Nebraska committee advance renewable energy tax credit bill

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

A proposed tax credit for Nebraska-based renewable energy projects has advanced out of a legislative committee. The Revenue Committee voted 5-2 on Wednesday to send the bill to the full Legislature for debate. The measure by Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha would increase the state credit for facilities that generate electricity with wind and other renewable sources. The measure is designed to attract in-state investors and help Nebraska compete with nearby states that offer tax credits.

FERC rejects operator’s bid to salvage demand response 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a split vote last night rejected PJM Interconnection’s bid to salvage its ability to use demand-response programs, casting the proposal as “premature” given the issue may be taken up by the Supreme Court. FERC Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur and Commissioners Philip Moeller, Colette Honorable and Norman Bay denied PJM’s plan to change the way demand response is treated in annual capacity auctions, changes that would apply for the 2018/2019 delivery year. Commissioner Tony Clark cast the lone dissenting vote, calling on the agency to be proactive.

Siemens Proves Wind Energy’s “Outstanding” Potential

Source: By  Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnia • Posted: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Germany multinational Siemens announced the results of a “detailed ecological review of its wind turbines.” The study was the result of efforts to maintain “a high degree of transparency” for its customers and the authorities, and was aimed at reviewing “the actual benefits of green power for the environment.” Many critics of wind energy (of which there are not many) often attempt to highlight supposed inadequacies in the manufacturing process which they say belittles the supposed environmental benefits resulting from the operation of wind turbines. Siemens study, however, puts the lie to this suggestion.

Diverse central states echo reliability concerns at final Clean Power Plan conference 

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The changes in power plant fleets that will be required by U.S. EPA’s Clean Power plan are too much, too fast, and threaten electric affordability and reliability, a group of utilities and state regulators from up and down the nation’s central corridor said here yesterday. The comments came during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s final regional hearing on implementation of the proposed rule, which calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent over the next 15 years.

It doesn’t really matter what you believe’ — former TVA chairman talks of life after fossil fuels 

Source: Edward Klump, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

“Let me just remind you that we have an uninvited guest in this room that’s sitting next to each and every one of you and hovering over you — and she is called Mother Nature,” Freeman, a former chairman at the Tennessee Valley Authority, told a crowd here. “And it doesn’t really matter what you believe; she’s here, and she will dominate the energy policy of this country for the rest of your life,” he said.

Solar Power To Become Cheapest Source Of Energy In Many Regions By 2025, German Experts Say

Source: By Federico Guerrini, Forbes • Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Solar power still amounts for a small share of net electricity generation around the world. In the USA, for instance, as of December 2014 it was responsible for just 0.45% of the total electricity produced. Things are changing quite quickly, however, and if the German think tank Agora Energiewende is right, faster than expected.

Energy storage seen as boom business for Wisconsin companies

Source: By Thomas Content, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Wisconsin companies see opportunities for new products and plenty of sales in the next decade in the emerging field of energy storage. A new report commissioned for a Milwaukee-based energy collaborative suggests the global market for products in this market will grow by 400% by 2020 — with some segments forecast to grow at a clip of 40% a year. Better battery technology can help businesses combine renewable energy with energy storage to shield themselves from high utility costs, particularly in costly energy markets like Hawaii, California or New York.

Global renewable investments surged 17% last year to near record — U.N. report 

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

A solar boom in Asia and record spending on offshore wind projects in Europe helped propel renewable energy investment to $270 billion last year, a 17 percent increase over 2013, according to figures released this morning by the United Nations. The 2014 spending resulted in 103 gigawatts of new generation capacity, reversed a two-year slump in renewable energy investment and came amid declining oil prices that some experts predicted would further undermine renewables’ growth prospects.

Ethanol isn’t the only renewable fuel source Iowans love

Source: BY KEVIN BOYD, R Street • Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

But ethanol isn’t the only renewable fuel that Iowa farmers and state officials love. They also have an ongoing love affair with wind power. Iowa is third in the country in the total amount of electricity generated by wind, placing it behind only Texas and California. According to a report earlier this year from Radio Iowa, the state generates 5,688 megawatts of electricity from wind power, with another estimated 550 megawatts of wind-production capacity under construction.

Handbook outlines path for wind and solar to meet Clean Power Plan requirements 

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

The nation’s two largest renewable energy trade groups are offering a road map for states to meet emissions requirements under U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan through greater adoption of wind and solar power. In a new 184-page document jointly published by the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, officials say they are providing a “starting point for states that are considering renewable energy as a compliance tool” to help electric power producers meet tough new regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide from existing fossil plants.