Nov 3, 2017

Some perspective on wind and EVs

Ben Geman, author of Generate

The long-awaited House GOP tax package unveiled yesterday got the energy world buzzing, as it would end a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicle purchases, thereby raising the costs for prospective buyers. It would also pare back the value of the wind energy production tax credit, and tighten the definition of what constitutes an "under construction" project eligible. The changes would raise an estimated $12.3 billion over a decade.

The American Wind Energy Association, wind industry's main trade group, said lowering the value of the credit from 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour to 1.5 cents would put over $50 billion in planned investments at risk.

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Data: Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, November 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Yes, but: Changes to the decades-old tax credit aren't the existential threat to the wind industry that they once were, thanks to the drop in technology costs over the years. The chart above is from the new Lazard report on electricity generation costs that we looked at yesterday.

Quick take on EVs: Turning to the proposal to nix the electric vehicle credit, my Axios colleague and EV expert Steve LeVine passed along some thoughts about whether the change will truly hurt the emerging sector:

  • "A contrarian view would be that the credit was always capped at 200,000 cars per brand, so the carmakers were always going to have to stand on their own at some point, something Musk has said about Tesla repeatedly. In that vein, for incumbents, this only accelerates. For newcomers, though, it presents a bar to entry."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,800,604 — Total deaths: 396,591 — Total recoveries — 2,785,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,908,235 — Total deaths: 109,443 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset.

Buffalo police officers arrested after shoving 75-year-old protester

Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault on Saturday after a video emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old protester while clearing a demonstration in the wake of George Floyd's killing, AP reports, citing prosecutors.

The state of play: Both officers pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, and were released without bail. After the law enforcement officers were initially suspended without pay on Friday, all 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned in a show of support for their fellow officers' suspensions.