The Oil Industry Can Teach Offshore Wind Farms How to Stay Afloat

Source: By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

When turbines start spinning at the first U.S. offshore wind farm near Rhode Island later this year, some energy developers will already be eyeing a bigger prize. There’s a steadier, harder wind blowing off the California coast. Those reliable Pacific gusts could yield nearly a terawatt of electricity, 13 times the capacity of all the wind turbines now installed on land in the U.S. — without consuming real estate or blocking anyone’s views.

Trump targets Paris climate deal

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is vowing to renegotiate last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement if elected. In an interview with the Reuters news service yesterday, Trump said the deal treats the United States unfairly. Even though the billionaire magnate has clashed with members of his own party, his comments on Paris are in line with GOP orthodoxy.

Latest legal twist shuffles calendars, prospects

Source: Ellen M. Gilmer and Robin Bravender, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

With the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s surprise decision to push Clean Power Plan arguments to September before the full court, dozens of lawyers are now shuffling their schedules and planning for a new legal timeline. The court’s announcement took everyone by surprise. Instead of presenting oral arguments before a three-judge panel in early June, defenders and challengers of the Obama administration’s signature climate rule will make their case before all participating judges on Sept. 27.

Bipartisan senators introduce resolution on industry milestone

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a resolution yesterday to celebrate the U.S. solar industry achieving its millionth solar installation. The resolution cites statistics on solar industry growth, declining costs of solar panels and the increase in industry jobs. It states that “the Senate supports the United States solar energy industry in its effort to bring low-cost, clean, 21st century solar technology into homes and businesses across the United States.”

SolarCity subpoenaed over N.Y. gigafactory

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. solar installer, said Friday it has been subpoenaed in a broad investigation of state contracts and lobbying in New York. The development, first reported by Newsday, involves a probe by Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, of state construction projects, including those tied to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) $1 billion plan to boost the economy in Buffalo, N.Y. SolarCity is building a solar panel gigafactory in the city with a $750 million investment from the state as part of Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative.

U.S. Energy Chief: Texas Should Develop Clean Power Plan

Source: by Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

When Ernest Moniz looks at Texas, he sees groundbreaking energy research and innovation — and not only related to oil and gas: wind, solar and battery technology that could bolster the reliability of those renewable resources, too. “The kind of innovation shown here is certainly very important for the whole country,” the U.S. energy secretary said this week at the University of Texas at Austin. “I know Houston claims to be the energy capital of the world, but I think Texas has a broader role.”

US, Denmark sign offshore deal

Source: By Renews • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The US has signed an agreement with Denmark to strengthen cooperation on offshore wind energy. The memorandum of understanding recognizes both countries common interests in developing the technology as a clean and sustainable energy source, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy said.

Companies propose deep-water wind farms off Hawaii shores

Source: By Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Massive wind turbines could end up floating in deep ocean waters off Hawaii’s shores under proposals to bring more renewable energy to the islands. Two companies have proposed offshore wind turbine projects for federal waters off Oahu as Hawaii pushes to meet its aggressive renewable energy goals. Their plans would use technology that floats the tall turbines in deep waters miles offshore. The proposals are in the early stages and would face years of environmental reviews and community meetings before possible approval.

Court decides to bypass panel, delays arguments until fall

Source: Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

High-stakes litigation over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will bypass review by a panel of three judges and instead go before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the fall. The D.C. Circuit announced the change in a short order yesterday, surprising some attorneys involved in the case. Oral arguments had been scheduled for early June before a three-judge panel considered favorable for the administration. Now, the case will be heard en banc on Sept. 27.

How America’s regions learned from Europe’s mistakes

Source: John Fialka and Debra Kahn, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016

California, which fancied itself the centerpiece of what was to become the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), seemed to be in the most trouble. It had done much of the planning for this regional coalition, learning from the European Union’s mistakes and taking more time to design a system of measurements and rules to put an effective cap on its biggest sources of emissions. The plan of the state’s Air Resources Board started with electricity generators and large-scale manufacturing in 2013 and then spread by 2015 to cover 85 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emitters.