Iowa court ruling lets public sector tap into solar

Source: By Rick Smith, The Gazette • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Tax credits to cover 30 percent of the upfront cost haven’t done much for local elected officials in Iowa eager to try solar energy for public buildings as a way to save on electric bills and to green up their environmental credentials. Until now.

Wind, gas, solar dominate new power plant installations

Source: By Timothy Cama, The • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Power companies’ new generating capacity this year will be dominated by wind, natural gas and solar power, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Wind will see a net increase of 9.8 gigawatts of capacity throughout the country, the most of any power source, the EIA said Tuesday, based on generating companies’ stated expectations.

Bill would give Minnesota state lawmakers final approval on Clean Power Plan

Source: By Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

A bill that would give the Minnesota Legislature the final say on a state plan to reduce carbon emissions passed a state House committee yesterday. In the coming months, U.S. EPA plans to set carbon reduction goals for each state to address climate change. Following the goals by the federal agency, state officials will devise a plan to meet the targets. The bill would require state lawmakers to approve the plan before it’s implemented.

Debate grows louder over states saying ‘no’ to Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Foes of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan are weighing the legal and political pros and cons of a “just say no” approach to the draft rule aimed at curbing heat-trapping greenhouse gases from power plants.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week urged states to not prepare plans for implementing the rule. Cooperating with the Obama administration, he said, would undercut legal and legislative efforts to kill the rule and allow EPA to impose a rule that exceeds its legal authority

Here’s how much faster wind and solar are growing than fossil fuels

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Now, a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration makes a similar point. It finds that the electricity generated from wind and solar grew a lot faster than electricity generated by fossil fuels last year. In fact, solar more than doubled, and wind outgrew all other sources. “I think the story that renewable generation is up from wind and solar and other sources is certainly the story to tell,” said Emily Williams, deputy director of industry data and analysis at the American Wind Energy Association, which heralded the report.

As Hearings Near, California Legislators Introduce New Climate Bills

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

California lawmakers have introduced a suite of new climate change and energy bills for consideration in the 2015-16 legislative session, with the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) and clean power mandates taking center stage as key policy committees gear up to hold their first hearings of the year. Many of the new bills — which aim to dramatically impact state GHG, energy, air, waste and water policies and programs — were submitted just prior to the Feb. 27 deadline for introducing legislation.

Sandhills power line: Scar on the land or gateway to more wind energy?

Source: By ALGIS LAUKAITIS, LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Rancher Stuart Scranton doesn’t know exactly where NPPD plans to cross his land with a high-voltage power line, but he fears it might be right where migratory geese stop and rest, white-tailed deer graze and prairie chickens dance during mating season.

Wind energy proposal at Port of Paulsboro ‘Not dead, but on life support,’ Burzichelli says

Source: By Rebecca Forand, South Jersey Times  • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

A plan that promised to bring hundreds of jobs and alternative energy to New Jersey — including construction at the Port of Paulsboro — is indefinitely stalled as the federal government and the Board of Public Utilities have slowed down momentum for wind energy projects. The Atlantic Wind Connection, which would link energy hubs in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, planned to use the Port of Paulsboro as a construction sight for converter platforms for an offshore electrical transmission cable.

Low-carbon electricity plans get cheap in Texas 

Source: By James Osborne, Dallas Morning News • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

While many green power choices are pricey, some consumer electricity plans are getting more affordable with time. In the last few years, renewables have become one of the cheapest options in Texas thanks to the state’s wind farms. A review of state-run website found that plans with 100 percent renewable energy made up three of the top 10 cheapest plans in Dallas.

Hawaii may go 100pc renewables by 2040

Source: By Argus Media • Posted: Monday, March 9th, 2015

Committees in the Hawaii legislature this week voted to advance companion bills that would ramp up the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 100pc by 2040. Committees in House and Senate recommended that the bills pass with amendments. In the House, the Finance Committee recommended the measure by a 15-0 vote and the Senate Commerce and Consumer protection committee passed the measure 4-0, with three senators not voting.