 utility customers found that almost 60 percent of consumers think a typical rooftop solar system covering monthly power usage costs less than $10,000, when some U.S. systems are triple that amount.