Twenty-one countries announce plans to double clean energy research, New Orleans receives a federal grant for green infrastructure projects, and new research claims that the Midwest has the potential to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.
World Leaders Expand Clean Energy Research Push
21 countries involved in the Mission Innovation project, including the United States, have agreed to double the clean energy research funding they pledged in December as part of an international push to reduce carbon emissions. According to the White House, member countries will now spend $30 billion per year by 2021 on clean energy research.
New Orleans Looks to Green Infrastructure
New Orleans has won a $249 million federal grant for green infrastructure projects to collect and retain rainwater and, ideally, counter subsidence, which the federal government hopes will be a model for the rest of the country. The greater New Orleans urban water plan, as the blueprint is called, mimics concepts long practiced in below-sea-level Netherlands and imports eco-friendly strategies typically seen elsewhere.
EIA: U.S. Renewable Energy Capacity to More than Double by 2040
A new report from the U.S. government predicts the amount of renewable energy on the electricity grid will reach close to 500 gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2040, more than double the current capacity. This forecast presumes that the clean power plan a legal challenge currently pending before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. However, even without it, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that cost reductions in wind and solar, along with the extension of tax credits for renewable energy, should still allow the U.S. to grow to more than 400 GW by 2040.
Wind and Solar Could Meet Nearly all Midwest Energy Needs by 2050
According to new research from The Solutions Project, led by Mark Jacobson, director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Program, every state within the Midwest is capable of hitting a 100 percent renewable mix through wind, water and solar within 35 years. The projections apply to all energy sectors — not just electric — to include transportation and heating and cooling. Of course, while the technology exists to meet these projections, other factors apply, including existing fossil-fuel based economy, utility business models, and differing opinions among politicians.