As usual in the renewable space, prices have been dropping unexpectedly rapidly for offshore wind in Europe, and that means unsubsidized offshore wind is becoming a reality.
The potential US offshore wind resource is vast..and it appears that even the Trump administration is enthusiastically supporting development.

Yale Environment 360:

This summer, the Norwegian energy company, Statoil, will send a vessel to survey a triangular slice of federal waters about 15 miles south of Long Island, where the company is planning to construct a wind farm that could generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity for New York City and Long Island — enough to power roughly 1 million homes. Construction on the “Empire Wind” project, with scores of wind turbines generating electricity across 79,000 acres of leased federal waters, is scheduled to begin in 2023, with construction completed in 2025.

Farther south, 27 miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Avangrid Renewables, an Oregon-based company, has already begun planning for a major wind energy farm on 122,000 acres of federal waters, a project that could eventually generate 1.5 gigawatts of electricity.

And about 10 miles off the New Jersey coast, between Atlantic City and Cape May, Danish clean-energy giant Ørsted, which has a large portfolio of offshore wind farms across Europe, is talking with local officials, securing state permits, and doing seafloor surveys on a 160,000-acre site, where it plans to build its 1–gigawatt Ocean Wind project. Company officials say they are hopeful that the wind farm will come online between 2020 and 2025.

After years of false starts and delays, the offshore wind industry in the United States finally seems to be gaining some momentum. Although far behind the burgeoning offshore wind energy industry in Europe, companies such as Statoil, Avangrid, and Ørsted are joining other wind energy developers — both from the U.S. and Europe— to pursue a slate of projects along the U.S. coast.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 25 offshore wind projects with a generating capacity of 24 gigawatts are now being planned, mainly off the U.S. Northeast and mid-Atlantic coasts. And although some of these projects may not be built, and only one commercial offshore wind farm has actually been constructed —the tiny, five-turbine “Block Island Wind”project off Rhode Island — analysts say that U.S. offshore wind is expected to enjoy significant growth in the coming decade.

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Racism, climate denial, and this.

Huffington Post:

Eugene Koprowski’s temper earned him a reputation around the office pretty quickly.

Koprowski started work as the marketing director at the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank based outside Chicago, in July 2015. Former colleagues say he frequently raised his voice and threw tantrums if they questioned him. One described him as “violent generally.” He sent condescending emails to a female colleague, reprimanding her in almost comically sinister terms: “We will have no more insubordination.”

Despite these outbursts, former colleagues say Koprowski enjoyed protected status in the office because of his friendship with Joseph Morris, a conservative Chicago lawyer who is also a major fundraiser for Heartland and a close ally to its chief executive, Joseph Bast.

HuffPost spoke to three former staffers who confirmed these accounts, but requested anonymity for fear of retribution or jeopardizing future employment in the libertarian policy community.


Heartland, they said, fostered a culture that allowed Koprowski, 52, to relentlessly harass a female subordinate half his age ― to the point where she took out a restraining order against him in October 2015. And though Koprowski was apparently fired sometime after the woman complained to human resources, her former colleagues say his termination came in response to other misbehavior ― not his repeated, undesired romantic pursuit of the woman who reported to him.

Even after he was allegedly fired, Heartland kept the former executive in its protective orbit, former staffers say. Morris, who is listed on Heartland’s website as a policy adviser, is defending Koprowski in court against charges racked up when he contacted the woman over and over again, violating the protective order. Some of those charges were dropped in December, days after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a cyberstalking law used to charge Koprowski was unconstitutional, but the case is ongoing.

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I’d listen to country radio if there were more songs like this.

What my prescient and well informed friend Keith Schneider says about pipelines is doubly true for offshore drilling.
Trump administration and Republicans want to give oil companies free reign to despoil and poison every available landscape – as recent decisions opening up coastal areas to drilling show – but Americans are pushing back, and the economics increasingly do not pencil out.

