With the ink barely dry on a landmark climate accord, nations now face an even more daunting challenge: how to get their industries to go along. If nothing else, analysts and experts say, the accord is a signal to businesses and investors that the era of carbon reduction has arrived. It will spur banks and investment funds to shift their loan and stock portfolios from coal and oil to the growing industries of renewable energy like wind and solar.
he U.S. solar industry notched its eighth consecutive quarter of more than 1 gigawatt of newly installed capacity during the August-October period, industry figures released today show. The third-quarter figure of 1,361 megawatts of new installations sets the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry on a trajectory to break its previous annual growth record, set in 2014, and is the sixth largest quarterly growth in history.
Michael Garland, CEO of wind-power developer Pattern Energy Group Inc., said Trump’s skepticism toward climate change has given more conservative electric utilities pause over signing renewable-energy contracts to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
General Motors Co (GM.N) said Thursday it is buying wind energy to power production of some its biggest sport utility vehicles at a factory in Texas. GM said in a statement it has agreed to buy 30 megawatts of energy from a Texas wind farm operated by a unit of Spanish renewable energy company EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR.LS). EDP is developing a 250 megawatt wind farm in Edinburg, Texas. GM will use the wind-generated electricity to power production of Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs at its factory in Arlington, Texas
One is a European country known as “the powerhouse of Europe” that struggles against soggy winters and seemingly endless gray skies. The other is a digitally driven American state, known as “the Golden State,” for its abundant sunshine and year-round growing season. One is determined to lead an energy transformation through carefully drafted laws and regulations; the other is driven by an inventive spirit of boundary-pushing and experimentation.
As diplomats here work through the final points of a sweeping new climate change accord, experts said the ultimate measure of success of the agreement will be whether it sends a clear signal to global financial investors that they should move money away from fossil fuels and toward clean-energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Without that signal, there is little chance that emissions will be reduced enough to stave off the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.
Lawmakers and the White House are rushing to finalize a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill and a sprawling tax package touching all sectors of the economy. Policy disputes remain as both parties try to attach their priorities to the must-pass spending legislation. Republicans are seeking to lift the oil export ban and roll back various Obama administration regulations, while Democrats are maneuvering to protect President Barack Obama’s environmental rules and enact permanent tax credits for wind, solar and other renewable energy.
The prospects for a deal to repeal the crude exports ban in exchange for long-term extensions of key renewable tax credits also remain up in the air.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated Democrats’ position that lifting the ban would be a boon for the oil industry. “That crude oil leaves our country, it receives a higher price on the international market, that’s what they’re trying to do,” she told reporters. “What they also want to do is suppress any commitment to any long-term renewables, whether it’s wind and solar. We cannot let that happen.”
With just two days left to reach a deal, negotiators at the world climate talks released a new draft Wednesday that drops the most radical ideas — including an international tribunal to punish polluters — but leaves major issues unresolved, such as who should pay to help the most vulnerable nations cope with global warming. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry challenged diplomats to reach agreement by Friday’s deadline, promising American funding for low-lying island nations and other countries hit hardest by the rising seas and extreme weather that scientists attribute to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
The morass of litigation engulfing the Obama administration’s signature climate change rule will be the top environmental law issue to watch next year, according to new rankings from Vermont Law School. U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan — a contentious rule requiring power plants to curb their greenhouse gas emissions — is at the center of a massive court battle that is widely expected to drag on for years and ultimately wind up at the Supreme Court. The legal “Super Bowl” surrounding the regulation ranked No. 1 on the law school’s annual top 10 list.