One is the system of generating power, transmitting it to local utilities, distributing it to buildings and consuming it from the grid as efficiently as possible. This energy infrastructure attracts about $100 billion a year in capital expenditure, mostly by utilities. But it could use at least double that amount in order to guarantee that only domestic sources — principally natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind — are used. The other goal is to deliver the electricity to end users at the same or lower prices than are paid today.
The renewable energy trade between the U.S. and China has very much been bidirectional, however. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated that the U.S. was a net importer of wind turbines and wind turbine parts. Furthermore, Asia, primarily in the form of China, was the source of 42% of the value of those imports. The state of Iowa has installed an average of 500 MW of new wind power capacity annually over the last decade, more than any other state except Texas. Not all of this expansion occurred under Mr. Branstad, who was out of office between 1999 and 2011, and not all of the capacity was imported from China. Mr. Branstad has overseen some of the largest increases in capacity, however, and China has been financing U.S. wind power production even when it does not directly supply the turbines.
President-elect Donald Trump has offered Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke the job of interior secretary, though it’s unclear whether the congressman has accepted, two people with knowledge of the offer said Tuesday. Zinke, 55, is a retired Navy SEAL who was awarded two Bronze Stars for combat missions in Iraq. He was an early supporter of Trump and met with the president-elect Monday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Two power line projects that won federal approval Tuesday will give a big capacity boost to the Western energy grid, including power for up to 1 million homes from what’s on track to become the biggest wind farm in the U.S. The TransWest Express project will help California meet its goal of getting half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 by carrying up to 3,000 megawatts from the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in southern Wyoming. The new power lines would span 728 miles from the wind farm to southern Nevada, crossing northwest Colorado and all of Utah along the way.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent years perfecting his cowboy swagger — he rarely left home without his signature cowboys boots and even claims to have once used a .380-caliber Ruger pistol to gun down a coyote while jogging. He’s probably best known, though, for the 40 seconds he spent on a 2011 presidential debate stage trying desperately to remember the third of three federal agencies he’d promised to shutter if elected, before sheepishly muttering “Oops.”
Although Texas’ longest-serving governor was, perhaps unsurprisingly, pro-oil and gas during his tenure, he didn’t simply nod to those iconic, staple fuels: “You can be proud that Texas produces more energy from wind turbines than all but five countries,” he said. Indeed, Perry, left a nuanced energy legacy — including overseeing booms in fossil fuels and renewables — during his time in Austin. (Texas is now the No. 1 U.S. producer of both natural gas and wind energy.) Now, he is poised to take his experience to Washington, where President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly tapped him as U.S. secretary of energy. The appointment would mark a full repair in Perry’s relationship with Trump, whom he called “a cancer on conservatism” last year while the two men were in a crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination
President-elect Donald J. Trump has bred fears that the United States will take a back seat in global efforts to tackle climate change. Could a billion-dollar investment fund led by Bill Gates and his fellow technology titans fill the void?
President-elect Donald J. Trump settled Monday on Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to be his secretary of state, transition officials said. In naming him, the president-elect is dismissing bipartisan concerns that Mr. Tillerson, the globe-trotting leader of an energy giant, has a too-cozy relationship with Vladimir V. Putin, the president of Russia.
The nation’s first offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Rhode Island, ushering in a new era in the U.S. for the industry. Deepwater Wind built five turbines 3 miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 million. It announced Monday that the wind farm has begun producing energy for the grid.
President-elect Donald Trump said Sunday that “nobody really knows” whether climate change is real and that he is “studying” whether the United States should withdraw from the global warming agreement struck in Paris a year ago. In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, Trump said he’s “very open-minded” on whether climate change is underway but has serious concerns about how President Obama’s efforts to cut carbon emissions have undercut America’s global competitiveness.