Tag Archives: cybersecurity

May White House Statements & Releases

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Amends Nebraska
Disaster Declaration, May 27, 2021

Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. made additional disaster assistance available to the State of Nebraska by authorizing an increase in the level of Federal funding for Public Assistance projects undertaken in the State of Nebraska as a result of a severe winter storm, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of March 9 to July 14, 2019. Continue reading here.

Photo by Herschel Talley / Nebraska National Guard: Flooded Camp Ashland is seen in this aerial photo taken in Ashland, Nebraska, on March 17, 2019.

U.S. disasters show gaps in $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan

By David R. Baker & Keith Laing, Bloomberg
Reprinted by Kennebec Journal

Three times this year, major pieces of U.S. infrastructure have failed: first the Texas power grid, then the East Coast’s main gasoline pipeline, then a freeway bridge over the Mississippi River. The crises disrupted businesses and lives, cost billions and left more than 150 Texans dead.

The recent failures illustrate just how many ways the patchwork systems can break. Experts say they also illustrate a long-running flaw in the way the U.S. thinks about and pays for infrastructure: The country focuses more on building new things rather than maintaining what it has. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

TENASKA

GRID: FERC complaint highlights ‘structural problem’ for renewables, by Miranda Willson, E&E News

The case highlights flaws in outdated interconnection systems across the U.S. that have hampered the growth of renewable energy, according to analysts. Companies seeking to build large energy projects typically must obtain approval from a regional transmission organization or grid operator to connect to the bulk power grid, a process that can take years and carry a steep price tag. 

DARTMOUTH STUDY

Dartmouth Study Finds Renewable Energy Upgrades Make Grid More Resilient, New Hampshire NPR

A Dartmouth study has modeled for the first time that renewable energy upgrades will make the nation’s power grid more resilient. Researchers modeled a grid with an influx of three innovations: distributed generation like rooftop solar, a kind of localized power system shortcut known as a meshed grid, and energy storage. The study is the first to find that these emissions-cutting technologies will also make the power system more able to keep operating through disruptions.

GREENBELT ALLIANCE

Opinion: How infrastructure plan can accelerate resilience, contributed by Amanda Brown-Stevens, The Mercury News

Passing President Biden’s infrastructure bill would be the most significant step we’ve taken as a nation to start to address climate change head on. Greenbelt Alliance believes this infrastructure bill is a great start. Yet, so far there is no path to guide how we can equitably shift away from rebuilding in the most climate-vulnerable areas and instead build for a more resilient future. That’s why we’re recommending this infrastructure bill and related actions adopt these three principles as a simple yet transformational way forward:

Amanda Brown-Stevens heads up the San Francisco-based Greenbelt Alliance, the 60-year-old non-profit dedicated to preserving open spaces and helping the Bay Area prioritize climate action.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

GridWise Alliance Establishes Advisory Council To Aid Drive For Investments In Power System, GridWise Alliance News Release

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — GridWise Alliance Board Chair Gil C. Quiniones today announced the formation of a 29-member Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council (GIAC) to support the Alliance’s call for at least $50 billion in federal spending to modernize the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution systems.

“A strong and secure electric grid is essential to creating jobs and driving economic growth, meeting clean energy goals and fighting climate change,” said Mr. Quiniones, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, the largest state-owned electric utility in the United States. 

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan, The White House Briefing Room

FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan Supercharges the Future of Transportation and Manufacturing

The White House Briefing Room

Increasingly, the global market is shifting to electric vehicles (EVs) – tapping into EVs’ potential to save families thousands of dollars, lower carbon pollution, and make the air we breathe cleaner. Yet, despite pioneering the technology, the United States is behind in the race to manufacture these vehicles and the batteries that go in them.

Today, the U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales is only one-third that of the Chinese EV market. And in 2020, China had approximately 800,000 public charging points compared to just 100,000 in the U.S. President Biden believes it is time for this to change and for the U.S. to lead in EV manufacturing, infrastructure, deployment, and innovation. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Photo Credit: Autoweek

Blumenauer, Levin Introduce Legislation to Bolster Renewable Energy Projects with Direct Payment Option

Press Release, Office of Congressman Blumenauer, May 13, 2021

Today, U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced legislation to give taxpayers the option to take clean energy credits as a direct payment rather than a tax credit. The Renewable Energy Investment Act provides much-needed relief for renewable energy projects that have dealt with sluggish tax equity markets that are slowing project financing and deployment.

The legislation also allows taxpayers with little or no tax liability to take advantage of these tax incentives, thereby expanding the pool of eligible investors and supporting the deployment of renewable energy across the country. Addressing this issue has the support of President Biden, who included reference to a direct payment option for the Production and Investment Tax Credits in his American Jobs Plan overviewRead the entire release here.

CYBERSECURITY

FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks, The White House 

Recent cybersecurity incidents such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and the Colonial Pipeline incident are a sobering reminder that U.S. public and private sector entities increasingly face sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cyber criminals. These incidents share commonalities, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents. 

This Executive Order makes a significant contribution toward modernizing cybersecurity defenses by protecting federal networks, improving information-sharing between the U.S. government and the private sector on cyber issues, and strengthening the United States’ ability to respond to incidents when they occur. It is the first of many ambitious steps the Administration is taking to modernize national cyber defenses. However, the Colonial Pipeline incident is a reminder that federal action alone is not enough.

NEW DOE-FUNDED EDUCATION & TRAINING PROJECT

New Project Will Provide Training on Distributed Energy Technologies for Building, Safety Officials,
Interstate Renewable Energy Council, May 11, 2021

IREC and partners today announced the launch of a three-year, $2.1 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to reduce barriers to widespread adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs) by providing education and resources to expand the knowledge of 30,000 safety professionals.

The project will create one of the most widely-accessed DER information clearinghouse websites to house expert information on clean energy codes, standards, permitting, and inspection. Educational content and resources will be regularly added to this clearinghouse website designed to engage a diverse audience. Concurrently, IREC will develop modular online training for the plan review and inspection of solar PV systems, energy storage systems, and EV charging infrastructure.

SIERRA CLUB PROPOSAL FOR COOPERATIVES & COAL COMMUNITIES

Generation and transformation: Bringing cooperative G&Ts into the clean energy future. Contributed by Jeremy Fisher, Utility Dive

If the energy and capacity services provided by the coal plants to America’s G&Ts were replaced by clean energy, our proposed program could drive 60 GW of solar and wind, and nearly 20 GW of storage build in rural communities — a cost-effective investment of nearly $80 billion. That investment in clean provides lower cost energy than the all-in forward going cost for many of these coal plants. The availability of lower cost clean energy not only supports today’s customers, but attracts corporate buyers who are increasingly interested in clean energy. It reduces the risk of future stranded costs, allows utilities to avoid expensive future environmental compliance obligations for plants that still need pollution controls, and positions G&Ts competitively in today’s energy market. Photo Credit: Catherine Motehouse, Utility Dive

Jeremy Fisher is Senior Advisor for Strategic Research and Development, Environmental Law Program, The Sierra Club.

OFFSHORE WIND

A huge moment’: U.S. gives go-ahead for its first major offshore wind farm, CNBC

In March, the Departments of Energy, Interior and Commerce said they wanted offshore wind capacity to hit 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, a move the Biden administration hopes will generate thousands of jobs and unlock billions of dollars in investment over the coming years. If this target is realized it would represent a significant expansion for the U.S. While America is home to a well-developed onshore wind industry, the country’s first offshore wind facility, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, only started commercial operations in late 2016.

Photo by Ørsted: Tugboat passing by a Block Island Wind Farm turbine.