New renewables are now cheaper than coal almost everywhere

CLEAN ENERGY: The rising cost of coal-fired power and the increasing competitiveness of renewable energy means it would now be cheaper to replace all but one of the US’s coal-fired power plants with brand-new solar and wind turbines, according to analysis by a clean energy policy firm. (Guardian)

IN ADDITION: The same analysis shows that Duke Energy in North Carolina spends twice as much money running its six coal-fired power plants in North Carolina than it would replace with solar power plants. (Energy News Network)

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• Proponents criticize the federal government’s promotion of electric vehicles as a climate solution to public transport. (Blumberg)
• Virginia’s struggle to fund an existing electric vehicle rebate program shows how partisan struggles are challenging the transition to electric vehicles. (E&E News)
• Expanding Tesla’s manufacturing facility in Nevada is expected to trigger hundreds of millions in state tax breaks, on top of the $1.3 billion in incentives the company has already received. (Nevada River)

• Facing an existential threat from the clean energy transition, the natural gas industry is ramping up exports of liquefied natural gas and ‘green’ gas in hopes that the products will help maintain its market position. (Canary Media)
• Increased drilling in the West Texas oil field coincides with hundreds of earthquakes per year in a region previously not known for seismic activity. (New York Times)

• A group of US lawmakers is urging the Biden administration to fight the appointment of an oil company chief to chair this year’s COP28 climate talks. (Politics)
• Ambitious climate agencies are expensive, but municipalities like Pittsburgh use priority-based budgeting to find existing funds for the initiatives. (grit)

• As fears of a recession prompt some startups to cut staff and costs, investors say the urgency of climate change will keep sustainability-focused startups afloat. (New York Times)
• A US Republican official who chairs a key committee faces pressure from far-right members to crack down on climate-conscious investment firms. (E&E News)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Advocates say they are disappointed that justice and environmental justice feels like an “afterthought” in Minnesota legislation calling for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. (Inside the climate news)

CO2 SEPARATION: Two startups and two universities say they plan to apply for $3.5 billion in federal funding earmarked to build four direct-air carbon capture plants across the country. (E&E News)

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TOOLS: A new report compares US utilities’ record profits in 2022 to the estimated 4.2 million times they have shut down the service, disproportionately harming low-income customers and communities of color. (Guardian)

OFFSHORE WIND: New York says its third offshore wind tender has received a record volume of high-quality proposals, with winning bids to be announced in the spring. (RTO Insider, Subscription)

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