EGEB: Trump’s offshore oil ban in Southeast also blocks wind farms

  • Banning offshore oil drilling is great. But that’s not the only thing that got banned.
  • EU car emissions targets are causing a huge growth in electric cars in Europe.
  • The running cost of EVs in the US cost $634 less annually than ICE cars.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and your bank account — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Offshore wind ban

On September 8, Donald Trump signed an executive order that reversed his initial plans for offshore oil drilling until 2032 in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Trump said:

This protects your beautiful Gulf [of Mexico] and your beautiful ocean, and it will for a long time to come.

Good news all around, right? Not quite. What Trump didn’t say in his speech was, according to the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management:

The withdrawal includes all energy leasing, including conventional and renewable energy.

No new leases will be issued offshore North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, for a 10-year period beginning July 1, 2022.

In other words, it also bans offshore wind farms. Chris Carnevale of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said [via the Post and Courier]:

I think almost no one was expecting that it would affect offshore wind.

Paul Gayes, a professor of marine science at Coastal Carolina University, said:

The potential [for offshore wind power] is enormous.

We’ve been working on this for 15 years and have a pretty firm belief that it is important for our state [of South Carolina], as a state where we’re at such risk from the changes we’re seeing in our environment.

North Carolina has good momentum in both solar and wind — they have the first and only Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) in the Southeast, which requires utilities to generate a portion of electricity from green energy sources.

Florida is focusing on solar, and solar is also growing in Georgia. But Georgia is home to the largest coal-fired power plant in the US and hosts two of the top four coal plants. Plus, Georgia is building the only two nuclear plants currently under construction in the US.

South Carolina has no green energy plan.

EVs are up in Europe

Electric cars will triple their market share in Europe this year as a result of EU car emissions targets, according to a new report released today from Transport & Environment (T&E), a European umbrella for nongovernmental organizations working in the field of transport and the environment that promote sustainable transport in Europe.

T&E analyzed sales and carmakers’ compliance strategies in the first half of 2020. It found that despite the pandemic, EV sales have surged since January 1, just as the emissions standards kicked in, and will go from 3% to 10% this year and rise to 15% in 2021. 

However, it may only rise to 20% four years later if the current CO2 regulation is not revised, the analysis shows. Norway shows how fast the EV market can grow: from 6% of sales in 2013 to almost 50% five years later, in 2018.

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for clean vehicles at T&E, said:

Electric car sales are booming thanks to EU emissions standards. Next year, 1 in every 7 cars sold in Europe will be a plug-in. EU manufacturers are back in the EV race, but without more ambitious CO2 targets in 2025 and 2030 to spur them on, they’ll run out of steam as soon as 2022.

EVs cheaper to run in US

Electric vehicles currently only occupy around 2% of market share in the US, but their popularity is quickly growing, and in California, they’re at 8%, for example. A big factor for car owners is cost, and EVs are cheaper to run, according to a new study from fintech firm Self Financial.

Self Financial broke down such factors as fuel, energy, mileage, insurance, EV incentives, taxes, registration fees, maintenance, emissions tests, and more to work out the complete running cost of EV versus non-EV cars in each state. It found that across the US the average annual cost of running an electric vehicle is $2,721.96, while gas vehicles cost an average of $3,355.90 per year to run — a difference of $633.94 annually.

Here are some of their main findings:

  • Gas vehicles cost an average of $3,356 per year to fuel, tax and insure, while EVs cost $2,722.
  • Electric vehicles cost an average of $1,454 more per year than the most popular gas cars — but that’s without state subsidies and offers. Buyers could knock off as much as $700 from their annual purchase and running costs by using local incentives.
  • Without incentives, EVs cost an average of $183 more to tax than ICE cars.  
  • Charging an electric car costs $460 per year, compared to filling an ICE vehicle at the gas pump, which costs $838 on average per year.
  • Oregon is the cheapest state to run an electric vehicle at an average of $1,810 each year.
  • Michigan is the most expensive state to run an electric vehicle with an average annual cost of $4,276. (Now, where are most ICE cars made again? Hmmm.)
  • Maintenance costs for electric vehicles are just $774.60 per year, while the most popular new car in the US (Toyota Rav 4) costs $964.60 to maintain.
  • When analyzing the costs for the Tesla Model 3 vs a premium-gas equivalent (BMW 3 Series), the ICE BMW is $1,660 more expensive each year

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