News

U.S. invests $10M in wave and tidal power tests

Source: Joshua Learn, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 31st, 2014

The Department of Energy and the Navy have announced a $10 million investment into testing wave energy conversion devices off the coast of Hawaii. The money will go to two companies, Ocean Energy USA LLC and Northwest Energy Innovations, to test their technology at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site near Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The principle of marine and hydrokinetic technology is to harness the power of waves, tides, rivers and ocean currents into a renewable energy source.

How Vermont’s largest city went 100 percent renewable electricity

Source: By Laurie Guevara-Stone, Christian Science Monitor • Posted: Friday, October 31st, 2014

Vermont may be best known for maple syrup and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but now its largest city can boast another accomplishment. The city of Burlington(pop. 42,000) now gets 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. The Burlington Electric Department (BED) is the state’s largest municipal utility.

DOE to use executive power regardless of election outcome — Moniz

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 31st, 2014

Touching on another issue that usually comes up after the elections, Moniz reiterated the need to extend the renewable tax credits and “to do it in the way there is predictability on all sides.” He also voiced support for expanding master limited partnerships to all energy companies, saying it could “provide an excellent new vehicle for attracting private capital into the future.”

EPA seen easing power plant rule’s near-term pressure on states

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 31st, 2014

U.S. EPA signaled this week that its final Clean Power Plant rule would be asking less of states early on to reduce emissions of power plants’ greenhouse gases. The notice of data availability (NODA) released by EPA this week proposes tweaks that would both strengthen and weaken the stringency of its original draft, industry lawyers closely following the rulemaking say. The strengthening changes seem less likely to be adopted than a major change that may effectively weaken many states’ emissions targets, they say.

A guide to the fast-developing off-grid world

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

A sweeping new report on clean energy development in 55 emerging economies suggests the United States and Europe may soon be eclipsed by countries from Asia, Latin America and Africa on several measures of clean energy adoption. The analysis, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, identified China, Brazil, South Africa, India and Chile as the top five developing markets for clean energy, followed by Uruguay, Kenya, Mexico, Indonesia and Uganda.

Comment: Feed-In Tariffs: A Tool for Increasing Economic Equality in the US?

Source: By Tam Hunt, Community Renewable Solutions LLC, Green Tech Media • Posted: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

To help developing nations become more developed, electricity is a key component. This is uncontroversial. What is more controversial is the idea that electricity policy can be a tool for economic development in developed nations. This article will explore the possibilities for economic development in countries like the U.S., including the ability to mitigate the growing inequality in our country.

Climate Change Concerns Push Chile to Forefront of Carbon Tax Movement

Source: By By KATE GALBRAITH, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

These are rough times for carbon taxes, aimed at mitigating climate change. Australia recently repealed its carbon tax. South Korea delayed a carbon-based tax on vehicle emissions. South Africa put off a planned carbon tax until 2016. And yet, for environmentalists, a sliver of hope exists in the shape of Chile, one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies, which last month approved the first carbon tax in South America. The measure, due to take effect in 2018, was part of a broad overhaul of the tax system. “Chile is one of the countries that is getting much more serious about climate change, and developing something that’s much more robust in terms of policies,” said Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez, a forest ecologist at Columbia University.

Generating Power From Tidal Lagoons

Source: By BETH GARDINER, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Harvesting energy from the tides is hard to do, and the development of a new generation of sea-based power arrays lags far behind more widely used renewable technologies like wind and solar. But the company pushing a new project on the coast of Wales thinks its twist — a 21st-century update of traditional dam-based hydropower — will be much easier to bring to fruition. If it wins government permission to go forward, Tidal Lagoon Power Limited says the approach, known as tidal lagoon generation, could provide as much as 10 percent of Britain’s power from six of its projects within a decade.

Wind, solar growth higher in developing nations — study

Source: By Pilita Clark, Financial Times • Posted: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The growth rate of wind and solar energy in China, India and other developing countries is outpacing those in some of the world’s richest and most developed countries. It was previously thought that many poorer nations couldn’t afford such renewable energy technologies and had to rely on coal-fired power plants and diesel generators.

Whitehouse sees silent GOP support for action on warming

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said today that a dozen Senate Republicans privately support action on climate change but are afraid to discuss it openly for fear of political reprisals. Speaking at a forum sponsored by New York University Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity, Whitehouse blamed the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission for silencing Republicans who back climate action.