The Hill: Supreme Court Overturns Landmark EPA Pollution Rule
The Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.
The case, Michigan vs. EPA, centers on the EPA’s first limits on mercury, arsenic and acid gases emitted by coal-fired power plants, known as mercury and air toxics (MATS). Opponents, including the National Federation of Independent Business, say it's among the costliest regulations ever issued.
Guardian: Half of Europe’s Electricity Set to Be From Renewables by 2030
Europe will likely get more than half of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the next decade if EU countries meet their climate pledges, according to a draft commission paper.
A planned overhaul of the continent’s electricity grids will now need to be sped up, says the leaked text, seen by the Guardian.
“Reaching the European Union 2030 energy and climate objectives means the share of renewables is likely to reach 50% of installed electricity capacity,” says the consultation paper, due to be published on July 15. “This means that changes to the electricity system in favor of decarbonization will have to come even faster.”
IEEE Spectrum: Time to Swap Power Plants for Giant Batteries? Almost.
High costs have limited the use batteries in the electricity grid, but emerging technologies will make batteries a more compelling way to supply power during hours of peak demand. And they'll do it soon, say battery firm executives.
Utilities and energy project developers are now considering batteries as alternatives to traditional grid infrastructure, such as substation upgrades and natural-gas-fired “peaker” power plants that only run a few days a year, according to industry executives who spoke at the Utility of the Future conference in Washington, D.C. last week. Once the price of energy storage goes below $300 per kilowatt-hour, batteries could transform how power is delivered, they said.
Pacific Standard: How a Conservative Billionaire Is Trying to Become an Alternative Energy Giant
Philip Anschutz wants to turn his 500-square-mile cattle ranch into the world’s largest wind farm. The project would generate four times more electricity than the Hoover Dam, enough to power all of the households in Los Angeles and San Francisco. It would also make Anschutz the nation’s most unlikely environmental hero -- if he can ever get the thing built.
AFP: Winds of Change as Ethiopia Harnesses Green Power
Without its own reserves of either gas or oil, Ethiopia is turning to its significant renewable energy potential to fuel its rapid economic development -- including damming the vast Blue Nile, with turbines there providing over 90 percent of the country's electricity production, as well as damming the southern Omo River.
Ethiopia's energy needs are huge. Over 75 percent of Ethiopia's 94 million people, mainly those living in rural areas, are not connected to the national grid, and the country needs to increase its electricity production by 20 percent to 25 percent per year to meet rising demand, according to figures from the country's energy ministry.