Los Angeles Times: California Becomes a Global Laboratory in Fight Against Climate Change
California will become a petri dish for international efforts to slow global warming under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, forcing one of the world’s largest economies to squeeze into a dramatically smaller carbon footprint.
“What we’re doing here is farsighted, as well as far-reaching,” Brown said at a signing ceremony at Vista Hermosa Natural Park in downtown Los Angeles. “California is doing something that no other state has done.”
“We’re going to have to make the change about three times as fast as we’ve done so far,” said James Sweeney, director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University.
The state has already been ramping up solar power generation, handing out subsidies for drivers to buy electric cars and prodding developers to create denser communities connected to mass transit.
(For a comprehensive overview of the wide-ranging energy and climate legislation passed in California, see our most recent state bulletin.)
Renewable Energy World: 23 States to Rely on Geothermal, Solar, or Wind as a Primary Source of Electricity in 2016
At the end of the 20th century, electric generation in the U.S. came primarily from five sources; coal, nuclear, natural gas, petroleum, and hydroelectric. In 1999, 45 states relied on three of those five energy sources for their top three sources of electric generation. The exception was five states, which had biomass in their top three. There wasn’t much energy diversity in electric generation back then.
According to the Energy Information Agency, in 2015, over half of U.S. states had a source of electric generation outside of those five energy sources, and the number of sources of electric generation in the top three in at least one state increased from six sources to nine sources. Utilities and power producers have more options than ever before to supply electricity to their customers.
WunderBlog: U.S. Endures Its Sultriest Summer Nights on Record
The broiling summer of 2016 placed fifth hottest among the 122 summers since records began in 1895 for the contiguous U.S., according to NOAA analyses released on Thursday. Even more impressive, this past summer (June through August) saw the highest average minimum temperature on record -- certainly no surprise to people across the country who endured one muggy night after another.
The average daily minimum for June through August 2016 was a balmy 60.81°F, beating the record of 60.70°F set in 2010. The average daily summer low in the contiguous 48 states has climbed about 1.4°F in the last century. That’s double the increase of 0.7°F in the average daily summer high.
Bloomberg: Is This the Tipping Point for Electric Cars?
Making an electric car is easy. We’ve been doing it for more than a century. Charging them, however, is tough. It requires infrastructure -- a grid on the grid -- and presents a chicken-egg conundrum: Who wants a plug-in car when there’s nowhere to plug it in? Who wants to build car chargers, when there aren’t enough cars to charge?
Rest easy, Tesla-heads and Nissan Leaf geeks; we’re finally getting there. The number of charging stations in the U.S. has reached a critical mass. The U.S. Department of Energy says there are now 14,349 electric-vehicle charging stations nationwide, comprising almost 36,000 outlets. Meanwhile, electric-vehicle owners still do most of their charging at home outlets that aren't included in that tally, according to the agency.
USA Today: Shell CEO Says Red Lights on the Path to Green Energy
It’s no surprise that major oil companies are viewed as contrarians when it comes to climate change, even though all of them acknowledge the phenomenon and agree on the need for a response to one extent or another.
After all, keeping temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels will require the world to wean itself off fossil fuels and turn to cleaner forms of energy, hardly an appealing proposition to the financial well-being of oil producers.
But now the leader of one of the world’s biggest oil companies is telling his peers to accept the role unapologetically.