U.S. Energy News

Report: Batteries increasingly competitive with natural gas

STORAGE: The long-term cost of electricity from lithium-ion batteries is falling faster than expected, making them increasingly competitive with natural gas plants, according to a report. (Greentech Media)

POWER PLANTS:
• Critics say Xcel Energy’s plan to
buy a Minnesota natural gas plant is a bad deal for ratepayers and runs counter to the company’s clean energy goals. (Energy News Network)
Dominion Energy plans to retire 10 older and less efficient coal and gas-fired power plant units in Virginia because they can no longer compete. (Utility Dive)
A Kentucky coal investor offers to buy TVA’s Paradise power plant, but the utility hasn’t said if it’s for sale yet. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

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RENEWABLES:
• Xcel Energy is rapidly expanding its renewable energy portfolio, putting it among the U.S. utilities leading the transition from coal to renewables. (CNN)
Citing customer demand and declining costs for clean energy, an Idaho utility announces it will phase out coal and natural gas by 2045. (Idaho Statesman)
• As wind and solar employment grow, the industries are hiring more people from places where fossil fuels were once a way of life. (The New York Times)

SOLAR: Black South Carolina lawmakers raise concerns about the lack of diversity in the state’s solar industry. (Post and Courier)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• Federal officials sign a 10-year memorandum of understanding with a coalition of fishing industry stakeholders that aims to sustain fishing opportunities while allowing offshore wind projects off the East Coast. (Associated Press)
• A new study says 18.6 gigawatts of offshore wind planned along the country’s coasts by 2030 would represent a capital expenditure of $70 billion. (reNews)

MICROGRIDS: Fossil-fuel-based generation dominated the microgrid market in 2018, according to an industry report. (Greentech Media)

NUCLEAR:
• Xcel Energy’s CEO says losing nuclear plants would be a “step back” for the utility’s goal of 100 percent carbon-free generation by 2050. (Utility Dive)
• Saving nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania may come down to whether industry groups can make convincing arguments on climate change. (Toledo Blade)

PIPELINES:
• The billionaire behind the Dakota Access Pipeline faces rejection from artists he once worked with through his independent record label. (Businessweek)
• Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers say they are still committed to the project despite the Sierra Club’s claims that it’s window is closing. (Robesonian)

CLIMATE:
• Climate change is an “international market failure” that threatens the stability of the financial system, a Federal Reserve researcher warns. (Grist)
U.S.-Canada collaboration could boost both countries’ climate responses, legal and policy experts at a recent conference said. (Energy News Network)
• A wave of lawsuits is now underway across the United States targeting fossil fuel companies for contributing to climate change. (Vox)

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POLITICS:
• In a largely symbolic vote, the U.S. Senate rejects the Green New Deal 57-0, with most Democrats voting “present.” (The Atlantic)
• Most Senate Republicans say climate change is real, but they’re struggling to come up with a strategy to deal with the issue. (McClatchy)

COMMENTARY:
• The Green New Deal sets us up for failure, writes former Colorado governor and Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper. (Washington Post)
• A think tank founder says its polling indicates that people actually like the Green New Deal. (The New York Times)

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