NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: HOW OPPONENTS OF THE OBAMA CLEAN POWER PLAN ARE PROVING THEMSELVES WRONG

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Turning Distributed Energy From Threat To Opportunity
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Maine’s Almost Solar Policy Breakthrough
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How To Balance Competing Solar Interests
  • QUICK NEWS, December 6: Sliver Of Hope? Al Gore In Climate Change Meet With Donald Trump; The Opportunity In New Energy; Google Seizing New Energy Opportunity
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 1:

  • TTTA Thursday-First Daughter Ivanka May Fight For Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-Low Profile High Power Ocean Wind Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-A Visionary Solar Power Plant
  • TTTA Thursday-EVs Have A Growth Path
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 8:

  • The Record Of The New EPA Head
  • The Undeveloped New Energy
  • Walking On New Energy
  • Electric Tractor For Emissions-Free.Farming

    Monday, June 08, 2015

    TODAY’S STUDY: HOW OPPONENTS OF THE OBAMA CLEAN POWER PLAN ARE PROVING THEMSELVES WRONG

    The Surprising Facts About the Clean Power Plan: Most States Are Already On Track to Meet 2020 Benchmarks for Reducing Carbon Emissions

    Jeremy Richardson, June 3, 2015 (Union of Concerned Scientists)

    A new analysis released today by UCS shows that most states are already making progress toward cutting carbon emissions from power plants by shifting from coal-fired power to cleaner generation sources like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas. As a result of recent decisions and state laws that predate the proposed Clean Power Plan, 31 states have already made commitments that would put them more than halfway toward meeting the 2020 benchmarks set out by the EPA, and 14 of those states are already on track to meet or exceed them, including some unlikely suspects.

    Key findings

    Our analysis shows that, through decisions already made such as the retirement of uneconomic coal plants, and compliance with existing renewable electricity standards and energy efficiency resource standards, many states all across the country are well positioned to reliably and affordably achieve the 2020 emissions reduction benchmarks set forth in the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Additional actions, especially further ramping up of cost-effective renewable energy and energy efficiency, can get them all the way toward compliance at modest costs or net savings to consumers.

    Key Finding #1:

    All but 4 states have already made decisions that will help cut their power plant emission rates before 2020.

    States have already made legal and regulatory decisions that when fully implemented will collectively take the country approximately two-thirds of the way toward the combined state 2020 emissions benchmarks. Key Finding #2: Current carbon-cutting decisions and actions are sufficient to put 14 states ahead of the emission rate reduction trajectory that the Clean Power Plan sets for them beginning in 2020 (see Figure 1). Collectively, these 14 states represent 34 percent of the U.S. population and 36 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Notably, the list includes:

    -States that have become national leaders in their commitments to renewable energyand energy efficiency, such as Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland;

    -Three of the nation’s most coal power dependent states—Kentucky, Ohio, and New Mexico—primarily due to their recent decisions to retire uneconomic coal plants and replace them with cleaner, cheaper alternatives;

    -States like Delaware, New York, and New Hampshire that are able to meet their benchmarks through collective action with the nine states that are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—a multi-state effort to collectively cap carbon emissions from power plants.

    Key Finding #3:

    Fully 31 states will be at least halfway towards the 2020 benchmark in the EPA’s emission rate reduction trajectory, 23 of which will be 75 percent of the way there (Figure 2). Combined, these 31 states account for 71 percent of the U.S. population and 73 percent of U.S. GDP. Strikingly, nine of these states rank in the top third of coal generating states nationwide, illustrating that even the most coal-dependent states are already initiating the transition to lower carbon power sources.

    What does it mean to meet a 2020 benchmark, anyway?

    Once the Clean Power Plan is finalized this summer, states will have 1-2 years to develop compliance plans and up to 3 years for multi-state plans. Those plans must show how the state will meet an average annual carbon emission rate between 2020 and 2029 (called an interim target) and a final 2030 emission rate goal.

    To help meet the interim target, the EPA suggested an emission rate reduction trajectory (or glide path) for each state starting in 2020 and continuing through 2029. Efforts to reduce power plant carbon emissions between 2012 and 2020 are eligible to help put states on their proposed emissions reduction pathway. In other words, states don’t need to wait to take action. And a vast majority of them are moving ahead.

    Our analysis examines specific types of actions states have taken or will take between 2012 and 2020 that can help them cut emissions by 2020: retiring coal plants; deploying additional renewable energy to meet mandatory state renewable electricity standards (RES); and ramping up energy efficiency to meet mandatory state energy efficiency resource standards (EERS).

    We analyze how far these planned actions will take states toward achieving the 2020 emission rate proposed in the EPA’s 2020-2029 glide path. While the rule does not require states to meet this 2020 emission rate, it is a helpful benchmark against which to measure a state’s progress toward meeting the interim and final targets of the CPP.

    What exactly is considered a planned action?

    In our analysis, we looked at specific actions that states have already taken or will take between 2012 and 2020 that reduce carbon emissions. Our aim was to construct aconservative estimate of states’ progress toward their benchmark emission rates in 2020. Coal Retirements: For coal plant retirements, we conservatively assume that all of that retired generation will be made up by natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants, which could come from ramping up existing NGCC plants, building new NGCC plants, or converting existing coal plants to natural gas. We used data, primarily from SNL Energy, on all announced coal plant retirements scheduled to take place between 2012 and 2020. The dataset reflects any announcements as of May 2015.

    Renewable Energy: We only included renewable energy that would be brought on line between 2012 and 2020 to meet mandatory state RESs, based on projections from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. We conservatively did not include voluntary state RES goals in this analysis, nor do we include additional renewable energy investments—beyond mandatory requirements—that are being deployed in many states like Texas and Iowa simply because it is cost-effective to do so.

    Energy Efficiency: We made similarly conservative estimates for energy efficiency improvements from mandatory EERS, based on data from the EPA. We did not include voluntary energy efficiency or conservation goals, or other complementary state policies focused on energy efficiency.

    Nuclear energy: In keeping with the EPA’s draft proposal, we included under construction nuclear plants that are scheduled to come on line by 2020 as committed actions by states that would help them meet their 2020 emissions benchmarks. Carbon caps: The nine states that participate in RGGI plus California all have mandatory carbon caps in place that will cut their emissions sufficiently so that they can meet the 2020 benchmarks.

    Emission rates calculations are all adjusted according to the EPA’s proposed building blocks formula to take account of under construction natural gas and nuclear power capacity, as well as 6 percent of the generation from EPA’s estimate of existing “at-risk” nuclear plants.

    The path forward

    In short, states in every region of the country are demonstrating that they can cost-effectively and reliably transition to low-carbon power sources. This conservative look at state progress toward carbon emission reductions by 2020 suggests that states are well on their way toward meeting the EPA’s targets. States can and should continue to invest heavily in renewables and efficiency to further their progress to a clean energy economy.

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