A wave of new videos shared over the last month do a great job of capturing the power of U.S. wind farms and how wind turbine technology continues to evolve. American wind power has more than tripled since 2008, supplying over five percent of U.S. electricity today. That growth has been largely due to performance-based tax policy (Production Tax Credit) and American workers advancing turbine technology.
A strong majority of Americans think the United States should meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement, though they doubt nations abroad will uphold their end of the bargain, according to an Associated Press and University of Chicago poll released today. The survey found that 80 percent of Americans want the United States to try to cut its emissions, as the deal requires, even if foreign nations, such as India and China, do not.
The United States on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited plan for desert renewable energy development that the solar and wind industries said unfairly favors land conservation and severely limits the ability to build projects critical to meeting the nation’s climate goals. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, eight years in the making, was designed to streamline development of wind and solar projects on federal and private lands in California while preserving pristine desert habitats.
Rooftop solar, which has surged more than 1,000 percent since 2010, will barely grow at all next year. Residential installations are expected to increase by 21 percent this year, but in 2017 the figure will inch upward by about 0.3 percent. The change comes as utilities push back against mandates to buy the electricity and shifting tax policies curb demand. Throw in sliding electricity rates and it’s clear the economic benefits of rooftop panels are no longer so obvious to consumers.
The Obama administration has finalized a plan designed to guide commercial-scale wind, solar and geothermal power development across millions of acres of Southern California desert. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced that her department has issued a record of decision (ROD) approving the proposal and three land-use plan amendments covering 10.8 million federal acres as part of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).
But the solar and wind industries, which had strongly criticized a prior version of the plan for cutting off development opportunities, expressed strong disappointment Wednesday. In a statement, Shannon Eddy, the executive director of the Large-Scale Solar Association, charged the plan “is a Model T in a Tesla world. Rather than fostering sustainable clean energy development as a part of a conservation plan, it severely restricts wind and solar.”
Swaths of public land in the California desert will be opened to solar and wind farms under a federal plan released Wednesday that preserves much of the landscape for conservation and recreation. The long-awaited blueprint finalized by the U.S. Interior Department after a yearslong process seeks to balance renewable energy development and species protection on 17,000 square miles (44,030 sq. kilometers) of desert managed by the federal government.
Utility net-metering programs in Michigan surpassed 2,000 customers for the first time since the programs were created by legislation in 2008. But the programs, among the many energy policies being debated in the Legislature, still represent just a tiny fraction of peak demand.
In four Midwestern states — Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas — former state legislators represent a majority on commissions. In three other states, commissions include at least one former state senator or representative. In all, of 10 Midwestern states where utility commissioners are appointed, about 40 percent of commissioners (15 of 37) previously served as state representatives or senators.
China’s booming electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing’s technology ambitions, has been rocked by scandal after five companies were caught collecting millions of dollars in subsidies for buses they never made. The affair of the phantom buses has prompted questions about whether it might disrupt the ruling Communist Party’s financial support to an industry it is spending heavily to promote.