China Plans 22% Boost for Wind Power Capacity After Record 2015

Source: By Bloomberg News • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

China plans to increase total wind power capacity by 22 percent in 2016, underscoring the government’s effort to develop clean energy at about the same pace as last year’s record installations. The nation plans to develop 30.83 gigawatts of wind power this year, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on its website on Monday. It added 33 gigawatts in 2015, triple France’s entire capacity of the clean resource, according to data from NEA.

Rhode Island touts wind farm project off Block Island

Source: By Mark Harrington, Newsday • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

As Long Island’s power utility once again mulls taking the plunge into wind power, the state of Rhode Island took a pre-victory lap here last week at a staging facility for the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Rhode Island officials, including Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, took note of cooperation among state, industry and labor leaders to pave the way for the project, a 5-turbine wind farm situated several miles from the Block Island coast that will supply 90 percent of the island’s power.

New climate czar charged with making Paris promises a reality

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Jonathan Pershing, who will become the top U.S. diplomat on climate issues next month, has spent the last three years at the Department of Energy working to make the U.S. commitment in Paris easier to achieve. Since stepping down in 2013 as deputy to outgoing U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, Pershing has been responsible for helping DOE align its advanced energy research and policy with the Obama administration’s climate priorities. That’s meant supporting everything from U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan to the U.S. position at last year’s landmark climate summit in the French capital.

Spending bills on hold until budget resolved — Ryan

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) signaled yesterday that the fiscal 2017 spending bills won’t come to the floor until the House sorts out its intraparty squabbling over the budget resolution. While the House Appropriations Committee is set to launch its first markup of the year tomorrow, with the military construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill in subcommittee, Ryan said the bills won’t proceed to the floor until the budget is resolved.

GRID Alternatives’ Greschner discusses state, federal policy options for opening solar power access

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

With the price of solar power down significantly in recent years, how widespread is the use of solar in low-income communities and households? During today’s OnPoint, Stanley Greschner, vice president of government relations and market development at GRID Alternatives, discusses his organization’s new policy guide that seeks to open solar power and solar job access to low-income households throughout the United States.

No water, no jobs: How water shortages threaten jobs and growth

Source: BY ASTRID ZWEYNERT, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

An estimated three out of four jobs globally are dependent on water, meaning that shortages and lack of access are likely to limit economic growth in the coming decades, the United Nations said on Tuesday. About 1.5 billion people – half the world’s workers – are employed in industries heavily dependent on water, most of them in farming, fisheries and forestry, the U.N. World Water Development Report 2016 said.

Trump hates hair spray regs. But does he have an energy policy?

Source: Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Donald Trump is loaded. He has 673 delegates, billions of dollars and a gun permit. But he doesn’t seem to have a coherent policy on energy and climate. Trump to this point has offered campaign pitches rather than policy positions on issues related to greenhouse gases, fossil fuel development and renewable electricity. It appears that the Republican front-runner hasn’t hired a top energy adviser, according to multiple GOP analysts who work on the issue.

McConnell: Wait and see is still ‘most responsible approach’

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

The Senate’s top Republican yesterday told governors to continue their “wait-and-see” stance regarding compliance with the Obama administration’s carbon rule for power plants. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has long urged states to take such an approach, otherwise referred to as “just say no,” and not submit implementation plans for the program. He argued in a letter to governors last year that U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan would not hold up in court

Calif. offshore farm leaps first hurdle

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

California is one step closer to getting its first offshore wind farm. The Interior Department announced yesterday that it has completed an “initial review” of a request from Trident Winds LLC to put 100 floating turbines more than 30 miles off the coast near the middle of the state. It found that the company was legally, technically and financially qualified to hold an offshore wind energy lease in federal waters, according to a press release.

U.S. Considers 800-Megawatt Floating Wind Farm in California

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is evaluating a proposal for the first offshore wind project in California. The agency said Trident Winds LLC is qualified to develop its proposed 800-megawatt wind farm, and will now determine if other companies are interested in the lease area, according to a statement Monday. If so, BOEM will initiate a competitive bidding process for the site about 33 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay. If not, it will move forward with a noncompetitive leasing process.