News

German model shows less fossil, more renewable is possible 

Source: By Nicola/Landberg, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Germany’s model, which heavily leans on renewables, is slowly being copied from California to China as wind and solar upstage traditional fuels like nuclear and coal. “Our job has become much more complex,” Scheibner said in an interview from the control center outside Berlin owned by 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, one of Germany’s four main grid operators. “It’s not an easy mission, and it will cost money. But if you are doing it consciously, then it will be doable. We have already come so far.

Senate Dems advise governors against ‘just say no’ push 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

A cadre of liberal Senate Democrats yesterday sought to counter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) recent advice to states, warning governors that choosing not to comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan would limit their options. The group led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) cautioned in an open letter to the National Governors Association that the “just say no” strategy would put states “in defiance of the climate change laws and regulations of the United States government.”

Whitfield blasts EPA’s air chief at hearing on ‘just say no’ bill 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The House sponsor of a bill to declaw U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan today told the agency’s air chief that she should not be surprised that Congress is mulling an assault on the unprecedented rule. “We think you’re overstepping your authority. We think you’re now legislating,” Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) told acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe at the top of a hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, which he chairs.

Texas Senate votes to end renewable energy programs

Source: by Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune • Posted: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would close the book on two programs that helped fuel the state’s years-long surge in wind energy production. With a 21-10 vote, the chamber sent Sen. Troy Fraser’s proposal, Senate Bill 931, to House lawmakers. It would end the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which established a state renewable energy goal. It would also close Texas’ Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) initiative, a power line program that sparked huge investments in wind energy.

Norway plans to drop worst greenhouse gas emitters from wealth fund

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2015

Norway plans to drop investments in companies emitting unacceptable amounts of greenhouse gases in a sharpening of environmental rules for its $885 billion sovereign wealth fund, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. The proposed rules would stop short of a blanket divestment from coal and oil by the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, it said. The fund is itself built on revenues from Norway’s offshore oil and gas production. “The government will introduce a new criterion to exclude companies whose conduct to an unacceptable degree entail greenhouse gas emissions,” it said.

Want More Wind And Solar Energy? Invest A Lot More In The Grid

Source: By Ken Silverstein, Forbes • Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2015

Want to increase the use of green energy and reduce the level of harmful emissions? Invest heavily in the grid to both modernize and expand it, which will accomplish such aims while also building the US economy. That’s the view of energy and utility experts assembled by Public Utilities Fortnightly at its energy, money and power conference last week in Washington, DC. A smarter and more extensive grid that is able to distribute greener power is expensive. But the benefits of creating a modern infrastructure are huge.

House panel, McCabe face off on ‘just say no’ bill 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2015

A key House Energy and Commerce Committee subpanel will hear testimony this week on draft legislation to allow states to opt out of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. EPA air chief Janet McCabe will headline today’s hearing on a draft bill sponsored by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), which would grant all states a reprieve from deadlines to submit state implementation plans (SIPs) for the existing power plant carbon rule until judicial review has concluded. It would also let governors refuse to comply even then if they decide the rule will drive up electricity rates or harm grid reliability

Vancouver commits to run on 100% renewable energy

Source: By Stephen Leahy, Guardian • Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2015

Andrea Reimer, Vancouver’s deputy mayor told the Guardian: “There’s a compelling moral imperative but also a fantastic economic case to be a green city.” The 100% goal is likely to be set for a target year of 2030 or 2035. People and businesses want to live and work in clean and green urban areas, said Reimer, adding that whoever develops expertise in shifting to 100% renewable energy will own the 21st century.

EIA chief to brief Senate lawmakers on 2015 energy outlook 

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2015

The U.S. Energy Information Administration chief will discuss the agency’s 2015 energy outlook Thursday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will brief lawmakers on updated data and forecasts for domestic fossil fuel and renewable energy production, oil prices, and the nation’s energy future.

Both sides ready arguments for case that could scotch EPA power plant rule 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, April 13th, 2015

Energy companies and 15 predominantly Republican-led states will press federal judges this week to halt President Obama’s greenhouse gas standards for power plants. In two consolidated cases, West Virginia and Murray Energy Corp. are leading a bid for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to take the unusual step of preventing U.S. EPA from finalizing the standards — a key component of Obama’s effort to address climate change. A three-judge D.C. Circuit panel composed entirely of Republican appointees will hear arguments Thursday morning.