Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Wind Power

On a Pacific Island, Russia Tests Its Battle Plan on Climate Change

Technology, World
SAKHALIN ISLAND, Russia — Sixteen wind turbines are slated to go up amid the winding coast and wooded hills of this Russian island in the Pacific, creating a wind park bigger than any that currently exists in the vast reaches of the country’s Far East.The clean energy generated by the new wind park will go toward mining more coal.Russia is scrambling to retain the wealth and power that come from selling fossil fuels to the world, even as the Kremlin increasingly acknowledges climate change to be a human-made crisis that the country needs to do more to address.Last week, President Vladimir V. Putin said Russia would stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2060. It was a remarkable reversal since Mr. Putin has long dismissed climate science and many in his country see international e...
Democrats Weigh Carbon Tax After Manchin Rejects Key Climate Provision

Democrats Weigh Carbon Tax After Manchin Rejects Key Climate Provision

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Some House and Senate Democrats, smarting from a move by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, to kill a major element of President Biden’s climate plan, are switching to Plan B: a tax on carbon dioxide pollution.A carbon tax, in which polluting industries would pay a fee for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit, is seen by economists as the most effective way to cut the fossil fuel emissions that are heating the planet.The almost certain demise of the clean electricity program at the heart of Mr. Biden’s agenda — which comes as scientists say forceful policies are needed to avert climate change’s most devastating impacts — has prompted outrage among many Democrats and has led several to say now is the moment for a carbon tax.“I’ve had a carbon pricing bill in m...
Biden Administration Plans Wind Farms Along Nearly the Entire U.S. Coastline

Biden Administration Plans Wind Farms Along Nearly the Entire U.S. Coastline

Technology, World
“This is very big, big deal. This is a signal like we’ve never had before in the United States about where we can go with offshore wind,” said Dan Reicher, who served as assistant secretary at the Department of Energy in the Clinton administration and now advises Magellan Wind, which develops projects with offshore floating turbines.“I’ve been in the wind industry for a long time,” Mr. Reicher said. “This is a repeat of what we did a couple of decades ago when we stepped up onshore wind, when it went from being a small niche source of energy to being a mainstream, affordable source of power.”Still, there is no guarantee that companies will lease space in the federal waters and build wind farms. Once the offshore areas are identified, they will be subject to lengthy federal, state and local...
Transition Away From Fossil Fuels Not Moving Fast Enough, New Report Finds

Transition Away From Fossil Fuels Not Moving Fast Enough, New Report Finds

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are advancing so rapidly that the global use of fossil fuels is now expected to peak by the mid-2020s and then start declining, the world’s leading energy agency said Tuesday.But there’s a catch: The transition away from coal, oil and natural gas still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, the agency said, at least not unless governments take much stronger action to reduce their planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions over the next few years.The International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook, a 386-page report that forecasts global energy trends to 2050, comes just weeks before world leaders gather for a major United Nations climate summit in Glasgo...
Are Tesla and Texas a Perfect Match? It’s Questionable.

Are Tesla and Texas a Perfect Match? It’s Questionable.

Business
Tesla’s move from Silicon Valley to Texas makes sense in many ways: The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and the conservative lawmakers who run the state share a libertarian philosophy, favoring few regulations and low taxes. Texas also has room for a company with grand ambitions to grow.“There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area,” Mr. Musk said Thursday at Tesla’s annual meeting hosted at its new factory near the Texas capital. “Here in Austin, our factory’s like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown.”But Texas may not be the natural choice that Mr. Musk makes it out to be.Tesla’s stated mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” and its customers include many people who want sporty cars that don’t spew greenhouse gases f...

China’s Power Crunch Exposes Tensions Ahead of Key U.N. Climate Summit

Technology, World
Renewable energy in inland China sometimes generates more electricity than nearby consumers can use, but then at other times produces too little. Just five years ago, three inland regions that create abundant solar and wind energy power — sparsely populated Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Gansu — were wasting up to two-fifths of that power.To address this problem, China has built ultra-high-voltage transmission lines linking the country’s interior to hubs near the coast.But connectivity still has a ways to go. “New demand can more than be met by cleaner sources of energy” if transmission networks are expanded, Ms. Lewis said.Beijing is also trying to use market forces to expand renewable energy. The Chinese government has ordered electric utilities to charge industrial and commercial customer...
Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Technology, World
ABERDEEN, Scotland — It’s easy to see how vital oil is to this venerable port city on Scotland’s northeast coast. Step out the door of the small international airport and you are buffeted from across the road by the roar of helicopters ferrying crews back and forth to oil platforms scattered across the North Sea.Drive into the city and you’ll pass sprawling office parks with oil company logos, the home for some of the 71,000 engineers, geologists, drillers and others in Scotland who work in the oil and gas industry. Overall, the industry accounts for an estimated 7 percent of Scotland’s economic output.Yet Scotland’s oil and gas industry is in trouble.Oil output from the British North Sea has been on a long, steady slide for two decades, and production last year was around one-third of its...
Democrats Call Infrastructure Bill a Down Payment on Climate

Democrats Call Infrastructure Bill a Down Payment on Climate

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — The $1 trillion infrastructure deal reached by a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday would make a significant down payment on President Biden’s ambitious environmental agenda, including the first federal expenditure on electric vehicle charging stations and the largest investment in public transit and clean water systems in the nation’s history.The plan also includes the first federal spending designated for “climate resilience” — to adapt and rebuild roads, ports and bridges to withstand the damages wrought by the rising sea levels, stronger storms and more devastating heat waves that will come as the planet continues to warm.But the money for provisions to cut the pollution fueling climate change is a fraction of the $2 trillion that Mr. Biden once vowed to spend. The ...
More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future

More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future

Technology
The nation is facing once in a generation choices about how energy ought to be delivered to homes, businesses and electric cars — decisions that could shape the course of climate change and determine how the United States copes with wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather linked to global warming.On one side, large electric utilities and President Biden want to build thousands of miles of power lines to move electricity created by distant wind turbines and solar farms to cities and suburbs. On the other, some environmental organizations and community groups are pushing for greater investment in rooftop solar panels, batteries and local wind turbines.There is an intense policy struggle taking place in Washington and state capitals about the choices that lawmakers, energy businesses ...
Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Omits Big Climate Measures

Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Omits Big Climate Measures

Technology, World
“Those two things must go hand in hand for it to have my support,” she said.Some Democratic strategists are skeptical about the budget reconciliation route. Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both Democrats, have balked at voting for a reconciliation bill that has no Republican support. Mr. Manchin, who represents a coal-rich state, is unlikely to support a plan designed to end demand for coal.“I think it will be as challenging in reconciliation now as increasing the minimum wage was at the beginning of the year,” said Rich Gold, an energy and environment lobbyist and former senior E.P.A. adviser in the Clinton administration, speaking of Democrats’ failed attempt to use the reconciliation process to raise the minimum wage.“Having been around th...