January 13, 2017 Read More →

Trump Administration’s Interest in Renewables Boom Is Uncertain. China’s Isn’t.

Jonathan H. Harsch for Agri-Pulse:

Calling for an end to “the nearly $5 billion per year in federal fossil-fuel subsidies,” Obama concludes that “technology advances and market forces will continue to drive renewable deployment,” and that “it is unlikely that utilities will change course and choose to build coal-fired power plants, which would be more expensive than natural gas plants, regardless of any near-term changes in federal policy.”

Obama predicts that “beyond market forces, state-level policy will continue to drive clean-energy momentum. States representing 40 percent of the U.S. population are continuing to move ahead with clean-energy plans, and even outside of those states, clean energy is expanding.”

The Department of Energy is also making the case that it’s economic common sense to invest in renewable energy. In a 38-page report released this week on “Transmission Expansion in a Wind Vision Future,” DOE concludes that generating 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050 using renewable energy “is achievable and would provide significant economic, energy security, and health benefits to the nation.”

The DOE report finds that “utility grids can reliably operate with more than 35 percent wind energy and 12 percent solar energy.” This conclusion is also supported by DOE’s second Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) analysis released last week, “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” The report predicts that through 2040, “Variable renewables (wind and solar) capacity is expected to increase throughout the entire time period.”

The QER concludes that continuing current clean energy research and development programs “can drive significant emissions reductions” and “can double the projected emissions reductions by 2040.” It adds that increasing R&D investment could triple emissions reductions by 2040.

Still, it appears uncertain that the incoming Trump administration will support the increased clean energy investment that DOE recommends.

China, however, may not need any recommendation. The Ohio-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a report last week, “China’s Global Renewable Energy Expansion,” that shows China dominating global investment in clean energy. For 2015, China invested $102.9 billion (up 17 percent from 2014), more than the combined investment by the next three biggest investors: U.S. ($44.1 billion, up 19 percent), Japan ($36.2 billion, up 0.1 percent), and Britain ($22.2 billion, up 25 percent). http://www.agri-pulse.com/Obama-bullish-on-green-energy-despite-Trumps-fossil-fuel-support-01122017.asp

Full article: Obama bullish on green energy, despite Trump’s fossil fuel support

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