Industrial greenhouse gas emissions in the US declined 2.7% last year due to coal-burning power plant closures and the rise of wind and other renewables, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Coal plants with a collective capacity of 14,000 megawatts are expected to close in 2018.
After spending years working in the outdoor industry, Guillaume Linossier started Saola Shoes to manufacture footwear made from more environmentally friendly materials. Despite the progress, Linossier is still looking for ways to make his products more sustainable, and what happens to the shoes after they have reached the end of their usable life is a key concern.
The upward trajectory of wind and solar put the two energy sources on track to supply nearly 20% of the world's electricity needs by 2035, according to Wood Mackenzie. The report notes that the world's emphasis on sustainability "is almost akin to a gravitational force, pulling things in one direction and driving the 'great fuel switch,' leaving little possibility for a reversal."
The US wind market has achieved significant scale over the past several years, says Orsted North America President Thomas Brostrom, noting ongoing cost declines and growing support for offshore wind on the Eastern Seaboard. "[I expect to] see the oil and gas majors step in very soon in some of the upcoming lease auction rounds because I think they can see it's becoming a big market," he says.
EDP Renewables has secured power purchase agreements with Walmart for a collective 233 megawatts of wind energy from three projects. EDP Renewables says the deal will allow it to move forward with the 205-MW Bright Stalk Wind Farm, the 200-MW Broadlands Wind Farm in Illinois and the 200-MW Headwaters II Wind Farm in Indiana.
EDF Renewables North America has confirmed plans to use three MHI Vestas V164 8.3-megawatt turbines at its 25-MW Nautilus offshore wind project under consideration in New Jersey. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is reviewing the project, which could begin operations in 2020, pending approval.
The Oceti Sakowin Power Authority -- a coalition of six Sioux tribes -- and Apex Clean Energy are seeking buyers for a pair of wind farms that would be built on South Dakota tribal land and feature a total capacity of 570 megawatts. The projects, if approved, could begin operations in 2021 and would connect to the Southwest Power Pool.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has adapted its SG 8-megawatt 167 DD turbine model to meet federal standards for offshore wind sites along the US coasts or in the Great Lakes. It expects to model to be ready for installation in the US by 2021.
Iberdrola has unloaded $929 million worth of hydroelectric and gas assets in the UK, while confirming plans to add $6.9 billion worth of new wind projects over the next four years. President Ignacio Galan says the shift makes Iberdrola's UK energy portfolio 100% free of carbon emissions.
Siemens Gamesa has unveiled several leadership changes, including the appointment of Mark Albenze to the role of interim CEO for land-based wind. David Mesonero has been named chief financial officer, and current CFO Miguel Angel Lopez Borrego will shift to the role of nonexecutive chairman.