Washington adopts first-of-its-kind rule to combat climate change

Source: By Washington Department of Ecology • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

In an effort to protect all that Washington has to offer future generations, the Washington Department of Ecology is launching a new plan to combat climate change. After months of stakeholder meetings, and public review and input, Ecology today adopted a first-of-its-kind clean air rule that caps and reduces carbon pollution. “Today marks a watershed moment in our country’s history,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. “We are taking leadership under our clean air act, adopting a strong and practical plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and doing our fair share to tackle climate change.”

NY releases ‘blueprint’ for developing wind energy plan

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

New York’s energy agency has released a “blueprint” for developing the Offshore Wind Master Plan described by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State address, saying the plan will come out at the end of 2017. The 24-page document released Thursday by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority says the state is examining a 16,740-square-mile area off the Atlantic coast for potential wind project sites.

Senate, House panels probe solar firms

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

The companies receiving the letters were SunEdison Inc., Abengoa SA, NextEra Energy Inc., NRG Energy Inc., SolarCity Corp., Sunrun Inc. and Sungevity Inc. They are a sample of firms under committee investigation, sources said. The Senate Finance Committee has been examining billions of dollars in green energy incentives — including the 1603 program and investment tax credits — out of concerns that the Treasury Department and IRS lack adequate controls over cash distributions.

House bill would extend investment tax credits

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

A new bill from Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) would extend the investment tax credits for offshore wind until 2026. The bill is a companion to S. 3036, which Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced in June. Both bills aim to extend the tax credit beyond its current expiration in 2019. In a statement, Langevin said that deadline is too soon, making it unlikely that any additional wind projects will qualify before the cutoff.

Experts ponder whether Supreme Court will have ultimate say

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

“The D.C. decision is very consequential. I’m not all convinced that the Supreme Court will take it up,” Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) said yesterday at a Washington, D.C., event hosted by the conservative Federalist Society. But if the high court does take up the Clean Power Plan, attorneys are mining past cases for hints as to where the justices will fall. Both sides have found prior decisions that they think the justices can lean on in deciding the case.

Watch videos capture power of wind farms, technological advancement

Source: By David Ward, AWEA Blog • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

A wave of new videos shared over the last month do a great job of capturing the power of U.S. wind farms and how wind turbine technology continues to evolve. American wind power has more than tripled since 2008, supplying over five percent of U.S. electricity today. That growth has been largely due to performance-based tax policy (Production Tax Credit) and American workers advancing turbine technology.

More than 80% of Americans support U.S. climate goals

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

A strong majority of Americans think the United States should meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement, though they doubt nations abroad will uphold their end of the bargain, according to an Associated Press and University of Chicago poll released today. The survey found that 80 percent of Americans want the United States to try to cut its emissions, as the deal requires, even if foreign nations, such as India and China, do not.

Solar, wind developers: U.S. desert plan hurts renewable energy

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The United States on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited plan for desert renewable energy development that the solar and wind industries said unfairly favors land conservation and severely limits the ability to build projects critical to meeting the nation’s climate goals. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, eight years in the making, was designed to streamline development of wind and solar projects on federal and private lands in California while preserving pristine desert habitats.

Solar Rooftop Revolution Fizzles in U.S. on Utility Pushback

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Rooftop solar, which has surged more than 1,000 percent since 2010, will barely grow at all next year. Residential installations are expected to increase by 21 percent this year, but in 2017 the figure will inch upward by about 0.3 percent. The change comes as utilities push back against mandates to buy the electricity and shifting tax policies curb demand. Throw in sliding electricity rates and it’s clear the economic benefits of rooftop panels are no longer so obvious to consumers.

Interior finalizes massive Calif. desert management plan

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The Obama administration has finalized a plan designed to guide commercial-scale wind, solar and geothermal power development across millions of acres of Southern California desert. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced that her department has issued a record of decision (ROD) approving the proposal and three land-use plan amendments covering 10.8 million federal acres as part of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).