U.S. Energy News

U.S. to unveil plan to decarbonize economy by 2050

CLIMATE:
• U.S. officials will announce a plan for decarbonizing the economy by 2050 during a climate summit in Morocco next month. (Bloomberg BNA)
• New York’s Supreme Court orders ExxonMobil to produce documents related to an investigation into whether the company concealed risks from climate change. (Washington Post)

COAL:
• The federal government gives $28 million in grants to more than a dozen states to aid workers displaced from the coal industry and fund initiatives to diversify local economies. (Reuters)
• A federal judge rules that coal particles that fall into waterways from passing trains are a type of pollution under the Clean Water Act, opening the door for a lawsuit against BNSF Railway in Washington state. (Associated Press)
• A West Virginia University professor who testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about stimulating the coal industry says West Virginia needs more innovation and renewable energy – not talk about the “war on coal.” (West Virginia Record)
• The federal government is giving $790,000 to the University of Utah so it can test the feasibility of transforming coal into a carbon fiber material. (Deseret News Utah)

COAL ASH:
• Hexavalent chromium found in wells near Duke Energy’s coal-ash ponds in North Carolina came from naturally occurring sources, not the ponds, according to a new study from Duke University. (Charlotte Business Journal)
Georgia adopts new rules requiring coal ash storage facilities to be permitted and undergo groundwater monitoring, but environmental advocates say they don’t go far enough. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

OIL & GAS: A new report that shows Exxon’s annual revenue is down by 45 percent and its long-term debt has quadrupled suggests the company is experiencing an “irreversible decline,” according to one expert. (CNN Money)

SOLAR:
• A California-based residential solar company will provide home energy storage that uses technology from LG Chem, the world’s largest automotive battery supplier. (Los Angeles Times)
• Developers say initial response to Project Sunroof, which uses aerial images from Google Earth to calculate any roof’s solar energy potential, has been encouraging. (Reuters)
• A California-based company is choosing a site in Nevada for what could be the world’s largest solar power plant, with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts. (Engineering News-Record)

WIND:
• Charlotte-based Duke Energy will remotely oversee operations at the country’s first offshore wind farm off Rhode Island. (Charlotte Business Journal)
Rotor blades fracture on two wind turbines that were recently installed in Michigan. (Reuters)
• Nearly a dozen states generated at least 10 percent of their electricity from wind farms in 2015, with Iowa leading at 31 percent wind power, according to government data. (Denver Business Journal)
Outdated wind farms built in the 1980s and 1990s are ideal sites for “repowering” with modern technologies. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The country will save $21 billion in healthcare and climate-related costs by 2050 if electric vehicles account for all new sales and make up 65 percent of the cars on the road, according to a new study. (Wired)
Tesla turns a profit for the first time in years, earning $22 million in the third quarter of 2016. (Vox)
• Kansas regulators raise objections to a utility’s plan to build out electric vehicle charging stations, saying the proposal is anti-competitive and would require customers to subsidize a handful of EV drivers. (Midwest Energy News)

ADVOCACY: A grassroots organization in Kentucky is writing its own clean power plan for the state. (ClimateWire)

UTILITIES:
• More than half of all households in the country will have a smart meter installed by the end of the year, reaching a total of 70 million smart meters, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Small independent power producers in Michigan are joining forces to fight a major utility’s plan to pay them less for their electricity. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: Energy efficiency and renewable power are trending toward ubiquity. (Greentech Media)

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