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April 29 News: Utilities And Large Companies Like North Carolina’s Clean Energy Standard

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"April 29 News: Utilities And Large Companies Like North Carolina’s Clean Energy Standard"

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More on how the bill to repeal North Carolina’s clean energy standard. Hint: it isn’t just the clean energy industry that likes clean energy. [Dallas Morning News]

When North Carolina Republicans brought forward a bill pushed by ALEC, the conservative lobbying group, to gut the state’s renewable energy standards this year, they figured they had a model piece of pro-business legislation that would sail through.

But, as North American Windpower gleefully reported, it died in committee.

Key to the story is the committee where it died, public utilities and energy. It died there because the state’s electrical utilities, mainly Duke Energy, which bought out rival Progress Energy last year, didn’t support it, despite the fact that the bill’s prime sponsor formerly worked there.

What happened?

Duke has found out how to make money with renewables. Its non-regulated Duke Energy Renewables unit plans to double production from wind, solar and biomass projects this decade. Big customers including Google and Apple, both of which have large data centers in the state, are supporting a new green energy rate, reports the Charlotte Business Journal.

It turns out solar and wind projects offer big advantages to electric utility companies. They can get a premium rate for solar power, whose supply peaks in the afternoon alongside the higher load of air conditioning.

Streetcar fan and Mayor of Charlotte Anthony Foxx will be President Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Transportation. [Charlotte Observer]

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) could chair the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if she wins re-election next year. [National Journal]

EPA has revised downward its estimates of how much methane leaks from natural gas fracking practices. [AP]

New report: Australia’s coal reserves are a dangerous financial bubble, and its coal industry a dinosaur, if the world acts on cutting carbon pollution. [Guardian]

Even as China leads the world in total carbon emissions, it is also “accelerating action” on cutting electricity demand and adding renewable energy to its portfolio. [Phys.org]

Could Champagne be moving to England as temperatures rise? [Washington Post]

The Ohio EPA would like to know why natural gas pipelines are spilling slurry into their wetlands. [Columbus Dispatch]

The world’s largest solar photovoltaic development is being constructed 60 miles outside of Los Angeles. [EarthTechling]

Unlike House legislation, Senate bill language would not exempt oil companies from having to disclose payments to foreign governments in a U.S.-Mexico energy accord. [The Hill]

Rising sea levels are starting to hit home off the coast of New Jersey. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

And South Carolina. [AP]

A 518 kilowatt solar PV system was installed on the grounds of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse Campus in Monroe, Michigan. [AP]

On Wednesday, a solar plane will attempt to fly from San Francisco to New York City. [NPR]

Virginia’s new transportation law lowers the gas tax but places a fee on electric and hybrid cars. [USA Today]

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15 Responses to April 29 News: Utilities And Large Companies Like North Carolina’s Clean Energy Standard

  1. fj says:

    This will likely prevent a lot of problems.

    Ho Chi Minh City Scrambling to Put Transit in Place Before People Start Buying Cars

    http://m.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/04/ho-chi-minh-city-scrambles-put-transit-place-people-start-buying-cars/5413/

  2. prokaryotes says:

    EU Bans use of bee harming neonicotinoids – we lose the bees then we lose our food pollinators http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/eu-pesticides-idUSB5N0DG01720130429

  3. fj says:

    The report from China is astounding.

    Bizarre that the rich and mature fossil fuel industry does not forget coal and oil and move to this apparent goldmine:

    “Whatever the reason, the results speak for themselves. China is quickly moving to the top of the leader board on climate change,” said Flannery.

    The report found that in 2012 alone China invested US$65.1 billion in clean energy, 20 percent more than in 2011. This was unmatched and represented 30 percent of the entire G20 nations’ investment last year.

    It pointed to new solar power capacity in China expanding 75 percent last year while the amount of electricity generated from wind in 2012 was 36 percent higher than 2011.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-04-china-global-climate-leader.html#jCp

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      The Chinese are ruled by technocrats, chosen on merit, akin to the days of the Chinese civil service. In the West politicians are mostly buffoons, chosen for ideological loyalty to the rich who own society and for their ‘marketability’, which these days mostly means their ability to lie without conscience. Chinese rulers are able to comprehend scientific reports, and with the long continuity of Chinese civilisation, think in longer terms than the Western election cycle. ‘Capitalist democracy’, is not and cannot be, up to the task. The Germans are the best of a mediocre bunch, but the Anglosphere is a bedlam in deepening collapse, intellectually, morally and socially.

  4. Spike says:

    400ppm CO2 expected this week – what will it look like?

    http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/what-does-400-ppm-look-like/

  5. fj says:

    Considering how the fossil fuel industry is committed to driving us over both environmental and fiscal cliffs perhaps it would be wise to commit industry reserves to risk offsetting financial instruments leveraging terrific opportunities in environmental and cleantech sectors.

  6. A Word of Caution on the Gas Article

    If you read the article about the EPA’s “findings” that there is less natural gas leakage than previously thought, take it with a grain of salt and read it to the end. (The article is part of today’s CP news roundup.)

    For one thing, it’s an AP article, republished in Huffpo — which means it’s the mainstream media talking. The big headline says there is less gas leakage than suspected — but when you get into the details…

    More important, the EPA based its assessment in large part on studies submitted by the gas industry — and ignored the recent NOAA studies of gas wells in Utah and Colorado leaking at rates of 9 and 7 percent.

    Some improvements have apparently been made in leakage rates, and that’s a good thing — but the entire study ignores the fact that we’ve already shot our carbon budget and can’t burn any more fossil fuels even if there are zero methane leaks.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Due to Congressional rules, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology had to choose new leadership this year. At the time, we opined that almost any choice would be a bad one. The Democrats had been neglecting the committee, leaving three seats unfilled, while the Republicans filled their seats with people who were openly hostile to a number of fields of science such as evolution and climate research. http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/congress-tries-to-reset-science-grants-wants-every-one-to-be-groundbreaking/

  8. prokaryotes says:

    James Hansen CBC Interview from today it appears http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEe2RhdbZso