Local weather regulation fuels solar vs. wind fight

President Joe Biden’s $369 billion local weather regulation claims to push down the cost of photo voltaic power and battery know-how — but that new financial landscape could also throw a curveball in locations with major wind options.

Iowa’s biggest-ever wind electrical power proposal is now the subject of fierce criticism from some of the biggest champions of renewable power: environmental teams and tech firms that are keen for carbon-cost-free energy to operate their data facilities, writes POLITICO’s E&E News reporter Jeffrey Tomich. 

Iowa-based utility MidAmerican Vitality, a unit of an vitality keeping firm controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, ideas to spend virtually $4 billion almost completely in wind ability. But critics say that funds could be greater invested, primarily looking at the tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act that reward photo voltaic infrastructure.

The scenario is a harbinger of how a new infusion of federal hard cash could change the economics of small-carbon ability and pit sources of clean up strength against every other.

Modeling done by the Environmental Regulation & Plan Heart located that introducing in much more solar power and battery storage to the utility’s energy mix would push down prices for people. As opposed to the wind energy approach (recognized as Wind Prime), a far more various providing would also hasten the retirement of some of MidAmerican’s coal vegetation, the environmental coalition reported.

“We have issue with just going forward with a $4 billion financial commitment that may perhaps acquire other financial investment chances off the desk,” Josh Mandelbaum, an lawyer for the group, told Jeff.

MidAmerican officers say the utility regarded other resources of energy, but the wind growth is a realistic way to attain its 100 percent renewable power target at no further expense to individuals. MidAmerican is previously between the largest wind energy producers in the country.

Critics are not so certain. Some allege that the fidelity to wind ability is additional about maximizing revenue throughout the power transition. They say the utility’s prepare to shut its five coal plants by 2049 is much too slow.

“Wind Key is not about decarbonization,” mentioned Devi Glick, a senior principal at Synapse Electrical power Economics. “Wind Prime’s goal is to maximize revenues for MidAmerican.”

It really is Tuesday — thank you for tuning in to POLITICO’s Electrical power Switch. I’m your host, Arianna Skibell. Power Swap is brought to you by the journalists behind E&E News and POLITICO Electricity. Ship your guidelines, remarks, issues to [email protected]

Now in POLITICO Energy’s podcast: Kelsey Tamborrino breaks down why the Strength Division conditionally agreed to deliver a $700 million mortgage to a controversial lithium mining challenge in Nevada.

Rock > Biden’s agenda < Hard place
President Joe Biden’s climate agenda is at risk of getting squeezed between a chronic shortage of federal workers and threats by House Republicans to slash spending, writes Adam Aton.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has signed on to a plan by GOP hard-liners to try to roll back discretionary spending. That equates to a cut of about $130 billion from current spending levels and is line with new GOP calls to balance the federal budget.

Let the guessing begin
Two candidates have emerged as possible frontrunners to fill a vacant seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to sources familiar with the process, write Miranda Willson and Brian Dabbs.

It’s unclear when the White House will nominate someone new to join the independent, five-seat commission, or how many individuals are being vetted for the job.

Coal mine protests
Police removed Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and other protesters Sunday as they demonstrated against the razing of the German village of Lützerath for the expansion of a coal mine, writes Jones Hayden.

Climate activists have been squatting in the village in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia for more than two years to protest its demolition.

Impacts: California storms bring more deaths, heavy rain, flooding and power outages.

Climate hustle: How to bust idlers, bike lane blockers and water wasters — and maybe get paid.

A showcase of some of our best subscriber content.

The oil industry is signaling that its profits will be more modest in 2023, as it closes out a tumultuous year that saw companies reap record earnings after the Russian war in Ukraine and political backlash.

Food producers are adapting to climate change using hybrid seed varieties, altered growing seasons and northward migration as heat and drought compromise render traditional cropland.

The European Commission will propose a Net-Zero Industry Act that lays out a series of clean-tech objectives for 2030, in an effort to compete with the United States.

That’s it for today, folks! Thanks for reading.