The party of Lincoln now has the opportunity of a lifetime to bring their ideas that create jobs and inspire the ingenuity of a nation. It’s an extraordinary time to think outside of the box – or rather to look beyond the Beltway – for innovative ideas that fellow Republicans have embraced, such as the promise of clean energy solutions, that have had real results for everyday Americans.
A Pew Research poll showed 65 percent of Americans support expanding clean energy over fossil fuels. Video provided by Newsy Newslook Coal may make a political comeback in Washington, where President Trump is eager to make good on his promise to revive the sagging industry. But politics aside, it’s the greener forms of energy that are changing substantially the way the USA produces, uses and even saves energy, particularly when it comes to electricity.
Wind turbines across the Great Plains states produced, for the first time, more than half the region’s electricity Sunday. The power grid that supplies a corridor stretching from Montana to the Texas Panhandle was getting 52.1 percent of its power from wind at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, Little Rock, Arkansas-based Southwest Power Pool Inc. said in a statement Monday.
In a letter today, Govs. Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas and Gina Raimondo (D) of Rhode Island said renewable energy growth “is an American success story built on federal research and development, state policy leadership, private sector investment and ingenuity.” They wrote, “Last year, the country’s solar industry employed over 200,000 and added 31,000 new jobs. Most of the installations are in rural areas and have provided landowners another income option.”
“The nation’s wind and solar energy resources are transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the passage of the Homestead Act over 150 years ago,” Kansas Republican Sam Brownback and Rhode Island Democrat Gina Raimondo wrote in the letter, on behalf of eight Republican governors and 12 Democrat state leaders. Trump’s America First energy plan posted on the White House website calls for increasing coal, oil and natural gas production — making no mention of renewables. He has derided wind and solar power as uneconomical. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
The construction of wind farms in North Dakota began in the late 1990s and only recently have started to surge, Christmann said. The potential for capturing wind for energy in North Dakota is high, particularly in the western and south-central part of the state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which ranked North Dakota sixth in 2014 for wind energy potential and 11th in utility-scale generation. “We see incredibly strong activity across the country,” AWEA senior analyst Hannah Hunt said. “We do expect to see this success story continue.”
Vestas came back from the brink of bankruptcy just four years ago. Now the wind industry is entering a new phase with slower growth and more steady demand for turbines, prompting producers to turn to servicing and replacement of older turbines to grow revenue. Vestas, the world’s biggest wind turbine maker, supplied 43 percent of the 8.2 GW of wind power capacity connected to the U.S. power grid last year, the American Wind Energy Association said in a quarterly report. That was up from 33 percent in 2015 and just 12 percent in 2014.
European utilities will not reduce their investments in renewables if U.S. President Donald Trump lowers U.S. climate goals, encouraged by Chinese and EU political commitments to low carbon energy, electricity lobby Eurelectric said. Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to bolster the U.S. oil, gas and coal industries, said during the campaign he would pull the United States out of a global pact reached in Paris in 2015 to cut greenhouse gases, although he has not yet acted on that pledge.
Former President Jimmy Carter, 92, unveiled a solar energy project to help power his hometown. While President Trump has depicted himself as a champion of coal, Mr. Carter’s project aims to be a model for energy self-sufficiency and job growth.
The solar panels — 3,852 of them — shimmered above 10 acres of Jimmy Carter’s soil where peanuts and soybeans used to grow. The panels moved almost imperceptibly with the sun. And they could power more than half of this small town, from which Mr. Carter rose from obscurity to the presidency. Nearly 38 years after Mr. Carter installed solar panels at the White House, only to see them removed during Ronald Reagan’s administration, the former president is leasing part of his family’s farmland for a project that is both cutting edge and homespun. It is, Mr. Carter and energy experts said, a small-scale effort that could hold lessons for other pockets of pastoral America in an age of climate change and political rancor.