Showing the effects of lower oil prices, BP on Tuesday reported a loss of $3.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2015. The London-based oil producer lost $4.4 billion in the comparable period in 2014, when falling oil prices led to large inventory write-offs. For all of 2015, BP said it lost $6.48 billion, compared with a profit of $3.78 billion in 2014. BP blamed the loss primarily on sharply lower oil and gas prices. The company also said it wrote down the value of its oil and gas assets by $1.6 billion in the quarter.
Germany has overtaken the UK in the rate at which it is installing wind turbines at sea, industry figures show. Globally, wind installations grew by 25% in 2014, reaching a landmark 62,000 MW of capacity, according to a separate report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
North Dakota has joined more than two dozen other states in pressing the Supreme Court to put the brakes on the Obama administration’s signature climate change rule. On Friday, the state filed a motion with Chief Justice John Roberts, asking his court to freeze U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan as litigation challenging the rule plays out in a lower court. The application comes on the heels of several similar petitions filed last week by dozens of states and industry groups. Roberts has asked the Obama administration to respond to those requests by Thursday afternoon.
Senators have filed nearly 200 amendments to the energy policy rewrite bill currently being considered on the Senate floor, and GOP leaders say they are “redoubling” their efforts to work through the list this week. Lawmakers approved 11 amendments to the bill last week, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a bill cosponsor and the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Monday that members should expect many other amendments to hit the floor this week.
The conservative American Energy Alliance yesterday announced it would count three pending amendments when calculating lawmaker voting record tallies. AEA is opposed to an amendment by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), which has the backing of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), to limit the ability of state regulators to alter net-metering policies.
The DOE wants to step up its wind energy game in a big way. And I mean big. Sandia National Laboratories has been tasked with the challenge of designing an offshore wind turbine that can spin out 50 megawatts of carbon-free juice—using 650 foot blades that harness the fiercest winds on Earth.
Iowans are plenty familiar with the drill going on right now: Candidates from both sides of the aisle traverse our state, promising different ways they’ll help enrich our families and businesses. But let’s take a moment to thank one man with a 30-year history of delivering on those promises: Gov. Terry Branstad. In particular, Branstad’s strong, consistent support of wind energy has driven economic growth, created thousands of jobs and delivered billions of dollars to our state.
“Rhode Island should be heavily focused on the green economy because that’s where we’re shining,” she said in a phone interview with the Narragansett Times. “Agriculture and aquaculture are doing very well despite some of the regulatory hoops they have to jump through.”
The vote by state regulators to implement the new, less favorable net metering rates for all rooftop solar customers came after the Legislature in 2015 opted not to take up the issue. Instead, legislation was passed directing the PUC to make the decision, which included the question of whether nonsolar customers of NV Energy, doing business as Nevada Power in Southern Nevada, were subsidizing their net metering neighbors. Net metering allows solar customers to receive a credit for the excess energy they produce.
California utility regulators approved payments for excess rooftop solar generation yesterday but warned that solar customers are getting more than their share of benefits compared to other ratepayers. The California Public Utilities Commission’s 3-2 decision largely preserves the current structure of the state’s net-metering regulation, which pays solar customers retail rates for the electricity they send back to the grid.