Last week President Donald Trump (R) introduced a new budget proposal which would slash environmental protections and the energy department. That’s even as reports are showing that renewable energy is less expensive than natural gas power. At the same time some more challenges are coming to rooftop across the country. Meanwhile the first utility-scale solar project on Native American lands came online in Nevada.
When Trump unveiled his “America First” budget proposal last week, he proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget by 31 percent. It also would cut the Department of Energy’s budget by 5.6 percent and reappropriates funds to nuclear power from other energy sources.
That’s even as a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that it’s easier and cheaper to install more wind and solar power than it is to use new natural gas power plants to replace coal-fired power plants. The report found that the ability to install solar and wind quickly as well as the long-term pricing stability of power from wind and solar make it less expensive than other forms of fuel.
Another recent report shows that college campusses could lead the nation in transitioning to renewables. That report, from Environment America showed that colleges and universities can achieve 100 percent sustainability by 2050 and help lead the nation in transitioning to renewable energy.
While there’s a lot of good news for the renewables industry in terms of lower costs and more installations there continue to be challenges to its adoption. For instance, there’s currently a Minnesota bill going through the legislature that would reduce the utility commission’s oversight of utilities. The solar industry has urged the governor to veto the bill and he had previously signified that he would veto legislation that weakens renewables.
Last week the first utility-scale solar farm came online in Nevada. The 250 megawatt Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project near Las Vegas will provide power to Los Angeles while providing revenue to the Paiutes during the life of the facility.Tweet