Chicago Tribune:

Environmental groups opposed to allowing offshore drilling near the Maryland coast picked up bipartisan support Tuesday ahead of an open house by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Officials in Mississippi, however, where a similar meeting was held on the issue Tuesday, are expressing support for President Donald Trump‘s proposal to open the way for greatly expanded U.S. offshore oil and gas drilling.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, and a leading environmental official in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration, attended a news conference to voice opposition, not far from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay — the nation’s largest estuary.

“We’re going to fight this plan with everything we’ve got,” Frosh said.

It’s one of a number of events that are being held around the country on offshore drilling. An open house held in Jackson, Mississippi was attended by barely a handful of people in a hotel ballroom, as a light snow shut down much of the state. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant, a strong supporter of Trump, said Tuesday that he supports the plan and won’t seek an exemption.

Mark Belton, secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, reiterated Maryland’s “steadfast opposition to any potential or proposed development, exploration, leasing or production of oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean as proposed by the Draft Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.”

The officials joined members of a variety of environmental groups, who highlighted the bipartisan opposition.

“We all say, ‘thank you’ because we’re all aligned on the same page,” said Will Baker, president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “How cool is that?”

And not just citizens, big money investors pulling out of fossil fuels before the big carbon crash hits.

Business Insider:

The world’s largest institutional investors are going green.

Over 200 firms, managing a combined $81.7 trillion, pledged earlier this month to regularly report the risk climate change poses to their business, and make progress on initiatives to reduce their impact on the planet. Read the rest of this entry »

My recent Yale Climate Connections video (below) relied on interviews with a host of Arctic Science All stars on climate and the erratic jet stream.
Here, Jennifer Francis, who I’ve also interviewed many times, has a chance to talk on the subject in which she is a pioneer. Read the rest of this entry »



Fears over the security of Brazil’s two nuclear power plants have been raised after a heavily armed gang raided a secure workers’ condominium just a kilometre away and blew up two cash machines.

About 10 men held security guards hostage at around 3am on Monday, robbed guests at a party in a private club then escaped in a waiting speedboat from the Praia Brava condominium for workers at the Angra 1 and 2 nuclear reactors, run by state company Eletronuclear.

It was the second incident in a month: on 9 December, thieves exploded an ATM in the Mambucaba Condominium, another security-controlled workers’ village 15km away from the plants, near Angra dos Reis on the Rio de Janeiro state coastline.

Dr Paul Dorfman, a senior researcher at University College London’s Energy Institute, said that the use of “explosives and modern weaponry close to any nuclear plant” was a cause for worry, even if the explosion would not have caused direct damage to reactors.

“There are grave and increasing concerns about risk of attack to a nuclear plant across the world,” he said.


Daily Mail:

Vladimir Putin is poised to create a special force to protect against terrorist drone strikes on key nuclear power stations, following attacks on Russian bases in Syria.

The move – involving the development of technology to reliably zap drones – comes amid fears that terrorists could use sophisticated long-distance weapons to target nuclear bases.

Russian concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria using UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles.

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Reuters via Nikkei Asian Review:

DETROIT, U.S. (Reuters) — Ford Motor Co’s plan to double its electrified vehicle spending is part of an investment tsunami in batteries and electric cars by global automakers that now totals $90 billion and is still growing, a Reuters analysis shows.

That money is pouring in to a tiny sector that amounts to less than 1 percent of the 90 million vehicles sold each year and where Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc, with sales of only three models totaling just over 100,000 vehicles in 2017, was a dominant player.

With the world’s top automakers poised to introduce dozens of new battery electric and hybrid gasoline-electric models over the next five years – many of them in China – executives continue to ask: Who will buy all those vehicles?

“We’re all in,” Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr said of the company’s $11 billion investment, announced on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “The only question is, will the customers be there with us?”

“Tesla faces real competition,” said Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc, the largest U.S. auto retailing chain. By 2030, Jackson said he expects electric vehicles could account for 15-20 percent of New vehicle sales in the United States.

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