DOE may be prime target for Trump budget cutters

Source: Peter Behr, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

A primary spending guideline for the Trump transition team, the budget proposals of the Heritage Foundation, called for the elimination of six DOE offices and programs for a savings of nearly $4 billion, including the clean energy and efficiency projects under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and others in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Six other programs would get reduced funding, lowering the DOE budget by an additional $2 billion, under the Heritage plan.

Trump’s Climate Views: Combative, Conflicting and Confusing

Source: By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, drew criticism on Thursday for saying that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming, contradicting years of established science. But his boss, President Trump, has similarly raised doubts about the cause of global warming and has said a great deal more on the subject — as part of an argument, an applause line, a punch line or an insult. But what do his many comments reveal about his actual thinking? In 2009, he joined some 50 business leaders in signing a full-page advertisement in The New York Times calling for “meaningful and effective measures to combat climate change.” More recently he has referred to climate change as a hoax or a joke.

Behind the Quiet State-by-State Fight Over Electric Vehicles

Source: By HIROKO TABUCHI, New York Times • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

When Georgia repealed its generous $5,000 tax credit on electric vehicles in July 2015, and instead slapped a $200 registration fee on electric cars, sales quickly tumbled. In the month before the repeal, nearly 1,300 electric vehicles were sold in the state. By August, those sales had all but evaporated — to just 97 cars. It was a hint of what would come. Today, the economic incentives that have helped electric vehicles gain a toehold in America are under attack, state by state.

Four-Year U.S. Wind Forecast Sees Quarter-Million Jobs, 35 GW Of New Wind

Source: By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The expansion of American wind power is poised to drive 248,000 jobs and $85 billion dollars in economic activity over the next four years, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), citing a new report from Navigant Consulting.

BOEM to lease more areas off Mass.

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The Interior Department plans to open new waters off Massachusetts to offshore wind development, after two companies submitted unsolicited requests to lease the area. The lease areas total more than 380,000 acres. PNE Wind USA Inc. and Statoil Wind both expressed interest in the same area, prompting Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to decide to proceed with the competitive leasing process, according to an email sent today to stakeholders. PNE Wind proposed projects in two lease areas that would generate 400 megawatts each, with as many as 50 turbines in each location. Statoil — which bid a record $42.5 million last year to win a lease off New York — wants to build a wind farm on one lease area that would initially generate as much as 600 MW.

Developers Propose Wind Farms Off Long Island, Martha’s Vineyard

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

German developer PNE Wind AG and Norway’s Statoil ASA are asking the U.S. government to open additional sites for offshore wind farms off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts. The sites south of Long Island, New York, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, are near existing areas already designated for offshore development, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in a statement Friday. The unsolicited requests for offshore leases come amid growing interest in developing clean energy off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Tesla’s Elon Musk offers to solve power crisis in South Australia

Source: By Sonali Paul, Reuters • Posted: Friday, March 10th, 2017

Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Friday offered to save Australia’s most renewable-energy dependent state from blackouts by installing 100 megawatt hours worth of battery storage, valued at $25 million, within 100 days of signing a contract. The offer follows a string of power outages in the state of South Australia, including a blackout that left industry crippled for up to two weeks and stoked fears of more outages across the national electricity market due to tight supplies.

Column: Our future depends on wind farms

Source: By David Day, Inforum, Fargo. • Posted: Friday, March 10th, 2017

But I won’t sugarcoat things, it’s a hard way to earn a living. Margins are thin, and we’re beholden to things far beyond our control, like changing commodity prices or poor weather. So when I had the chance to lease some of my land for a wind farm, I jumped at the opportunity. This means we won’t have to worry about being able to pass the ranch to the next generation. The lease payments we get will ensure our lifestyle. Unfortunately, our lawmakers are considering a bill that puts all of this at risk. They’re proposing setbacks that would make building future wind farms much more difficult.

Here are 5 Texas-sized ideas for Energy Secretary Rick Perry

Source: By Dan Reicher, The Hill • Posted: Friday, March 10th, 2017

A major infrastructure need relates to long-distance electricity transmission lines. As governor, Secretary Perry oversaw the nation’s single most successful transmission development program. In just five years, Texas built more than 3,500 miles and $7 billion of transmission lines to move wind energy from rural west Texas to Dallas and Houston — helping Texas become the nation’s wind power leader. Secretary Perry has authority to unstick some of the siting and financing problems bedeviling many other U.S. long distance transmission lines. The DOE’s Power Marketing Administrations, like the Bonneville Power Administrationand Western Area Power Administration, own tens of thousands of miles of transmission lines and have financing and eminent domain authority to build new lines and upgrade existing ones. Last year, for example, Energy Secretary Moniz used DOE authority to advance a major transmission line from wind-rich Oklahoma to the southeast. Secretary Perry should consider the same for other stalled projects.

Cars Seen Missing U.S. Mileage Targets for First Time Since 2004

Source: By Ryan Beene, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, March 10th, 2017

Cars and light trucks from the 2016 model year will be the first to fall short of U.S. fuel economy targets in more than a decade, according to a new projection released by regulators that will feed a debate over efficiency standards between automakers and environmental groups. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forecasts that the 2016 models will average 32.1 miles per gallon, below the target of 32.8. The agency forecasts another shortfall in model year 2017 of 31.8 miles per gallon compared to a projected target of 33.