Leading U.S. businesses generated 907 megawatts of solar energy from photovoltaic arrays installed on warehouses, retail stores and other commercial buildings in 2015. That represented a 183 percent increase in on-site solar generation by reporting businesses since 2012, according to data released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association. In its latest “Solar Means Business” report, SEIA found that early corporate adopters of photovoltaic technology have expanded their portfolios, in some cases substantially, over the last four years. At the same time, a growing number of new companies are investing in solar, drawn by the benefits of low-cost clean energy.
By now, every coastal municipality and the three coastal congressional representatives have rightly voiced opposition to drilling for oil and natural gas off the state’s coast. Fortunately, a much cleaner energy alternative is showing offshore potential. This month, the federal government asked businesses to submit proposals for wind farm leases off the South Carolina coast. That’s the most concrete step so far in opening up the coast to offshore wind energy
Inslee departs this week for United Nations conference aimed at bolstering global commitments to combat climate change
Inslee is credentialed for COP21 by the U.S. State Department. He will help promote U.S. action on climate and participate in discussions with other subnational entities about the importance of regional and subnational collaborations such as the Pacific Coast Collaborative and Under2 MOU, both of which Washington is a founding signatory. Inslee will also meet with businesses about the strength of Washington’s clean energy economy and opportunities for recruitment or expansion.
Declaring himself an “island boy,” President Obama met with Pacific and Caribbean leaders today and announced $30 million toward a risk insurance program aimed at shielding vulnerable countries from climate change-related disasters. Departing Paris after two days of shoring up support for a new global climate agreement, Obama said France’s decision to host nearly 200 countries just two weeks after deadly terrorist attacks showed a “remarkable display of resolve.” He hit back against those who criticized spending time on climate change at a time when national security threats loom large.
New wind turbines and solar panels worldwide will provide more energy over the next five years than U.S. shale-oil production has over the past five, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The leading renewable-energy technologies will add the equivalent of 6.2 million barrels of oil a day to the global energy mix, exceeding the 5.7 million barrels a day pumped from U.S. shale oil wells since 2010, analysts including Brian Lee and Jaakko Kooroshy said in a research report Monday.
A large Texas wind farm will come under Greek ownership under terms announced by the project’s primary developer, while an existing wind project in Minnesota will shift ownership from one Qatari firm to another, pending approval by U.S. regulators. The 380-megawatt Fluvanna Wind Energy Project, to be built in Scurry County, Texas, about 70 miles south of Lubbock, gained new financial security as developer Tri Global Energy LLC announced it had sold the project to Terna Energy SA of Athens, Greece, for an undisclosed sum.
But many political leaders gathering there — including governors, mayors, and provincial cabinet secretaries — are pushing for more aggressive cuts. By the dozen, they are signing a voluntary agreement committing their jurisdictions to faster and deeper reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases than their national governments have promised. “We are not moving fast enough,” Gov. Jerry Brown of California, who is helping to lead the effort, said in an interview. “We’ve got to do more.” All of which raises a provocative question: What would a truly ambitious plan to tackle climate change look like?
The White House yesterday threatened to veto the lower chamber’s comprehensive energy bill, warning that the language would undermine ongoing environmental reviews of critical energy infrastructure and stifle efforts to expand efficiency. The House energy package, H.R. 8, would ax critical mandates needed to wean federal buildings off of fossil fuels by 2030, unnecessarily tinker with complex energy markets, and undermine the current federal review process for gas pipelines and hydropower projects, the White House said.
The fate of key renewable energy tax credits remains up in the air, as House and Senate leaders continue negotiations on an extenders package they hope to pass before the end of the year. Aides and lobbyists said yesterday that multiyear extensions of the production tax credit of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour and the 30 percent investment tax credit remain under discussion, although the duration of the extensions is tied up in broader conversations over making some of the dozens of expired credits permanent. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters yesterday that discussions continue but predicted a deal would be struck.
The University of Maine is opening a first-of-its-kind “miniature ocean” today that can demonstrate how everything from floating wind turbines to coastal cities may react to “some of the worst storms possible anywhere on Earth.” The impetus for the $13.8 million project — which involves a massive wave pool tied to a rotating wind machine — is to accelerate the development of renewable ocean energy technologies like offshore wind and tidal devices, said Habib Dagher, director of the university’s Advanced Structures & Composites Center in Orono, Maine, which will operate the new Harold Alfond W² Ocean Engineering Lab. It also can prepare local communities for more intense storms associated with climate change by simulating future conditions, he said.