Outlook for Solar Gets a Bit Brighter

Source: By  STANLEY REED, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Britain, like other countries in the European Union, has pledged to sharply cut carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming. In practice, that largely means encouraging electric power generation from green sources like wind, which Britain has in abundance, and solar, a resource in which it is less well endowed. “Britain is the hottest market right now,” said Josefin Berg, a Barcelona-based analyst for I.H.S.

Legal icon calls EPA’s power plant rule an ‘unconstitutional trifecta’ 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear arguments about the Clean Power Plan’s legality on April 16. Yesterday afternoon, the court announced that Judges Karen Henderson, Thomas Griffith and Cornelia Pillard will hear the case

The Renewable Energy Fight

Source: BY RONALD BROWNSTEIN, National Journal • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

With a strong environmental community, a vibrant fossil-fuel industry, and a thriving clean energy sector, Colorado encapsulates all the contending interests driving the complex politics of energy and climate. That’s why there are important clues for the national energy debate in the recent partisan collision here over requirements for utilities to generate more electricity from renewable-energy sources.

In Test For EPA Rule, Minnesota Seeks To Reinstate Clean Energy Law

Source: By Dawn Reeves, Inside EPA • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Minnesota officials are strongly urging a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling that rejected a state renewable energy law on constitutional grounds — a case that could determine whether other states will be able to use similar programs to comply with EPA’s proposed rule to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power sector.

EPA’s carbon rule could spur $2.5B in power line investment — ICF 

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

As coal-fired power plants go offline under U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, building new power lines to bring renewable energy to customers could spur $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion in investment over the next five years, according to an analysis by the consulting group ICF International.

Obama to sign executive order on federal contribution to warming 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

President Obama is set to sign an executive order today directing federal agencies to cut the carbon intensity of their operations, a White House official said last night. The federal carbon commitment will be released together with new emissions reduction pledges from “several major federal suppliers,” the official added. Details of the action will be released this morning, and White House adviser Brian Deese is scheduled to brief reporters.

Obama’s plan is ‘burning the Constitution’ — Laurence Tribe 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

President Obama’s Harvard Law School mentor delivered a stinging indictment of the president’s flagship climate change rule this morning, telling a packed House hearing that the Clean Power Plan violates both the Clean Air Act and the Constitution. Laurence Tribe, a noted constitutional scholar, told an Energy and Commerce subcommittee that EPA’s proposal for carbon dioxide from existing power plants seeks to remake both the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and the constitutional division of powers between state and federal governments.

3-judge panel picked to hear arguments on Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Two Republican-appointed judges and one chosen by President Obama will hear the first challenges to his administration’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants next month. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this morning posted the three-judge panel for the lawsuits from Murray Energy Co. and more than a dozen states seeking to block U.S. EPA from finalizing the high-profile regulations this summer.

The New Optimism of Al Gore

Source: By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Over the last year, however, the prophet of doom has become much more a prophet of possibility — even, perhaps, an optimist. Still an object of derision for the political right, Mr. Gore has seen support for his views rising within the business community: Investment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar is skyrocketing as their costs plummet. He has slides for that, too. Experts predicted in 2000 that wind generated power worldwide would reach 30 gigawatts; by 2010, it was 200 gigawatts, and by last year it reached nearly 370, or more than 12 times higher. Installations of solar power would add one new gigawatt per year by 2010, predictions in 2002 stated. It turned out to be 17 times that by 2010 and 48 times that amount last year.

DOE says wind could supply 35% of nation’s power by midcentury 

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

After three years of policy battles that left it bruised and cut off from taxpayer support, the U.S wind energy sector received a strong boost last week as the Energy Department reiterated its view that wind energy can become a leading source of U.S. domestic power over the next 35 years. The relief came in the form of DOE’s latest prognosis for wind energy, called “Wind Vision,” which holds that U.S. turbines could meet 35 percent of the nation’s electricity demand by 2050, with near-term goals of 10 percent by 2020 and 20 percent by 2030.