First Solar Inc. plans to lay off more than one-quarter of its staff as the company aims to restructure its operations. The solar panel maker laid out the plan amid steep price declines and lower demand in China. It plans to cut 1,600 jobs worldwide.
Rural America, even as it laments its economic weakness, retains vastly disproportionate electoral strength. Rural voters were able to nudge Donald J. Trump to power despite Hillary Clinton’s large margins in cities like New York. In a House of Representatives that structurally disadvantages Democrats because of their tight urban clustering, rural voters helped Republicans hold their cushion. In the Senate, the least populous states are now more overrepresented than ever before. And the growing unity of rural Americans as a voting bloc has converted the rural bias in national politics into a potent Republican advantage.
Iowa is a wind power state. It is also a Donald Trump state, with nearly 52 percent of voters casting ballots for the Republican presidential candidate last week, compared with 42.2 percent for Hillary Clinton. So what does it mean for Iowa — which receives more than a third of its electricity from wind energy and claims more than 6,000 workers in the wind energy sector and related industries — if the new president shifts the nation’s energy priorities away from renewables?
Seven companies with significant operations in Arkansas spoke out Tuesday in support of the controversial Plains & Eastern Clean Line power transmission project in a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The businesses, including manufacturers Ingersoll Rand, Unilever and LM Wind Power, expressed interest in renewable and low-cost wind power they say their companies could attain through the $2.5 billion high-line project, which would transmit Oklahoma-produced wind power across the width of Arkansas and offer 500 megawatts of electricity to consumers in the state via a converter station planned for Pope County.
Fears that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming pushed almost 200 nations at climate talks in Morocco on Thursday to declare action an “urgent duty”. Trump has called man-made global warming a hoax and has said he will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which seeks to wean the global economy off fossil fuels this century with a shift to renewable energies such as wind and solar power.
Donald Trump’s opposition to the fight against global warming could leave the U.S. stuck in the past as countries from Europe, Asia and even the Middle East pursue an energy revolution in which renewables offer a better bang for their buck. While Trump has promised to “cancel” the Paris deal and stimulate coal production once he takes over as U.S. president in January, others including the European Union, China and Saudi Arabia are vowing to press ahead with actions that will support renewable energy at the expense of fossil fuels.
A new report, released this week by the Georgetown Climate Center, illustrates the leaps made by 19 individual states across the country through strong policies aimed at diversifying the energy landscape and cutting carbon emissions. Nevada, for instance, leads the country in solar capacity per capita, according to the report, and its Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program has helped allow for the construction of 29 large-scale renewable energy projects. New York and California have both mandated that power companies source 50 percent of their electricity from renewables by the year 2030. Meanwhile, energy-saving programs in Massachusetts have made it the most energy-efficient state in the nation — and since 2007, its wind energy capacity has grown 70-fold and its solar capacity has grown 781-fold.
A week after President-elect Donald Trump clinched a White House victory, his looming presidency is still causing shudders among Energy Department staffers unsure of what the future holds. “It’s chaos, no one knows what … is going on,” said one career staffer who has worked on clean technology at DOE since the beginning of the Obama administration and asked not to be named. “Many of my peers do not agree with basically anything the Trump campaign stands for, and [wonder] what kind of people they will appoint. And so many of us are inclined to leave.”
The heads of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, North Dakota Department of Health and Environment, and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection penned a letter to Trump yesterday. “Our country still needs the EPA, but not the EPA of recent years,” they wrote.
President-elect Trump has rejected climate change science and has promised to roll back policies and agreements aimed at reducing carbon emissions. But a major energy transition is already well under way in Minnesota. We’re a top-10 state for wind energy production, and solar panels are going up everywhere. The state’s biggest utility, Xcel Energy, plans to shutter two giant coal-fired power generators at its Sherco plant within ten years and recently showed off a 1,000-acre solar project just north of the Twin Cities.