Germany Approves 1st Subsidy-Free Bid for Offshore Wind Park

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

German authorities have approved the first bid to construct an offshore wind park without feed-in subsidies, indicating the growing competitiveness of renewable energy. The agency that oversees access to Germany’s electricity grid says the bid was one of four to receive approval for projects in the North Sea with a total capacity of 1,490 megawatts. On average the bids sought a subsidy of about $0.0047 per kilowatt hour under a system designed to encourage power companies to feed renewable energy into the grid.

IRS Boosts Wind PTC To Adjust For Inflation

Source: By David K. Burton, North American Wind Power • Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

On April 11, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an inflation adjustment increase in the production tax credit (PTC) for power sold in 2017 that is generated by wind, closed-loop biomass and geothermal projects to 2.4 cents/kWh from the prior 2.3 cents/kWh. The inflation adjustment announcement is being published in the Federal Register.

Apple Says Three More Suppliers to Use Solely Renewable Power

Source: By Alex Webb, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

Another three Apple Inc. suppliers committed to using solely renewable energy to manufacture components for the iPhone maker. Compal Electronics Inc., Sunwoda Electronic Co. and Biel Crystal Manufactory Ltd. have made the pledge, bringing the total number of Apple suppliers seeking to use just renewable power to seven, executive Lisa Jackson said in an interview. Apple itself now gets 96 percent of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to Jackson, Apple’s vice president in charge of sustainability and government affairs.

America’s Wind Energy Boom May Finally Be Coming to the Southeast

Source: BY LYNDSEY GILPIN, Inside Climate Change • Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

It has been a long, uphill battle for wind energy proponents in states like North Carolina. Across the country, wind energy is growing rapidly, surpassing hydropower dams as the largest source of renewable energy in the country. By the end of 2016, the wind industry supported more than 100,000 jobs. But the Southeast has almost completely been left out of that boom. State lawmakers and utility companies have been reluctant to break from fossil fuels, technological advancements have been slow, and the geography of the region is not entirely conducive to large-scale wind.

Solar hits big, brief milestone in California

Source: By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle • Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

For three hours on March 11, solar power met roughly half of all electricity demand across a big swath of California, according to a new estimate from the federal government. Even for a state used to setting renewable power records, it was a milestone. And while temporary, it will doubtless happen again as the state advances toward its goal of getting half of all its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Trump eyes climate skeptic for key White House environmental post

Source: By Andrew Restuccia, Politico • Posted: Friday, April 14th, 2017

President Donald Trump may tap a vocal critic of climate change science to serve as the highest-ranking environmental official in the White House. Kathleen Hartnett White, who says carbon emissions are harmless and should not be regulated, is a top contender to run the Council on Environmental Quality, the White House’s in-house environmental policy shop, sources close to the administration told POLITICO.

Commentary: Wind is winning in Texas

Source: By Chris Brown, Austin American Statesman • Posted: Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Thirty miles north of the state capital, there’s a community that’s one of the first U.S. cities to get 100 percent of its power from wind and other renewable energy. It has generated national news attention and no small sense of wonder. Because in conservative Georgetown, green is the color of money as well as a clear signal of the power of inexpensive, home-grown clean energy to drive jobs and economic growth across America. Wind is winning because of its low price and predictability, which Texans have seized on to become the No. 1 state in total wind-powered electricity. At peakproduction times, wind has generated nearly 50 percent of the electricity powering the Lone Star State’s grid.

Public is asked to help pick rules for chopping block

Source: Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 13th, 2017

U.S. EPA’s regulatory task force is looking for suggestions on what rules should be repealed, replaced or modified. A Federal Register notice posted yesterday asks the agency’s program offices to collect public comments on — among other things — rules that eliminate jobs, are outdated or ineffective, impose costs that outweigh benefits, or implement now-repealed executive orders. “We are supporting the restoration of America’s economy through extensive reviews of the misaligned regulatory actions from the past administration,” Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement.

Trump’s climate demands roil U.S. allies

Source: By Andrew Restuccia, Politico • Posted: Thursday, April 13th, 2017

President Donald Trump’s abrupt turnaround on U.S. climate policy is fueling tension with several of America’s closest allies, which are resisting the administration’s demands that they support a bigger role for nuclear power and fossil fuels in the world’s energy supply. The dispute blew up at this week’s meeting of G-7 energy ministers, at which Trump administration officials pushed to include stronger pro-coal, pro-nuclear language in a proposed joint statement on energy policy. The fight had been simmering behind the scenes for weeks as the White House, Energy Department and State Department clashed with negotiators from other G-7 countries over the statement, according to an internal document obtained by POLITICO and interviews with diplomats.

Businesses pressure Trump to stay in Paris climate deal

Source: By Devin Henry, The Hill • Posted: Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Businesses that support the Paris climate deal are pressuring President Trump to keep the United States in the accord. They argue that by staying involved in the international talks, the U.S. can discourage policies that could hurt the oil, gas and coal industries. Coal companies, oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, renewable energy groups, and major American manufacturers such as General Electric are among those arguing that the United States should stay in the deal.The White House has promised that Trump will decide on the United States’ involvement in the Paris deal before next month, a high-stakes decision with major diplomatic and economic implications.