Upgrading its projections for the clean power sector yet again, the influential agency suggested that by 2024 developers will have added enough new renewables capacity to the global grid to match demand from the entire U.S. economy.
The MI Power Grid program will focus on three areas: customer engagement, integrating emerging technologies and optimizing grid performance and investments. Business groups and one of the state's largest electric utilities, Consumers Energy, applauded the move.
Bard MBA student Sahara James spoke with Rob Threlkeld, global manager of sustainable energy, supply and reliability for General Motors, about how GM has responded to changes in the renewables landscape, how company leadership reacted to his team’s pitch to join RE100, and why there’s still power in numbers.
What if excess carbon in the atmosphere could be converted to more useful forms? That’s the ultimate goal of carbon conversion companies such as Opus 12, a startup in Berkeley, California. Making stuff out of carbon dioxide could be a trillion-dollar industry by 2030, and it creates an economic incentive to start removing carbon from the atmosphere sooner rather than later, which is a critical piece of most scenarios for limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
A number of offshore wind projects won contracts to sell power at guaranteed prices in a U.K. auction. The price of 39.65 pounds per megawatt-hour ($49.70) was 31% below the level in a similar auction two years ago.
While the U.S. is second only to China in onshore wind power capacity — which is neither as reliable nor as efficient as offshore, but a lot cheaper to build — it lags behind China, Germany, the U.K., and other countries in taking advantage of the stronger, steadier gusts at sea.
Rival developer teams filed formal proposals with Connecticut regulators to build massive new wind farms off New England’s southern coast, with the state having mandated that 40% of its electricity be generated from renewable sources within a decade’s time.
These policies, taken together and adopted at national scale, would allow the United States to do its part in limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Can it be done? The final installment of “Look to the States” concludes with an outlook and some tools — drawing once more from state-level successes — for putting a decarbonization plan into practice.
States across the country have led efforts to revamp the electric grid: modernizing century-old systems, promoting energy efficiency, and investing in distributed energy generation that replaces central grids. Through smart investment and incentives, the federal government has the ability to usher in this new energy future nationwide, and ensure that all share equitably in the benefits — and that those who suffer from the highest energy burden receive the most help.
For years, red and blue states across the country have been building the policy architecture for ambitious national climate action. Part II of "Searching for a New Deal on Climate" explores how the federal government can follow the states’ lead on setting economy-wide greenhouse gas targets, establishing renewable energy requirements for electric utility portfolios, and building out new renewable energy generation.