Top California state senators Feb. 10 unveiled a package of bills intended to extend the state’s current climate and clean energy program beyond their current 2020 expiration, including measures that seek to set greenhouse gas (GHG) targets through 2050 and others that would codify Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans for increases in renewable energy and reductions in oil use.
Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, said at an investors’ conference on Tuesday that Apple planned to build an $850 million solar farm that would power its California operations, including its new Cupertino campus, stores and a data center in Fremont. Apple said it teamed up with First Solar, a solar-energy equipment supplier, to construct the solar farm in Monterey County. The farm is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, First Solar said.
The White House is seeking $2 billion in “mission-driven” investment to spur early-stage clean energy technology through the so-called valley of death. The Clean Energy Investment Initiative will leverage expertise at the Energy Department to facilitate “more and better” private-sector investment without spending additional federal dollars, Brian Deese, senior adviser to the president on climate and energy issues, told attendees at a summit today hosted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, just outside Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama is setting a goal of raising $2 billion from the private sector for investments in clean energy. The White House says it’s launching a Clean Energy Investment Initiative as part of the Obama administration’s effort to address climate change. The Energy Department will solicit investments from philanthropists and investors concerned about climate change. The aim is to spur development of technologies and energy sources that are low in carbon dioxide pollution, such as solar panels, wind power, fuel cells and advanced batteries.
The federal government holds hearings this week to get public comment on plans to lease hundreds of thousands of acres off the coast of the Carolinas for wind energy development. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas in federal waters that could be leased for putting up wind turbines.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has done more to fight climate change than perhaps any other elected official in the United States. So what accounts for the environmentalists heckling him during speeches and planning to confront him Saturday at an Oakland March for Real Climate Leadership? One word: fracking. “I challenge anybody to find any other state” that’s doing as much about climate change, Brown shot back to anti-fracking protesters during his speech at the California Democratic Party’s convention last March.
The switch to electric vehicles could get a boost in California if the state’s utility regulator accepts a new proposal from Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. PG&E said today it’s asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permission to build about 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations across northern and central California. If approved, the program would be the country’s largest deployment of EV charging stations, the utility said.
One GOP source with knowledge of the party’s strategy said there is “an obvious lack of enthusiasm among Republican staff, and maybe members, too, to do something on” the power-plant emissions rules that EPA is set to finalize this summer. “There’s not a lot of ‘yay, I’m superexcited’ on this.” In public, however, Republicans vow that they’re committed to fighting what they have long savaged as Obama’s “war on coal.”
President Obama today released his 2015 national security strategy, laying out his administration’s plans to tackle the “top strategic risks” to national interests. Among the most pressing threats listed are climate change and major energy market disruptions.
Supporters of Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Standard — which sets annual targets for the amount of power the state gets from wind farms, solar arrays and the like — say it’s the backbone of local efforts to spur the development of new sources of energy. By putting in place a mandate, the law creates a demand for renewable energy that wouldn’t otherwise exist to the same extent. The law, its backers say, is crucial if Rhode Island is to do its part to reduce the carbon emissions that are driving climate change.