California lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to extend the state's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases through 2030.
The bipartisan, supermajority votes in both the state Assembly and Senate late Monday gave a major victory to Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who has been pushing hard to extend the landmark climate change program in the world’s sixth largest economy.
It also serves as a significant example of California’s willingness to fight climate change while the Trump administration and congressional Republicans work to dismantle Obama-era climate policies. Read More
The reason for the alarm? The request mentioned government mandates and subsidies, which have driven wind and solar energy's growth, as possible drivers of reliability concerns. The industry lobbyists are right to be sensitive. Despite constantly touting the rapidly falling cost of wind and solar, industry growth over the next decade depends on mandates and subsidies. Read More
"In general, it's going to be renewables in, gas out, so you've got that sort of long, slow good-night of lots of gas," said Jim Caldwell, a senior technical consultant with the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a Sacramento think tank that has been advocating for regulators to reconsider their grid policies to better account for renewables and climate change. Read More
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) continues to invest in clean energy technologies to strengthen our domestic energy independence. To improve technologies from the onset, the Geothermal Technologies Office is focusing on rare earths and critical materials recovery—the building blocks in many clean energy applications.
Critical materials—lithium, manganese and some rare-earth elements—play a vital role in producing many clean energy technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and energy-saving lighting and energy storage. For example, rare-earth elements are used in devices such as iPads, smartphones and flat-screen televisions; indium is present in the liquid crystal displays of many of the same devices. Manganese is essential for hardening iron into steel and reducing corrosion in aluminum cans. Many clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, electric vehicles, and thin-film solar cells require various critical materials to function. Read More
Investments in Renewable Energy to Top US$7 Trillion by 2040
Rather than focusing on political commitments, the New Energy Outlook models how the changing costs of renewable and conventional energy may change the future energy landscape and resulting risks and opportunities. The 2017 edition finds that thanks to faster than expected declines in the cost of wind and solar power, renewable energy will account for majority of the expected US$10.2 trillion in energy investments up to 2040. Read More