News

How China Beats the U.S. at Clean-Air Progress

Source: By Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

As Beijing and more than 20 other cities in northern China have been plunged into another winter air-pollution crisis, with choking, toxic air and many people afraid to wander outside, observers wonder when China will start making significant progress on this problem. But there is some good news, namely that when it comes to clean air improvements, China probably is ahead of the historic pace of the U.S. at a comparable stage of economic development.

Letter to the Editor: The Trump administration should invest in offshore wind farms

Source: By Paul Rich, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Leaders on both sides of the political aisle are calling for boosting U.S. manufacturing and investing in infrastructure. Developing a robust offshore wind-farm industry accomplishes these goals simultaneously. Offshore wind farms will revitalize American steel manufacturing, employ highly skilled American tradespeople and spur much-needed infrastructure investments in American highways, rails and ports.

Norway’s Top Oil Company Is Building A Huge Wind Farm Off New York’s Jones Beach

Source: By Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Winds off the coasts of the United States are so dependably strong, turbines built offshore could produce four times the amount of electricity that’s currently generated from all sources in the country. At least, that’s what Norway’s biggest oil company is betting. Statoil, the fossil fuel cash cow that made Norway the world’s seventh richestcountry, won a $42.5 million bid last Friday to lease 79,350 acres of federal waters starting roughly 14 miles off the coast of Long Island. There, the company’s U.S. subsidiary plans to build a massive offshore wind farm to send clean energy back to New York City and its suburbs.

The Energy Department helped start a revolution – and doesn’t know who to hand it off to

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

As the Obama administration prepares to leave office, it is seeking to underscore just how much has changed in the last eight years in the way we get energy — and to take some credit for it. Since 2008, costs for wind and solar have plunged by 40 and 60 percent, respectively, according to an analysis provided by the Energy Department. That’s even as the United States has installed 100 gigawatts, or billion watts, of generating capacity in the two technologies combined (75 gigawatts of wind, 25 of solar).

Instead Of Trump’s Wall, Let’s Build A Border Of Solar Panels

Source: By Homero Aridjis and James Ramey, Huffington Post • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border.

Democrats call for special counsel to probe Trump team’s focus on climate scientists

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Nine Senate Democrats, led by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, called Friday for an investigation into a questionnaire sent by the Trump transition team to the Energy Department, asking for names of “employees or contractors” who attended United Nations climate change meetings under President Obama. The questionnaire was disavowed Wednesday by the Trump transition, which released a statement that it was “not authorized or part of our standard protocol” and that the individual who sent it had been “properly counseled.”

Nebraska County Commission approves first steps toward wind farm

Source: By WIBW • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The Nemaha County Commission has given their approval for a wind farm project in the southern portion of that county. On Monday, the county commission adopted a resolution approving a conditional use permit and wind farm district. That decision came after a public hearing, where eleven county residents voiced both support and opposition to the project.

Saudi Aramco, GE to launch Saudi Arabia’s first wind turbine next month

Source: By Reem Shamseddine, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Saudi Armco plans to commission its wind turbine pilot project, the first in the kingdom, next month, the state oil company said on Sunday, part of nationwide plans to diversify energy supplies and to meet an increase in demand. The wind turbine, supplied by U.S. company General Electric (GE) will provide power to Saudi Aramco’s bulk plant in Turaif, in northwest Saudi Arabia.

Smog engulfs north China for fourth day; flights diverted

Source: By David Stanway, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

China declared a “war on pollution” in 2014 amid concern its heavy industrial past was tarnishing its global reputation and holding back its future development. But it has struggled to reverse the damage done by decades of breakneck economic growth, much of it based on the coal-burning power sector. Despite months of efforts to hone its rapid response systems, air quality deteriorated in parts of the region on Tuesday, with the environment ministry warning that firms were flouting emergency restrictions.

Rick Perry turned Texas into a wind powerhouse by getting out of the way

Source: BY ALEX DAUGHERTY, McClatchy DC • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Texas’ wind boom, which began under then-Gov. George W. Bush, was buoyed by a lack of regulations combined with generous tax subsidies. When Perry followed Bush, he kept things easy for business. Wind producers could get up to 30 percent of their project paid for by the federal government, and didn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to put up a windmill.