U.S. wind and solar companies for the first time gave more money to Republicans than to Democrats during the 2016 election cycle, according to federal campaign disclosures, part of a years-long effort to expand renewable energy’s appeal beyond liberal environmentalists.
The industry is now hoping its strategy of reaching across the political divide will pay off in the form of congressional support as Republican Donald Trump, a climate-change skeptic who has expressed doubts about the role of clean energy, takes the White House in January.
"We're not starting from ground zero," said Isaac Brown, a principal at 38 North Solutions, which lobbies on behalf of clean energy clients.Newsweek: NASA's Climate Research Will Likely Be Scrapped by Trump
Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by NASA as part of a crackdown on “politicized science,” his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.
NASA’s Earth Science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.
This would mean the elimination of NASA's world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. NASA’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth Science division’s budget set to grow to $2 billion next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8 billion in 2017.Alt Energy Stocks: The Collapse of KiOR, Part 5
In 2011, KiOR raised $150 million in its June IPO, claiming that it was generating yields of 67 gallons per ton in its Demo unit operations. But it was miles short of that.
In our previous installments, we have charted how KiOR moved from a promising early-stage technology to a public company with serious technological flaws that could have been fixed, but were ignored in what a senior team member speaking for the record, Dennis Stamires, characterized as a “reckless rush to commercial.”
By 2012, numerous KiOR staffers of the time believed that the company had a management problem more than a technology problem -- no matter how dire the technological challenges seemed. As Paul O’Connor observed, “No one [in power] analyzed the pilot plant data. Andre [Ditsch] would say ‘Oh, go out and hire MIT Ph.Ds.’ But they are not the ones who are going to scale up a process. Fred let Andre go his way, and they hired too many people from Albemarle across the street. Catalysts are important; you need a few people. But you need a lot of process people, and that balance went wrong.” The right people? “KiOR forced them out or fired them or they left because of the poor professional working environment,” said one team member of the time.
The balance was precarious as 2012 dawned. Everything was riding on the performance in the first commercial plant.Guardian: China Risks Wasting $490B on New Coal Plants, Say Campaigners
China could waste as much as half a trillion dollars on unnecessary new coal-fired power stations, a climate campaign group has said, arguing that the world’s top carbon polluter already has more than enough such facilities.
China’s rise to become the world’s second-largest economy was largely powered by cheap, dirty coal. But as growth slows, the country has had a difficult time weaning itself off the fuel, even as the pollution it causes wreaks havoc on the environment and public health.
Many of China’s giant state-owned coal mining firms are unviable and plagued by overcapacity, but the ruling Communist party is reluctant to turn off the financial taps and risk widespread unemployment, with its potential for anger and unrest.Bloomberg: Solar-Panel Roads to Be Built on Four Continents Next Year
Electric avenues that can transmit the sun’s energy onto power grids may be coming to a city near you.
A subsidiary of Bouygues SA has designed rugged solar panels, capable of withstand the weight of an 18-wheeler truck, that it is now building into road surfaces. After nearly five years of research and laboratory tests, the company is constructing 100 outdoor test sites and plans to commercialize the technology in early 2018.
“We wanted to find a second life for a road,” said Philippe Harelle, the chief technology officer at Colas SA’s Wattway unit, owned by the French engineering group Bouygues. “Solar farms use land that could otherwise be for agriculture, while the roads are free.”