Climate change seems to rank very low in the presidential race, among issues,” said Stephen Adler, editor-in-chief of Reuters. “We did a poll that showed that only 29 percent of voters even wanted to know where their candidate stood on climate change.” Nonetheless, Gates said, finding a solution to climate change remains an urgent challenge, and the current pace of incremental improvements in existing fossil and renewable power plants is far too slow to avert dangerous warming while leaving many fundamental problems unsolved.
Global wind energy capacity will nearly double in the next five years, largely led by further market growth in China, but also as a stronger industry emerges in the United States, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said on Tuesday. In its annual report on the status of the global wind industry, GWEC said cumulative wind energy capacity was 433 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2015, a 17 percent rise from the year before.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking input on “barriers” to energy storage in a move that could spur the technology, according to analysts. FERC requested a response from independent system operators and regional transmission operators this week on whether obstacles for electricity storage in wholesale markets create “unfair and unreasonable” rates. The language signals that FERC is supportive of more energy storage, according to Yayoi Sekine, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
A state judge has recommended that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission apply the federal “social cost of carbon” calculation to determine how new energy projects affect the environmental health and well-being of the state. In a nonbinding opinion handed down Friday, Judge LauraSue Schlatter declared the federal calculation “as reasonable and the best available measure to determine the environmental cost of CO2” when evaluating the impacts of energy projects in Minnesota.
Crafted by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, and the panel’s top Democrat, Maria Cantwell of Washington, the bipartisan measure, S. 2012, seeks to upgrade the nation’s aging pipeline and power infrastructure, boost energy efficiency in federal buildings and streamline applications for exports of liquefied natural gas. It’s not as far-reaching as the energy packages that cleared Congress in 2005 and 2007 — which boasted hallmark programs such as the Renewable Fuel Standard — but its passage would be milestone for a Senate known for gridlock.
Iowa has been an early adopter in renewable energy, with its very visible results coming at the gas pump in ethanol and biofuels and the wind turbines that tower over many of our state’s highways. The Hawkeye State has a strong solar energy presence, too, often dwarfed by other energy sources. The end results of this investment are more jobs, economic development and a drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Across the board, this is a win for Iowans.
And the governor raised the prospect of another potential veto during his radio show. Ricketts said he is taking “a good strong look” at a bill (LB824) that would remove some regulatory barriers to development of wind energy in Nebraska. “I’ve not decided on that bill,” the governor said.
Spending priorities for energy, nuclear and agriculture programs and scores of water projects will come into focus this week as fiscal 2017 funding bills work their ways through both the Senate and House. The first test of a Senate bipartisan truce to move ahead with the annual appropriations measures will come this week with planned action on the energy and water spending legislation. It is the first such bill to move to the floor in either chamber this year.
If last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement enters into force this year or early next year, it will likely do so without the help of one of its strongest supporters. That’s because the European Union, which carried the torch for international climate action for two decades before playing a leading role in brokering the agreement last year, is not to be found on the growing list of countries pledging early adoption ahead of next week’s signing ceremony in New York City.
The Senate’s nine-year drought in passing comprehensive energy reform legislation appears poised to end as soon as today. Senate leadership aides say the bipartisan package — S. 2012, which was passed by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last summer — will resurface this afternoon. Last night, senators overwhelmingly voted to end debate on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. They will likely vote on final passage at around noon. The energy bill will return after that, aides said.