Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation, Commercial, Industrial, Regulation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  April 22, 2017

Weekend reads: DOE grants in question; corporates push Kentucky on coal shift; 100k wind jobs & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads:

Big Business Pushes Coal-Friendly Kentucky To Embrace Renewables (NPR Morning Edition): Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal. Butt points out a new engine assembly line, where a conveyor belt moves in a slow circle. He says it was specially designed with a more efficient motor. There are also enormous fans overhead and LED lights, all changes that save millions. "I mean, what company doesn't want to reduce their energy bill," he says.

The Energy Department is reportedly denying funds for already-approved grants (Think Progress):  After proposing to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in its draft budget, the Trump administration, through the Department of Energy, has started withholding money for grants already approved by the agency, Politico reported Thursday, citing two unidentified sources. The hold on the money for the grants began last week, Politico reported. During his run for the White House, President Donald Trump promised to target federal funding for agencies, like ARPA-E, that promote clean energy technologies.

Energy companies donated millions to Trump’s inauguration (The Hill): Energy companies and their executives donated at least $7 million to President Trump’s inauguration committee, according to newly released inaugural committee reports. Companies and executives in oil, natural gas and coal were some of the largest donors to Trump’s inauguration, which raised a total of $106.7 million, according to the committee's Federal Elections Commission filing.

The U.S. wind industry now employs more than 100,000 people (The Washington Post): The fastest-growing occupation in the United States — by a long shot, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — might surprise you: wind turbine technician. The number of workers maintaining wind turbines, a job with a median pay of about $51,000 a year, is set to more than double between 2014 and 2024, the agency estimates. That's a more rapid growth rate than that of physical therapists, financial advisers, home health aides and genetic counselors.

Gigantic Wind Turbines Signal Era of Subsidy-Free Green Power (Bloomberg): Offshore wind turbines are about to become higher than the Eiffel Tower, allowing the industry to supply subsidy-free clean power to the grid on a massive scale for the first time. Manufacturers led by Siemens AG are working to almost double the capacity of the current range of turbines, which already have wing spans that surpass those of the largest jumbo jets. The expectation those machines will be on the market by 2025 was at the heart of contracts won by German and Danish developers last week to supply electricity from offshore wind farms at market prices by 2025.

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