Make or break time on spending, taxes

Source: Geof Koss and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

Capitol Hill could learn as early as today whether lawmakers can seal a blockbuster end-of-year spending and tax agreement that would end the ban on crude oil exports and extend key renewable energy tax breaks. According to one lobbyist, an export deal included in a broader tax package would extend the PTC and ITC for five years, with the ITC qualification terms being adjusted to allow facilities to qualify when construction commences.

Texas Scientist Aims to Revolutionize Electricity Grid

Source: By Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

Texas already churns out more wind energy than any other state, and its solar power sector is rapidly growing — in some cases, pushing high-polluting coal plants out of the market. Those trends will need to continue if the fast-growing state plans to meet its carbon-cutting goal under President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. But quickly adding large amounts of renewable energy to the grid carries challenges, particularly since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.

Midwest grid operator OKs $2.75B in new lines

Source: Rod Kuckro, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

“As our region grapples with the Clean Power Plan and a shifting generation portfolio, MISO’s transmission planning efforts are even more important,” Bear said. “Ensuring a robust transmission system will allow us to meet these challenges in a way that protects reliability.”

Iowa’s ‘pragmatic politician’ Branstad is about to break 211-year-old record

Source: By Robynn Tysver, Omaha World-Herald staff writer • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

Terry Branstad, the humble Iowa governor whose sole piece of political flash is his Tom Selleck-size mustache, is about to whip the historical footnotes off a Revolutionary War hero. Branstad will become the longest-serving governor in U.S. history on Monday, besting a record that has stood since 1804. It is a record Branstad and others expect will last for some time to come.

U.S. Oil Export Ban ‘Very Likely’ to Be Lifted in Spending Bill: Source

Source: By Timothy Gardner and Susan Cornwell, Reuters • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

The 40-year-old ban on most U.S. crude oil exports will “very likely” be lifted in the government spending bill, and talks on the final budget deal are likely to continue through the weekend, a Senate aide said on Friday. The White House has said repeatedly that President Barack Obama opposes legislation in the bill to lift the ban and that Congress should instead work to help green sources of energy. It has stopped short of saying Obama would veto a spending bill that includes lifting the ban.

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

But the Paris deal could represent the moment at which, because of a shift in global economic policy, the inexorable rise in planet-warming carbon emissions that started during the Industrial Revolution began to level out and eventually decline. At the same time, the deal could be viewed as a signal to global financial and energy markets, triggering a fundamental shift away from investment in coal, oil and gas as primary energy sources toward zero-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear power.

A Signal to Industry to Go Green in an Era of Carbon Reduction

Source: By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and KEITH BRADSHER, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

With the ink barely dry on a landmark climate accord, nations now face an even more daunting challenge: how to get their industries to go along. If nothing else, analysts and experts say, the accord is a signal to businesses and investors that the era of carbon reduction has arrived. It will spur banks and investment funds to shift their loan and stock portfolios from coal and oil to the growing industries of renewable energy like wind and solar.

Solar boom expected to set 4th-quarter record — report

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

he U.S. solar industry notched its eighth consecutive quarter of more than 1 gigawatt of newly installed capacity during the August-October period, industry figures released today show. The third-quarter figure of 1,361 megawatts of new installations sets the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry on a trajectory to break its previous annual growth record, set in 2014, and is the sixth largest quarterly growth in history.

Donald Trump Has America’s CEOs Nervous and Very Quiet, for Now

Source: By Jennifer Kaplan, Bloomberg News • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

Michael Garland, CEO of wind-power developer Pattern Energy Group Inc., said Trump’s skepticism toward climate change has given more conservative electric utilities pause over signing renewable-energy contracts to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

GM buys wind power from EDP to build its biggest SUVs

Source: By Joe White, Reuters • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

General Motors Co (GM.N) said Thursday it is buying wind energy to power production of some its biggest sport utility vehicles at a factory in Texas. GM said in a statement it has agreed to buy 30 megawatts of energy from a Texas wind farm operated by a unit of Spanish renewable energy company EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR.LS). EDP is developing a 250 megawatt wind farm in Edinburg, Texas. GM will use the wind-generated electricity to power production of Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs at its factory in Arlington, Texas