Politico: Energy Department Climate Office Bans Use of Phrase ‘Climate Change’

A supervisor at the Energy Department's international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases "climate change," "emissions reduction" or "Paris Agreement" in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told Politico.

Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday, the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama's climate regulatory initiatives. Officials at the State Department and in other DOE offices said they had not been given a banned words list, but they had started avoiding climate-related terms in their memos and briefings given the new administration's direction on climate change.

IEEE Spectrum: More Renewable Energy Means More Operating Reserves, Right? Wrong

How much does adding renewables to the grid change what operating reserves are needed and how they are dispatched during spikes of demand? That’s what our part in the Full Cost of Electricity project by the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute seeks to understand.

While it seems obvious that reserve capacity must grow as the amount of installed renewable generation increases, we wondered how much it needed to grow and if this intuited response was in fact correct. So we tested our idea by examining historical data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Our conclusion: Although installed wind power has significantly increased over time, reserve requirements have actually decreased.

Bloomberg: UAE Sees $192 Billion Savings in Switch to Green Power From Gas

The United Arab Emirates forecasts that savings generated by switching half its power needs to clean energy by mid century will outstrip the investment costs.

The Gulf state plans to invest $150 billion in renewable power to 2050, weening the country from dependency on subsidized natural gas power in stages, Minister of Energy Suhail Al-Mazrouei said at a conference in Berlin. Clean energy sources will help it save $192 billion, he said.

Guardian: A Future After Oil and Gas? Norway's Fossil-Free Energy Startups

Norway already produces a lot of renewable energy -- 97% of electricity generated in the country comes from renewable sources, mainly hydropower, according to Innovation Norway.

But when it comes to the economy, petrochemicals are still king: About half of Norway’s exports relate to oil and gas.

The decline in revenues from crude oil -- which dropped by more than 30% between 2014 and 2015, according to Norway’s statistics agency -- was therefore a wakeup call, says Sigridur Thormodsdottir, a sustainability expert at Innovation Norway.

“It revealed that our economy was not sustainable in the long run. New technology supporting more sustainable urbanization is one area we think can become an export for Norwegian companies.”

The government clearly agrees. Since 2014, it has launched a number of “clusters” promoting startup innovation, including a new solar energy cluster, launched last year with three years of funding.

Vox's David Roberts: The Federal Coal Leasing Program Is Ripping Off Taxpayers. Zinke Just Canceled Plans to Reform It

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about Donald Trump’s decision, as part of his executive order on energy and climate change, to lift the moratorium on the leasing of coal on federal land. I made a simple point: The moratorium itself is not that big a deal, since coal companies haven’t exactly been clamoring for new leases lately. The big deal is the broad, comprehensive review of the coal leasing program launched in 2015 by Sally Jewell, who was at the time interior secretary under President Obama.

The review, not the moratorium, will shape the future of federal coal policy, I said, so keep your eye on the review.

Well, as of this afternoon, we have an update: The review has been scrapped. So much for that!