Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Utilities, Commercial, Finance, Regulation, Solar, Wind  -  November 9, 2019

Weekend reads: Cutting Amazon's air delivery emissions; a Democratic Virginia vs. Dominion Energy

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

Wind and Solar Power Have Become Amazingly Affordable (Bloomberg) In the midst of otherwise depressing developments in the progress of climate change, one bit of good news shines through: The economics of renewable energy have been improving fast — especially those of onshore wind and utility-scale solar power. A new analysis of the levelized cost of energy from Lazard, the company I work for, shows that over the past year the cost of generating energy from wind projects fell by 4% and large solar projects by 7%.

Colorado’s cleanest energy options are also its cheapest (Vox) Of all the states in the US, Colorado may be the best prepared for a genuine, large-scale energy transition. For one thing, thanks to its bountiful sunlight and wind, Colorado has enormous potential for renewable energy, most of which is untapped. The state currently generates only 3 percent of its electricity from solar and just under 18 percent from wind.

Democratic Sweep Sets Up Confrontation With Corporate Giant That Has Loomed Over Virginia Politics For A Century (The Intercept) The stunning victory on Tuesday by Virginia Democrats, seizing control of both chambers of the state legislature and bringing the state under unified party control, sets up a new confrontation with a powerful adversary: Dominion Energy. Dominion Energy, the privately owned utility company, has long cast a shadow across the state, buying favor in both parties as the most generous donor in state history, writing its own lax regulatory rules, and funneling consumer bills into billions of dollars of investor dividends and executive compensation. The election results mark a turning point that will likely transform into a brutal legislative fight in 2020 over the future of energy policy, corporate consolidation, and climate change.

Amazon's rising air shipments fly in the face of climate plan (Reuters) Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the online retailer’s delivery operations. Yet the company’s use of airplanes - the most climate-damaging mode of transportation - is on the rise, according to data provided to Reuters. Amazon Air’s U.S. volume has risen steadily since its 2016 launch, according to an analysis of Department of Transportation data by Cargo Facts Consulting, a Luxembourg-based advisory firm with a global staff and more than four decades of history.

Climate change: ‘Clear and unequivocal’ emergency, say scientists (BBC) A global group of around 11,000 scientists have endorsed research that says the world is facing a climate emergency. The study, based on 40 years of data on a range of measures, says governments are failing to address the crisis. Without deep and lasting changes, the world is facing "untold human suffering" the study says. The researchers say they have a moral obligation to warn of the scale of the threat.

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