Editorial: The huge wind boom in Kansas

Source: By Editorial Board, The Topeka Capital-Journal • Posted: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

In 2011, wind power accounted for 8 percent of the electricity generated in Kansas. By last year, that proportion increased to almost 30 percent. Kansas is the fifth-largest producer of wind energy in the country, and its capacity will increase through 2017. According to a report issued by the American Wind Energy Association, Kansas ranked second in the U.S. in first-quarter wind installations this year — the 200-megawatt Cimarron Bend II and 280-megawatt Western Plains wind farms brought the state’s total capacity to 4,931 megawatts.

Clean energy critic to staff: ‘I like renewables’

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

“I like renewables & efficiency,” Simmons wrote. “I know that’s contrary to some of the things that have been written about me, but it’s true.” The blog item — “4 Questions With New Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons” — appears to have been drawn from a Thursday interview and posted yesterday. Simmons said his journey to EERE had reinforced how quickly the industry is evolving, pointing out that people a decade ago thought the United States had reached “peak oil” and would soon be importing natural gas — predictions that were wrong.

Greens worry grid study could threaten wind PTC

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Clean energy advocates are worried a fast-tracked Department of Energy study on subsidies and grid reliability could be used to attack critical tax incentives for wind and solar producers. Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said a study Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered last month that was revealed through media reports could lay the policy groundwork for Republicans to undo the wind production tax credit (PTC) or other incentives in a larger tax reform package.

No Paris decision until after G-7 — Spicer

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

President Trump will delay a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement until after the Group of Seven summit in late May, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said yesterday. Members of the Cabinet and top presidential advisers were set to meet on the issue today but postponed the deliberation, Spicer confirmed.

Trump taps McConnell aide, Pa. regulator to serve at FERC

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

President Trump announced his intent to nominate a top adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a Pennsylvania regulator to be members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Neil Chatterjee, a longtime energy aide to McConnell, and Robert Powelson, a Pennsylvania regulator who is serving this year as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, will need approval from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee before moving to the full chamber.

COAL: States sue Trump admin for ending lease moratorium

Source: Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Four states sued the Trump administration today for lifting an Obama-era moratorium on federal coal leasing. California, New York, New Mexico and Washington filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana. They are challenging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to scuttle a broad Obama-era review of the coal leasing program.

Warren Buffett says he’s got a ‘big appetite’ for a solar or wind project

Source: By Evelyn Cheng, CNBC • Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Warren Buffett is looking for investment opportunities in renewable energy. “We have got a big appetite for wind or solar,” Buffett said Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting. “If someone walks in with a solar project tomorrow and it takes a billion dollars or three billion dollars, we’re ready to do it,” he said. “The more there is the better.”

What Macron’s Victory Means for Embattled Europe, and for Merkel – Bloomberg

Source: By Jonathan Stearns , Viktoria Dendrinou , and Birgit Jennen, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Macron should give a boost to EU clean-energy initiatives. He’s pledged to double French wind and solar capacity by 2022, a bigger expansion than his predecessor Francois Hollande planned, and to reduce car pollution. That should give momentum to a draft European law to increase the share of renewable energy in the EU to 27 percent of consumption in 2030 from 20 percent in 2020 and to a forthcoming proposal by the bloc’s regulators to tighten a cap on carbon dioxide from autos.

Kansas wind power takes off, expected to continue growing

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

New wind farms brought online this year or planned for later this year will quadruple the amount of wind generation in Kansas in just six years, placing the state behind only Texas, Oklahoma, California and Iowa in producing wind energy, an analyst group said. The American Wind Energy Association said in its first-quarter report that Kansas will reach 5,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity this year. That includes a 200-megawatt Cimarron Bend II wind farm in Clark County and the 280-megawatt Western Plains wind farm in Ford County that came on line this year and brought the state to 4,931 megawatts of generation capacity, The Wichita Eagle reported. And a 178-megawatt Bloom Wind Farm is under construction south of Dodge City in Ford and Clark counties and the 400-megawatt Iron Star wind farm near Dodge City is in advanced development and likely will be built this year.

Minnesota sees an 80 percent jump in solar energy capacity this year

Source: By Mike Hughlett, Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Minnesota’s solar energy capacity rose 80 percent during 2017’s first three months, the second consecutive quarter of leapfrog growth as several major solar arrays were switched on. The state had 447 megawatts of solar production capacity at the end of the first quarter, a far cry from 37 megawatts at the end of 2015, according to data released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. A megawatt is 1 million watts, enough electricity to power 140 homes.