S&P Global covered a new DOE report on fossil energy development in Appalachia region of Va., quoting Virginia AEE's Harry Godfrey that notes new direction of state toward clean energy. Read excerpts below and the entire S&P Global piece here. The story was reposted July 2 by CoalZoom.Com here.
A U.S. Department of Energy report encourages continued government intervention to help attract private investment into energy production and manufacturing in the Appalachian region. Few other regions have the potential for new growth "at a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution," the DOE said in the report, released June 30. It casts Appalachian economic viability during the recovery from economic slump associated with the coronavirus pandemic as a key indicator for prospects for overall US economy...
There is short window in which public sector action, at the federal, state and local level, "can fundamentally accelerate the pace of economic development in Northern to Central Appalachia," the DOE said. "Absent that action, newly abundant natural gas and natural gas resources will disproportionately leave the region and, in significant measure, be exported to international markets..."
In addressing natural gas development, the report depicts permitting challenges as continuing to limit the full potential for growth and asserts that opening the Northeast market access with added pipeline capacity would further boost demand. Gas pipelines in the Northeast have faced increased opposition, particularly as states set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A second wave of the shale gas boom could be unleashed if new digital technologies are fully embraced by the industry, the report adds. To encourage petrochemical industry development, report encourages development of intra-regional pipelines...
The report's continued focus fossil fuel production drew criticism in some quarters.
"In light of Virginia's forward looking energy policy, which goes into effect today, DOE's report seems particularly stuck in the past, doubling-down on technologies that have ill-served the economy of Southwest Virginia, rather than creating new jobs and attracting new investment — as the Virginia Clean Economy Act is designed to do," said Harry Godfrey, executive director, Virginia Advanced Energy Economy, in an email July 1.
He noted Appalachian Power in Virginia would need to meet new advanced energy targets, including a requirement that load be at 30% renewable energy by 2030 under a binding renewable portfolio standard.