News

Watchdog pushes Texas to investigate solar industry

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

A watchdog group is calling on the attorney general of Texas to investigate alleged “false and misleading acts” by the solar industry in marketing and selling panels to consumers. In a letter this week to Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), the Campaign for Accountability said it identified 12 companies in the state that it says either misled consumers about the savings from solar power or provided inadequate service.

Senate sends conference proposal to House

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

Senate energy conferees have sent a proposed conference report to their House counterparts, as the two chambers ready a lame-duck push to complete the first comprehensive energy bill in nearly a decade.

Tesla CEO: Calif.’s ZEV mandate weak; credits don’t sell

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla, a maker of luxury plug-in electric vehicles, earns state-issued credits for making electric cars. California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) requires automakers selling in the Golden State to make a growing number of zero-emission vehicles. Automakers that fail to manufacture enough so-called ZEVs can buy environmental credits from other automakers

Q3 wind growth slows from 2015, but project pipeline swells to 20 GW

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

Wind energy developers added 895 megawatts of new production capacity in the third quarter of 2016. The latest industry data released yesterday reflect a 44 percent drop from the same period in 2015, but more than the total capacity added in the first half of this year. It reveals an industry entering a phase of slower but steadier growth after two-plus years of recovery from a near collapse in 2013, when the industry’s primary federal tax credit lapsed.

Lamar Smith’s challenger is trying to win on climate

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

Tom Wakely thinks it’s time for Mr. Smith to leave Washington. Wakely (D) is running against Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the influential chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Smith disputes the existence of climate change and — in response to investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp. by the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general — came to Exxon’s defense this year by issuing his own subpoenas to the attorneys general.

Feds set first auction off New York’s coast

Source: Saqib Rahim, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

The Interior Department will hold an auction in December that could bring offshore wind farms within a few dozen miles of New York City. Just under 80,000 acres of federal waters, located south of Long Island, will be made available in the auction, which is co-coordinated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The area has the potential for 800 megawatts or more, according to state officials. It’s the first in New York to be officially designated for offshore wind.

We’re adding record amounts of wind and solar — and we’re still not moving fast enough

Source: By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, October 31st, 2016

Renewable energy projects surpassed all other sources of new electricity added to the global supply last year, says a new report released this week by the International Energy Agency. In 2015, renewables made up more than half of all new installed capacity, with the greatest gains seen in onshore wind and solar.

Measure in Florida That Claims to Back Solar Power May Discourage It

Source: By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times • Posted: Friday, October 28th, 2016

Florida’s biggest electric utility companies are backing a proposed constitutional amendment that, the campaign says, “promotes solar in the Sunshine State.” Not so: If Florida voters approve the ballot measure, it could pave the way for utilities to raise fees on solar customers and cast a heavy cloud over the future of rooftop solar energy in Florida.

New England says no to natural gas, yes to renewables

Source: Rod Kuckro, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 28th, 2016

A pair of decisions in New England on Tuesday may help clarify where the region is heading when it comes to its energy future.

BLM sprints to cement Obama’s green legacy

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, October 28th, 2016

The Interior Department is moving toward finalizing rules, policies and projects that it says should ensure renewable energy’s unprecedented growth spurt continues on federal land after President Obama leaves office. Building a clean energy program from scratch, the Bureau of Land Management has approved 60 commercial-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects that would power millions of homes and businesses