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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Department of Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump used a speech at a Shell petrochemicals plant in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to revive his attacks against wind energy, but his speech came just days after Department of Energy's latest major analysis of wind technology trends.

Why it matters: The timing of the president's speech clashed with the report, which underscored why wind has become an increasingly competitive resource.

  • The president inaccurately bashed "windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds."
  • He also claimed that wind's intermittency is causing power outages, which fails to consider that wind is part of a wider resource mix.

What they found: Here are a few big-picture highlights from the granular report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analysts...

  • New wind power capacity additions were "robust" last year, totaling nearly 7,600 megawatts.
  • Investment in new plants was $11 billion, and there's more bang for the buck. The average per-kilowatt installed cost of wind projects is 40% lower than 2009–2010.
  • Wind power prices are lower than ever. Power purchase deals they analyzed show an average cost below 2¢/kWh, which is less than a third of 2009 prices.
  • Wind now provides 6.5% of U.S. power, and it's over 30% in Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma.
  • The chart above shows how the industry has moved to bigger and more powerful designs. The average capacity for newly installed turbines is 239% higher than it was 20 years ago.

Yes, but: That doesn't mean wind isn't facing hurdles. Per DOE, the looming phaseout of federal tax credits for new projects is expected to slow the rate of project growth starting in 2021. Other challenges, per the report...

"Expectations for continued low natural gas prices and modest electricity demand growth also put a damper on growth expectations, as do limited transmission infrastructure and competition from natural gas and — increasingly — solar energy."

Go deeper: How renewable energy can boost Rust Belt health outcomes

Go deeper

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
11 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

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