Alternative energy

The big picture

Exclusive: DOE launches push to meet hydrogen "Earthshot" goal

The fuel could decarbonize marine shipping, large trucks and energy storage.

Jun 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Climate change boosts support for divisive tech

Climate change experts say they're necessary to combat the problem.

Dec 14, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Biden's climate plan tries to bring unions into clean energy

Renewable energy has grown a lot, but union jobs have not.

Jul 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Wind and solar would struggle to replace coal-mining jobs

Renewable energy helps combat climate change, but the jobs potential is less clear.

Feb 5, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Why some in Big Oil are looking to go big in offshore wind

European oil and gas majors are leading the way.

Oct 30, 2019 - Energy & Environment

All Alternative energy stories

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jun 15, 2021 - Energy & Environment

U.S. solar has largest first quarter ever

Reproduced from SEIA/Wood Mackenzie; Chart: Axios Visuals

New industry data shows the first three months of 2021 saw the addition of over 5 gigawatts of new U.S. solar power generating capacity, the largest first quarter ever.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of the sector's expansion. The analysis projects that annual solar growth will set fresh records this year through 2024 when current tax incentives fully phase out.

3 dirty jobs that will build the future

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The clean, green, connected world that's right around the corner will require dirty, dangerous work to build.

Think: Hauling solar panels up to high roofs. Digging trenches for fiber-optic cables along busy highways. Climbing towering masts to rig cellular antennas.

Inside Google's "moonshot goal" to rely on carbon-free energy by 2030

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Google is making inroads in its push toward what company officials call its "moonshot goal" of powering itself completely with carbon-free electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week by 2030.

The big picture: At its virtual I/O event Tuesday, Google announced that its climate intelligence computing platform will be able to shift tasks between data centers to maximize the use of renewable energy.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
May 13, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Modeling a pathway to clean transportation

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Reproduced from Rhodium Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wringing carbon emissions out of transportation isn't easy, but new analysis sees a cost-effective path to major reductions over the next decade.

Why it matters: Combined emissions from cars, trucks and other transport segments overtook electric power as the nation's biggest CO2 source several years ago.

May 12, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

How Iowa missed its lofty biofuels goal

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Data: Iowa Department of Revenue; Chart: Axios Visuals

Iowa’s longtime goal to replace 25% of petroleum used in gasoline with biofuels by 2020 fell far short, a new report from the Iowa Department of Revenue shows.

By the numbers: Last year hit 14.5%, a record yet still short by roughly 226.2 million gallons needed to reach the mark set by lawmakers in 2006.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
May 11, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Biden officials green-light nation's first big offshore wind project

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration today gave final approval to Vineyard Wind, a project off the Massachusetts coast slated to be the country's first large-scale offshore wind farm.

Why it matters: While the green light for the long-proposed project was expected, it marks a key step in White House plans to help spur development of a suite of coastal projects off New York, New Jersey and other states.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
May 11, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Renewables grew at the fastest rate in two decades last year, IEA says

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Data: IEA; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

The International Energy Agency just issued a big upward revision to estimates of near-term global renewable power growth.

Driving the news: The agency's latest data shows that new capacity additions surged to almost 280 gigawatts last year despite the pandemic.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
May 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Vast majority of existing coal plants are more costly than wind or solar plants

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New analysis from the firm Energy Innovation finds that building new U.S. wind and solar power generation is very often more cost-effective than continuing to run existing coal-fired power plants.

The big picture: "[Seventy-two] percent of existing U.S. coal capacity and 80 percent of existing U.S. coal plants are either more costly to continue operating compared to building new nearby wind or solar plants, or are slated to retire in the next four years," a summary of the "coal crossover" report notes.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
May 4, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Distributed power startup Mainspring lands $95 million in new funding

Mainspring's linear generator. Photo courtesy of Mainspring.

The distributed generation company Mainspring Energy has raised $95 million in new funding led by Fidelity Investment's private equity arm, alongside other new and existing backers like Chevron, Princeville Capital and Bill Gates.

Why it matters: There's growing interest in low-carbon onsite power sources as a way to fight climate change and to create more flexibility and resilience as grids are increasingly stressed by extreme weather.

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