All Alternative energy stories

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.

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

What's next for Google's data center carbon plan

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Google and the energy company AES announced a 10-year deal to supply three Northern Virginia data centers with 90% power from zero-emissions sources on an hourly basis.

Why it matters: It's the latest move in Google's pledge to have all its operations run round-the-clock on carbon-free power by 2030.

Biden administration approves massive solar energy project in California

A solar farm in California. Photo: Sam Lafoca/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

The Interior Department announced Monday that it has approved a massive solar energy project on California's public lands.

Why it matters: The $550 million project will produce enough energy to power nearly 90,000 homes.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Environmental and rights groups link to push for equity in Biden's solar efforts

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new coalition has formed aimed at helping ensure federal efforts to expand solar power don't leave the poor and communities of color behind.

Driving the news: The dozen-plus members of the Solar Access for All Coalition include Earthjustice, Coalition for Community Solar Access, GreenLatinos, Solar United Neighbors and the NAACP.