News

China ‘laser-focused’ on legal challenge — former EPA chief

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The legal challenge to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is “very definitely” causing concern among the international community that America may fall short of commitments it made during the Paris climate talks last year, a former Republican EPA administrator said today. William Reilly, who led the agency under President George H.W. Bush and who now advises an international investment partnership, today told a crowd at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., that China in particular is “laser-focused” on the court battle.

Voters in states suing EPA support Clean Power Plan rule — poll

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Two weeks ahead of oral arguments on legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan, backers of U.S. EPA’s rule are touting support from voters in states suing to halt its implementation. A survey found that 67 percent of registered voters in the 24 states challenging the rule said they favored the program for cutting carbon emissions, pollsters said during an event at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., this morning.

New electric bus has longer range than a Tesla

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Electric bus company Proterra Inc. unveiled its latest Catalyst E2 series at the American Public Transportation Association’s annual meeting in Los Angeles today. The electric bus has a storage capacity of 440 to 660 kilowatt-hours and a range of roughly 350 miles between charges. The Catalyst E2, which can accommodate 77 passengers, has a longer range than either the Tesla Model S or a Tesla Model 3, which can travel 315 and 215 miles between charges, respectively.

State’s new climate law could resonate across nation — if Clinton wins

Source: Debra Kahn and Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

“The most important thing about S.B. 32 is that it shows that this whole effort in California to address climate change and to be assertive in addressing climate change is embraced by the Legislature, and was embraced by a previous Legislature, a previous governor of a different party,” Phillips said. “It shows that this is a core value that runs through more than one generation of legislators and governors. Because it is, it sends a pretty powerful signal to the polluting industries. This isn’t just a blip. This means you guys really have to change what you’re doing.”

DONG Energy Installs World’s Largest Wind Turbine

Source: By Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

DONG Energy announced last week that it had successfully completed the installation of the first of thirty-two 8 MW wind turbines at the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm which it is developing, currently under construction in Liverpool Bay, off the west coast of England. The 8 MW wind turbines, built by Vestas, are the largest in the world, standing at 195 meters — in excess of two Big Bens.

Solar Construction expands at ‘eye-popping’ pace

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

U.S. solar firms installed more than 2 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity between April and June, a 43 percent increase over the same period in 2015 and the fifth largest quarterly growth in the industry’s history, according to data released this morning by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The latest figures, rolled out at the annual Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas, reflect solar’s surging popularity outside its traditional markets. They also add credence to the notion that sunlight is a cost-competitive fuel for electricity generation against nearly every other resource, including natural g

Appropriations: Agencies getting used to ‘circus’ on spending

George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The federal bureaucracy will soon be dealing with the impact of lawmakers failing to finalize spending negotiations before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. As congressional leaders wrestle with the politics of a new appropriations plan, departments will have to wait for new money. The reality is not new for agencies, like U.S. EPA and the Interior Department, because Congress has rarely finished its annual appropriations work on time over the past two decades.

Easing offshore challenges, officials hope for more turbines ‘soon’

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Tradition holds that when the Energy and Interior secretaries leave Washington to tout a major energy play, it usually involves a mineral deposit, oil and gas field, or renewable energy site in the Interior West, where the government’s resource management footprint is large and highly visible. But last week, officials revealed that the nation’s largest untapped energy resource is nowhere near the Bakken Shale oil patch of North Dakota, the coal fields of Wyoming or the sun-soaked California desert. Instead, it’s just off the Eastern Seaboard, where 86 gigawatts of wind energy is waiting to be tapped by private developers with the help of government agencies, according to the Obama administration.

Just how much lower can wind power costs drop?

Source: By David Ward, AWEA Blog • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

If you’ve been doing your homework, then by now you should know that wind power in the U.S. is on sale. Thanks to performance-based tax policy (the bipartisan-supported Production Tax Credit) attracting new investment and driving innovation, wind power’s costs dropped by two-thirds over just six years. Now you can start studying for your next assignment, with newly published research from one of the country’s top national laboratories, one otherwise known for participating in the Manhattan Project, among other critically important scientific endeavors.

Wind power is going to get a lot cheaper as wind turbines get even more enormous

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

In a nugget of very good news for the renewable energy sector, a survey of 163 wind energy experts has found that in the coming decades, the cost of electricity generated by wind should plunge, by between 24 and 30 percent by the year 2030, and even further by the middle of the century. One key reason? New wind projects are about to get even more massive, in both the offshore and onshore sectors. As turbines get taller and access stronger winds, and as rotors increase in diameter, it becomes possible to generate ever more electricity from a single turbine.