Solar for less than a McDonald’s coffee? It’s coming

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Utility-scale solar power will reach a critical price benchmark by the end of the decade, falling below $1 per watt for fixed-tilt ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, according to new projections published today by GTM Research. The finding, included in GTM’s latest U.S. solar PV price brief, maintains that upfront installed costs for large, ground-mounted systems will drop 21 percent in four years, from $1.26 per watt today to $0.99 in 2020, riding a nearly decadelong downward price curve.

Nebraska wind farm decision delayed

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

A proposed wind farm has been delayed in Antelope County near Neigh. A crowd of about 300 people attended a public hearing Tuesday to discuss the proposed wind farm that’s expected to have about 160 turbines.

Italian firm plans $56 million wind project in central Iowa

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

An Italian company says it has reached an agreement to build a $56 million wind farm in central Iowa with the capacity to generate 30 megawatts of energy. Building Energy SPA said its subsidiary, Building Energy Wind Iowa, will provide $23 million of the project cost, with Capital One Bank kicking in $33 million. The project, consisting of 10 wind turbines, is the groups’ first in Iowa and is slated to be constructed in Story, Boone, Hardin and Poweshiek counties.

Carbon planning under legal stay moves behind closed doors

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Across the country, state officials, power companies and environmental advocates are participating in closed-door meetings to discuss the future of the Clean Power Plan. While state agencies have made parts of their planning talks public, transparency experts say the common practice of holding parallel private discussions could deprive people of insight into preparations for a regulation that stands to affect power prices and public health for decades to come. They also say it may give utilities an early opportunity to sway discussions to their benefit.

Appeals court rips BLM review of contested Ore. wind project

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management’s review of a controversial wind power project in southeast Oregon “did not adequately address impacts to the greater sage grouse,” throwing the future of the project BLM approved nearly five years ago into doubt. The 25-page ruling issued yesterday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals adds more fuel for critics who say the Obama administration has rushed to approve wind, solar and other renewable energy projects without properly analyzing impacts to wildlife and other resources.

Republican governor in Md. proves unpredictable on climate policy

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Maryland’s Republican governor Friday gave his state’s climate policy supporters a case of whiplash, vetoing renewable portfolio standard legislation two months after he signed into law one of the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets in the nation. State Sen. Paul Pinsky (D), who sponsored the measure and sits on the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, said “there’s a fair chance” the Maryland General Assembly could override the veto when it reconvenes in January.

Offshore wind is almost a go, but challenges remain

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The first offshore wind farm in the United States is set to begin delivering power to Rhode Island’s electricity grid by year’s end, a milestone that could help reshape energy markets from New England to South Florida, experts say. But for U.S. offshore wind power to achieve its full potential, as much as 4 gigawatts of capacity, it will need a major influx of capital and know-how, much of which will come from Europe, where the technology has a 25-year performance record and now accounts for 11 GW of generation capacity on the continent.

Renewable energy surges to record levels around the world

Source: By Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent, BBC • Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

China, the US, Japan, UK and India were the countries adding on the largest share of green power, despite the fact that fossil fuel prices have fallen significantly. The costs of renewables have also fallen, say the authors. “The fact that we had 147GW of capacity, mainly of wind and solar is a clear indication that these technologies are cost competitive (with fossil fuels),” said Christine Lins, who is executive secretary of REN21, an international body made up of energy experts, government representatives and NGOs, who produced the report.

AWEA Fact-Checks Donald Trump’s Recent Wind Energy Comments

Source: By Mark Del Franco, North American Wind Power • Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is accustomed to making sweeping, all-encompassing general statements across a wide array of subjects. However, the candidate seldom substantiates the statements with specifics. And when Trump recently appeared before an oil industry group in North Dakota, his remarks were the closest thing yet resembling an official energy policy.

Comment: Donald Trump’s dangerous, nonsensical energy plan

Source: By Washington Post Editorial Board • Posted: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Mr. Trump’s vision on energy, as on almost everything, starts with the premise that the country’s politicians have sold out the American people. President Obama has “done everything he can to keep us dependent on others,” he argued, with a policy of “death by a thousand cuts through an onslaught of regulations” on oil, gas and coal. Mr. Trump’s headline policy is “complete American energy independence” by “lifting these draconian barriers” so that “we are no longer at the mercy of global markets.”