News

Tesla document reveals surging energy storage market

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Likely sales of Tesla batteries to just one solar company this year could be 60 percent larger than the entire U.S. “behind-the-meter” energy storage market last year, said a new report by GTM Research. Even though the analysis focused only on Tesla Motors Inc.’s sale of high-capacity batteries to SolarCity Corp., GTM Research executive Shayle Kann said results were noteworthy. He pointed to Tesla likely being the country’s top stationary battery supplier and SolarCity its top customer. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is SolarCity’s chairman.

Britain’s National Grid to pay firms to use power this summer

Source: By Susanna Twidale, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Under the scheme, companies will conduct some operations at night or at midday when there is a lot of electricity generation from wind farms and solar power plants. As a part of the tender, companies were required to prove they need to carry out such operations and that the electricity would not be wasted.

New York to Spend $150 Million on Clean Energy Projects

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, April 28th, 2016

New York State will spend $150 million on large-scale clean energy projects as part of its goal to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030. The state will award contracts for as long as 20 years to spur public-private partnerships for solar, wind, fuel cell, biomass, biogas and hydropower projects, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.

Senator has handy response for science skeptics

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 28th, 2016

For Maine independent Sen. Angus King, answers about the basic science of climate change are just a pocket away. The former governor has carried copies of a plastic laminated card in his pocket for the past several years. One side details the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere over the last 1 million years, and the other the correlation between CO2 and temperature. “It’s all you need to know.”

Senate to pass energy and water bill, avoid tough amendments

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday evening announced a cloture vote would be held at 11 a.m. today to limit debate on the measure and move to final passage. Invoking cloture would require 60 votes, a threshold likely to be reached for the generally bipartisan bill. Earlier yesterday, the Senate backed two relatively benign amendments boosting wind energy and Western water resources.

As wind turbines boom, nature doesn’t cooperate

Source: By James Osborne, Houston Chroncile • Posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Last year might have been a banner year for wind turbine construction, but not for the wind itself. According to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the amount of electricity generated from wind turbines grew by less than 10 million megawatt hours last year, the smallest increase since 2007. In a report Thursday government analysts attributed the slow down to decreased wind speeds across the western half of the United States during the first six months of 2015.

Getting Cheap Wind Power Where It’s Needed Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Source: By Richard Martin, MIT Technology Review • Posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The wind power industry had another banner year in 2015, and the outlook for the future is strong. The U.S. Department of Energy’s national wind-power plan calls for wind to supply 20 percent of the country’s electricity by 2030, up from less than 5 percent today. There’s one major obstacle in the industry’s path, though: much of that electricity is generated in remote, windswept areas of the Great Plains, and the transmission system to send it to market doesn’t exist. Getting power from wind farms in Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa to the populous cities to the east and west has proven far more difficult than wind developers envisioned a few years ago.

Senate Passes Grassley Co-sponsored Amendment to Restore Wind Energy Research Funding

Source: Office of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley • Posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

“Wind energy is popular wherever it’s given a chance,” Grassley said. “New technology enables all kinds of renewable energy to advance. Research funding promotes the next wave of development. Wind energy deserves fair treatment among government support for different energy sources. This amendment gives wind energy the attention it deserves.”

Merkley-Grassley wind energy amendment passes Senate

Source: Office of Oregon Semator Jeff Merkley • Posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The United States Senate passed a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that restores funding for wind energy research and development (R&D). Specifically, the Merkley-Grassley amendment restores funding for wind energy research to $95.4 million, the same level as in FY16. The initial draft of the FY17 Energy and Water Appropriations bill had contained a $15.4 million cut to the program, to just $80 million.

Senate boosts spending for wind energy, Western water

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By a 54-42 vote, the Senate adopted an amendment by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to add $95 million for wind energy to the $37.5 billion spending bill. The amendment would restore funding to current levels after appropriators had proposed shaving $15 million from the account. “We have sometimes heard that wind is a mature industry, and [that] is why the funding for research should be revoked or lowered,” Merkley said, urging support. “But, in fact, as wind is emerging, we’re seeing continuous innovations that are resulting in different designs and different strategies for integrating intermittent wind energy into the grid.” Grassley said yesterday that he found it “amusing” that some of the strongest opponents of wind energy are the biggest proponents of research and development investments for “costly … mature, traditional energy sources”