Climate Clips: As Policy Impacts Kick in, Virginia Climbs Into Top Five States for Solar

Nationwide, Virginia ranked fifth with 236 megawatts of new solar capacity installed in the first quarter of this year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie. That’s more than the state added annually in 2018, 2019, and any year before 2017.

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More DMV News

New Mapping Tool Aims to Clarify Virginia Environmental Justice Debates
Virginia Mercury
Amid persistent conflicts over what communities should be considered “environmental justice” communities when state officials weigh whether to grant air, water, or waste pollution permits, a new interactive map of Virginia aims to identify hotspots where residents are facing disproportionate pollution and socioeconomic burdens.

Environmental Groups File Suit Challenging Conowingo Dam License
Bay Journal
The long-running Conowingo Dam controversy is back in court. On June 17, four environmental groups filed a legal challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision in March to relicense the hydropower facility on the lower Susquehanna River.

For Virginia, Adapting to Sea-Level Rise Starts With Choosing a Curve
Virginia Mercury
Over the past decade, state and federal scientists have been devising curves that show the trajectory sea level rise could take through the end of the century. The Army Corps has issued three, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration five, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, which acts as the commonwealth’s advisor on coastal management and change, one.

Harnessing the Wind: Historic Offshore Wind Project Now Producing Energy Off Virginia Beach Coast
Dominion Energy is investing billions of dollars to change the energy equation in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and the United States as a whole.  That includes giving up fossil fuels for the clean energy of wind and the sun.

National and International News

U.S. Solar Installations Soared in First Quarter, Supply Squeeze Weighs
U.S. solar installations are on track for record-breaking growth over the next three years, a view that could be challenged by soaring project costs or accelerated by new subsidies championed by the Biden administration, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

EPA Chief Reinstates Science Advisory Board He Dismantled
Associated Press
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he has fully reinstated one of two key advisory boards he dismantled earlier this year in a push for “scientific integrity” at the agency.

Requiem for a Pipeline: Keystone XL Transformed the Environmental Movement and Shifted the Debate over Energy and Climate
Inside Climate News
The 13-year fight over Keystone XL transformed the U.S. environmental movement, and dramatically shifted the political center of the American debate over energy and climate change.

Earth is Now Trapping an ‘Unprecedented’ Amount of Heat, NASA Says
The Washington Post
The amount of heat Earth traps has roughly doubled since 2005, contributing to more rapidly warming oceans, air, and land, according to new research from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Protein-Filled, With a Low Carbon Footprint, Insects Creep Up on the Human Diet
Inside Climate News
As fears mount over the environmental impact of the agricultural system, entrepreneurs are rushing to develop new ways to feed the planet’s growing population. Insects are rich in protein and other essential nutrients and can be reared at scale with minimal environmental impact.