News

Vermont’s New Governor Sticking With Renewable Energy Goal

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Vermont’s new Republican governor said Monday he would stick with his Democratic predecessor’s long-term goal of getting 90 percent of the energy needed in the state from renewable sources by 2050. But Gov. Phil Scott, highlighting the construction of a new solar power project in the parking lot of a Montpelier food cooperative, said he believed new technology would be needed to make it happen. In his farewell address last week a day before Scott took office, Shumlin said Vermont had the highest per capita number of people working in clean energy jobs in the country. He said the state also had 12 times more solar panels than when he took office and 25 times the wind power.

New Obama report warns of changing ‘threat environment’ for the electricity grid

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

At a time of heightened focus on U.S. cybersecurity risks, the Energy Department released a comprehensive report on the nation’s rapidly changing electrical grid Friday that calls for new action to protect against evolving threats. The agency urged policymakers to grant regulators new emergency powers should threats become imminent, among other recommendations.

New Study Helps Map Out Road Ahead for U.S. Electricity System

Source: BY JOHN P. HOLDREN, DAN UTECH, SECRETARY ERNEST MONIZ, White House • Posted: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The Obama Administration released the second installment of the interagency Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2), “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System”. The new report focuses on the Nation’s electricity system, from electricity generation to end uses, and addresses the need for improvements in that system. Today, January 9, is the third anniversary of the Presidential Memorandum that initiated the QER. Since that time, the QER team has produced two landmark installments and made a significant impact on energy policy.

U.S. Likely To Become Net Exporter Of Energy, Says Federal Forecast

Source: By Jeff Brady, NPR • Posted: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The U.S. could become a net exporter of energy in coming years, according to the federal government’s Annual Energy Outlook 2017. This continues a trend the Energy Information Administration has highlighted before in its annual report. The EIA projects the country will continue to import oil through 2050, though at much lower levels than in the past. The main thing that will make the U.S. a net exporter of energy is natural gas.

Obama Presses Trump Not to Back Away From Clean Energy

Source: By Josh Lederman, Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

President Barack Obama cast the adoption of clean energy in the U.S. as “irreversible,” putting pressure Monday on President-elect Donald Trump not to back away from a core strategy to fight climate change. Obama, penning an article in the journal Science, sought to frame the argument in a way that might appeal to the president-elect: in economic terms. He said the fact that the cost and polluting power of energy have dropped at the same time proves that fighting climate change and spurring economic growth aren’t mutually exclusive.

U.S. solar lobbying group names ‘bridge builder’ as new lead

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Monday, January 9th, 2017

The U.S. solar industry’s top lobbying group named energy policymaker Abigail Ross Hopper as its new chief executive, pledging pragmatism as the sector prepares to work with an incoming president who has expressed doubts about its importance. Hopper joins the Washington-based Solar Energy Industries Association after serving as director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for two years. At the BOEM, Hopper was responsible for leasing and permitting oil, gas and offshore wind projects.

EPA head’s top regret: failing to connect with rural America

Source: By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters • Posted: Monday, January 9th, 2017

Among the millions of rural Americans who voted for incoming president Donald Trump, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s legacy of hard-nosed regulation earned it a reputation as a jobs killer – a fact that outgoing EPA Director Gina McCarthy says could prove to be one of her biggest regrets. “We tried to change the outreach and messaging in rural America in a number of ways, but … has it changed the rhetoric that people hear? It hasn’t,” McCarthy said in an interview this week at EPA headquarters in Washington. “We couldn’t get it, but I wish we had.”

DOE Annual Energy Outlook projects doubling of wind energy

Source: By Michael Goggin, AWEA • Posted: Monday, January 9th, 2017

There’s good news from the Department of Energy (DOE) today. DOE’s annual report projecting the future of energy in America shows wind power capacity will double from 76 gigawatts (GW) today to 152 GW by the year 2023. However, new wind deployment drops off significantly in EIA’s scenarios after 2023. This drop-off appears to be driven by an anomaly in EIA’s assumptions about future cost reductions.

Will Donald Trump Blow Warren Buffett’s Clean-Energy Bet Off Course?

Source: By Stephen Gandel and Katie Fehrenbacher, Fortune • Posted: Monday, January 9th, 2017

What isn’t well known, in Iowa or elsewhere, is that one of the biggest winds at green energy’s back is coming from the world’s second-richest man. Buffett and his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway have spent more than $17 billion on renewable energy since 2004. Two years ago at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual power conference Buffett pledged to nearly double that.This year Berkshire is on track to spend almost $1 billion on its Iowa wind facilities alone—though Buffett admits he himself has never done more than drive past a wind farm. In an interview in November, Buffett told Fortune, “On the subject of hamburgers, I am an expert. Wind, I know less.”

Trump May Not Like Alternative Energy, but Investors Should

Source: By PAUL SULLIVAN, New York Times • Posted: Monday, January 9th, 2017

Given what President-elect Donald J. Trump has said about his energy strategy — he favors coal and wants to end federal subsidies to the clean energy industry — does it still make sense to invest in wind, solar and other alternative sources of power? The answer is an emphatic yes, according to investment advisers, who say clean energy companies will continue to thrive during a Trump administration, regardless of what the president says or does. The sector has become as much about getting returns on investments and catching the next technological boom as it is about reducing greenhouse gases and helping the environment. And clean energy is creating jobs in every state, not just the ones that have oil or gas in the ground. Even the most politically conservative states, like Kansas and Iowa, are leaders in wind power and are likely to continue investing in it.