renewable energy

renewable energy

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Offshore wind will need major investments in transmission, supply chain, reports say

Achieving the aggressive offshore wind power goals of the federal government and individual states will require billions of dollars in spending on transmission infrastructure, “unprecedented” cooperation between grid operators and federal and state agencies, and would be aided by major buildout of a domestic supply chain, per a pair of reports released this week. Coastal states across the country, from North Carolina to California to Louisiana to Maine, are pushing for offshore wind projects. But authors of the reports see potential bottlenecks looming, both in the supply chain to build and install turbines as well as in the ability to bring the electricity ashore.

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Environment Top Story

States are vying for money to start ‘hydrogen hubs.’ What are they?

Across the country, states are inking agreements with neighbors or striking out on their own to pursue billions in federal funding to set up “hydrogen hubs,” clustered centers for production, storage and use of the gas that many see as a crucial piece of the puzzle for decarbonizing the U.S. economy. How broad a role it should play, however, is a matter of debate.

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Environment News Top Story

For offshore wind aspirations to become reality, transmission hurdles must be cleared

President Joe Biden’s administration laid out ambitious additional goals last month to boost offshore wind power generation, one of the American renewable energy industry’s emerging wide open frontiers. The federal announcements come as coastal states across the country are increasingly setting offshore wind energy targets, seeking to capture not just clean energy but the potentially big economic benefits of their ports serving as hubs for the vessels, blade manufacturing, cables and other infrastructure needed to get turbines more than 850 feet tall installed miles out at sea. 

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Environment News Top Story

Amid a massive American clean energy shift, grid operators play catch-up 

For the better part of the past century, the American electric power system evolved around large, mostly fossil fuel power plants delivering electricity to residences, businesses and industry through a network of transmission and distribution wires that collectively came to be called the electric grid. But as the threat of climate change driven by carbon pollution becomes more dire and as technological advances make wind, solar and battery storage ever cheaper options for powering homes and business, states, corporations and voters are increasingly pushing to aggressively decarbonize the grid.

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Environment News Top Story

Despite multiple fines, violations, NC Renewable Power is still a chronic and major air polluter

Robeson County facility seeks new air permit even as state records detail a long trail of failures as fines Tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Dozens of violations. Millions of tons of air pollutants. North Carolina Renewable Power in Robeson County was supposed to be part of the solution for Duke Energy to meet its renewable energy goals.

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Environment Top Story

Offshore wind industry leaders ask Congress to back long-term plans to increase production

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is making a significant push for new offshore wind development to meet ambitious climate goals, but industry leaders say they also need long-term commitments and support from Congress to reach their potential. Leaders of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry called on Congress to invest in renewables at a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel Thursday.

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Education News Top Story

U.S. House committees advance ambitious education and climate initiatives

Proposals would fund universal pre-K and free community college, hasten shift to renewable energy WASHINGTON—Two important U.S. House committees advanced ambitious plans to address national education needs and the global climate emergency late last week.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Offshore wind(fall) could create the clean jobs people are clamoring for

Tune in to nearly any public environmental meeting and you'll hear residents of environmental justice communities repeatedly clamor for clean jobs: not pipelines or wood pellet plants, but careers in industries that will break the cycle of generational poverty, while leaving the planet a more hospitable place for future generations.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

New energy report could yield a win-win for climate and pocketbooks

COVID taught us a lot about living in crisis mode. The biggest lesson: address crises early enough to avoid complete disruption of our lives. Let’s start with the climate crisis. If we cannot slow climate change before certain tipping points are reached, changes will accelerate of their own accord and disastrous consequences will mount. There will be worse weather extremes, food shortages, mass migrations of people escaping rising seas and extinction of an estimated one-third of all species by 2050.

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Environment News Top Story

Smithfield, Dominion propose major swine gas project, but details are secret, troubling residents

Public hearing on Align RNG air permit set for this afternoon

Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy plan to deploy 30 miles of underground pipeline in Sampson and Duplin counties, part of a controversial project to buy methane from area hog farms, then transport and sell the energy to major utilities.

In and of itself, decreasing methane emissions in the atmosphere isn’t controversial. Such reductions are key to curbing climate change because methane is even more potent in heating the planet than carbon dioxide. And the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requires investor-owned utilities to generate or buy a minute amount — just 0.02% — of their power from swine and poultry waste.

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