Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 21, 2019

Weekend reads: The battle for Calif. polution limits; Energy efficiency drives jobs

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

California sues Trump administration over revoking authority to limit car pollution (Washington Post)  California and 22 other states filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday against the Trump administration, challenging its decision to revoke the most-populous state’s right to set pollution limits on cars and light trucks. The legal battle’s outcome will affect which vehicles Americans drive in the years to come, as well as the country’s effort to tackle climate change and the balance between federal and state power. The lawsuit is the latest salvo in the escalating legal and political fight between President Trump and California, which has created uncertainty and divisions in the auto industry. 

The Green New Deal Can Exist in Texas (Texas Observer)  An unexpected thing happened in 2005: Texas’ solidly Republican legislature passed Senate Bill 20, a renewable energy law that transformed Texas’ fledgling wind energy industry. That year, a meager 4,000 megawatts of power had come from the wind, a miniscule portion of the state’s energy overall production, and an even smaller sliver of the total potential wind energy the state could have produced. SB 20 gave the state’s Public Utility Commission the authority to build 3,600 miles of transmission lines—infrastructure that would move power from windy, remote West Texas and the Panhandle (where wind resources are concentrated) to cities farther east (where power demand is higher).

Want a job? Think energy efficiency (Chron)  Energy efficiency is the fastest-growing segment of employment in the energy sector, reflecting demand for energy-efficient appliances, light bulbs and windows. The number of energy efficiency jobs grew 3.4 percent in the United States last year, more than double the average annual growth rate for jobs overall, according to a study by Massachusetts-based residential clean energy advocate E4TheFuture and Washington-based clean energy business advocacy group E2. California led the nation in energy efficient employment last year with 318,500 jobs, followed by Texas with 162,800 jobs, New York with 123,300, Florida with 118,400 and Illinois with 89,400 jobs.

Solar power to be world’s largest power source by 2035 (Environmental Journal) Solar power is set to become the world’s largest source of power by 2035 as the cost of renewables falls, a new report has found. Publishing its fourth annual analysis of global energy trends, the renewable energy company Statkraft said that solar PV is already the world’s fastest-growing energy source, thanks to the ever-lowering production cost of solar panels and increased demand for renewable energy. The lifetime costs for solar PV will drop by around half over the next three decades, while wind will become 40% cheaper.

Western Leadership in Clean Energy (NRDC Blog)  From New Mexico to Colorado, Nevada to Washington, western states are enacting a flurry of multifaceted landmark climate legislation and initiatives in the absence of clear federal leadership. Collectively, these initiatives have set progressive decarbonization targets, unlocked economic mechanisms for speeding up coal retirements, implemented targets for electric vehicle deployment, and more. Here are just some of the highlights from 2019. 


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