News

Senators Revive Financing Tactic From ’70s for Carbon Emissions

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

For years, power companies, manufacturers and entrepreneurs have tried to make capturing and storing carbon emissions from industrial operations like burning coal into a business, to little avail. Despite decades of promising research, demonstration projects and government investment, large-scale developments have often proved too difficult and costly to get off the ground. But now two senators think they have hit on a way to move the industry forward. Under a bill set to be introduced on Thursday, carbon capture projects — considered important tools for fossil fuel power plants and industrial facilities to meet anticipated greenhouse gas restrictions — would qualify for tax-exempt private activity bonds, which helped clean up air pollution in the 1970s and 1980s.

Nebraska Local View: Fossil fuel subsidies dwarf wind energy incentives.

Source: By Dan McGuire, Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

In response to the opinion column “Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare” LJS, Nov. 14) here are three questions for author Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, with ties to the Koch Brothers oil company.

Judges toss enviro challenge to San Diego turbines

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

Federal judges yesterday rejected an environmental challenge to a major wind farm in Southern California. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that environmental groups including the Desert Protective Council had not shown that the Bureau of Land Management acted arbitrarily in greenlighting the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility project in the desert east of San Diego

Company slows plan for $2B line to ship Iowa wind energy

Source: By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

A company proposing a $2 billion transmission line to ship Iowa wind energy to electric customers in Illinois confirmed Thursday that it has asked regulators to suspend their review while the company figures out how best to move forward with its plan. Clean Line Energy Partners said it is assessing plans for the Rock Island Clean Line, amid opposition from some landowners and uncertain odds of gaining regulatory approval. The Iowa Utilities Board has granted the company’s request to pause a technical review of its petitions to build the high-voltage, overhead line through 16 counties.

Donald Trump hated wind farms — until an Iowa voter asked

Source: By Philip Bump, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, November 20th, 2015

“I’m okay with subsidies, to an extent. I don’t like subsidies when you have $19 trillion in debt.” That said, he was clearly supportive: “If oil goes up [in price], it’s great. But if oil stays low, it’s a very tough business.”

EPA climate rule could boost solar, wind in Ariz. — study

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

A new study says Arizona could meet carbon-cutting goals in U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan simply by developing the state’s abundant and already available solar and wind power resources over the next 15 years. What’s more, the 46-page study, conducted by the Tucson, Ariz.-based Sonoran Institute and researchers with Arizona State University, reports there are at least 15 large-scale solar and wind projects with the capacity to produce 2,032 megawatts of electricity that are already in some stage of the federal or state permitting process.

White House initiative aims to broaden Americans’ access

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

The White House announced new partners in a federal initiative to broaden Americans’ access to solar power — particularly in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods — with more than $500 million in pledged funds. The program is part of President Obama’s broader climate plan heading into the Paris climate negotiations. Last week, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said lower costs of key technologies like solar — enabled by research and development — would be a “central theme” from the United States at the U.N. climate conference.

Lower-Cost Wind and Solar Will Drive Energy Storage Technology

Source: By Naureen Malik, Bloomberg News • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Large wind and solar farms can compete in the power market even with low natural gas prices and will drive the adoption of technology to store renewable energy, according to an analysis by financial advisers Lazard Ltd. The cost to build a utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant has fallen by about 80 percent since 2009 while wind projects have dropped by 60 percent, the financial advisory and asset management company said in a report. Lower costs make large renewable power projects competitive with conventional generators without subsidies.

Politicization of climate change hinders adaptation in cities — report

Source: Brittany Patterson, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Portland, Ore., gets it — adapting to climate change, that is. Local decisionmakers in the liberal city, with a bustling population of just over 600,000 people, reported very high levels of concern about climate change and advanced adaptation plans, according to an analysis undertaken by researchers at George Washington University (GW).

House Dems float 2-year extension of wind credit

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2015

House Democrats have introduced a bill to extend the expired renewable production tax credit for one year while expanding the qualification requirements for a separate key incentive for solar and other renewables. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) yesterday introduced H.R. 4040, the “Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2015,” which would extend the PTC and an assortment of other breaks for two years.