FERC to launch ‘significant outreach’ on Clean Power Plan

Source: Rod Kuckro and Emily Holden, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will soon begin an informal effort to engage stakeholders nationwide about a range of concerns with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, said FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable in an interview. The effort, coming more than five months after the final rule was published, will be led by FERC staff, Honorable said. “We need to be proactive, and we need to be acting now and not just talking about it,” she said, describing “what I would characterize as a significant outreach effort with stakeholders.”

Another setback to proposed Iowa wind energy line

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The Iowa Utilities Board has dealt another setback to a proposed $2 billion transmission line to ship Iowa wind energy to customers in Illinois. The board voted 3-0 on Monday rejected the third request by Clean Line Energy Partners to split the case into two separate hearings. The board stood by its plan to decide whether to approve the line and whether to grant the use of eminent domain in one hearing. The company has said that approach means it has to invest “tens of millions of dollars” acquiring land while running the risk that regulators could reject the line as not in the public interest.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s 2016 State of the State Address, Renewable Energy Excerpts

Source: BY Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, State of the State Address • Posted: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

“Our leadership in green energy not only makes us a leader in renewables but also powers job growth. Every wind turbine you see while driving across our state means income for farmers, revenue for local governments and jobs for Iowa families. Let’s build on that foundation for a greener Iowa future.”

President pushes transition from ‘dirty energy’

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

In last night’s speech, the president broadly touted job growth in renewable energy industries and said making “technology work for us” to solve urgent issues like climate change is among the top four questions facing the country. Obama asked, to some applause in the House chamber: “Why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?”

Nev. faces solar exodus in wake of rate changes

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

As recently as last summer, Nevada was the nation’s No. 4 market for solar power and claimed the nation’s No. 1 ranking for solar sector employment on a per-capita basis. Today, the state’s status as a solar leader is in free fall as a result of a new net-metering ruling adopted by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last month

Getting To 100% Renewable Energy In the US

Source: By Adam Johnston, CleanTechnica • Posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Getting to 100% renewable energy in the US by 2050 is a goal that is gaining traction among the US public. Reports from many environmental organizations have been written on how to get to this target, including from Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Foundation. After last year’s COP21 conference, the momentum has gotten stronger in order to keep global temperature within the 1.5°C threshold to avoid dramatic climatic change on the Earth.

Most oil majors still mum on Paris climate pact

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Many of the world’s major oil and gas companies are still grappling with how to respond to the international climate change agreement that 195 nations struck in Paris last month, interviews with several industry officials revealed. Asked to discuss the U.N. deal to slash global greenhouse gas emissions — which could threaten the very existence of the traditional energy industry — top multinational oil corporations shared few details. Most were vague and some were nonresponsive to questions about how and whether the agreement will affect their long-term business plans.

Governor Continues Support for Wind Energy in Iowa

Source: By Public News Service • Posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Iowa generates nearly 30 percent of its electricity from wind, far more than any other state. The goal is to increase that to 40 percent by 2020. Ben Hammes, a spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad, said developing the industry is a benefit for the state’s other economic-development efforts. “Every turbine you see driving across the state of Iowa means three things,” he said. “It means income for farmers, it means revenue for local governments, and it means jobs for Iowa families.”

Advocates press economic case for climate action

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Climate advocates are urging President Obama to use his final State of the Union address today to make a strong economic case for renewable energy amid Republican criticism of the administration’s climate agenda. White House aides have promised a “nontraditional” speech, laying out a broad vision for the future of the country rather than specific policy provisions.

Researchers push to find the next generation of energy

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Emily Heaton says clean energy from the 12-foot tall miscanthus she grows at an Iowa State University farm can help cut the carbon that’s warming the planet. “I should be able to start my truck or turn on my lights at home, and it makes the air cleaner,” said Heaton, a 37-year-old agronomy professor who is researching how to use perennial grasses to cost-effectively generate electricity and fuel.