News

Apple hits clean-tech home stretch with iPhone-stripping robot

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, yesterday said during a webcast event in Cupertino, Calif., that 93 percent of the company’s global facilities — including data centers and stores — now run on renewable energy. While short of the company’s 100 percent renewable energy goal from two years ago, Apple said it has reached that threshold in 23 countries, including the United States.

Renewables, natural gas dominate new capacity — DOE

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Wind, natural gas and solar power constituted almost all new U.S. electricity generation last year as distributed rooftop solar set a record, the Department of Energy said in new data released today. While many of the nation’s general electricity trends are known, the data provide a more detailed state breakdown and overview of factors driving renewable and natural gas growth. In total, DOE reported that wind made up 41 percent of new U.S. capacity in 2015, followed by natural gas at 30 percent and solar at 26 percent

Study shows Iowa could see electric bills fall under carbon rule

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 24th, 2016

owa residential electricity bills could decline as much as 13 percent over the next decade and a half because of energy efficiency and continued exports of wind energy to meet Clean Power Plan obligations, according to an analysis by M.J. Bradley & Associates. Christopher Van Atten, a senior vice president of the Boston-based firm, presented preliminary results of the firm’s Clean Power Plan modeling during a meeting hosted yesterday by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Court allows lawmakers to weigh in on legal brawl

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 24th, 2016

The judges weighing the fate of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will consider the views of members of Congress looking to thwart the regulation. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today issued a short order granting a request from more than 200 lawmakers who have asked to file a “friend of the court” brief in pending litigation over the rule to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Smith dismisses tech spending as wish list for cronies

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

The chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee slammed the Department of Energy’s budget request yesterday as “a wish list for the White House’s political allies.”
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said large proposed increases for renewables and sustainable transportation do not reflect congressional priorities. The administration is proposing a 21 percent increase in clean energy research and development as part of Mission Innovation, a plan to address climate change in conjunction with other countries by speeding up technology development.

Utilities to lose $2B to rooftop panels in 2019

Source: E&E • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Conventional power plant operators are set to lose $2 billion in annual revenue starting in 2019 as increasing residential solar panel installations decrease grid demand. More than a million U.S. homes will have solar panels by the end of April, and grid managers are responding to this by planning to purchase 1,400 fewer megawatts from power plants by 2019, according to consultancy ICF International Inc.

China Plans 22% Boost for Wind Power Capacity After Record 2015

Source: By Bloomberg News • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

China plans to increase total wind power capacity by 22 percent in 2016, underscoring the government’s effort to develop clean energy at about the same pace as last year’s record installations. The nation plans to develop 30.83 gigawatts of wind power this year, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on its website on Monday. It added 33 gigawatts in 2015, triple France’s entire capacity of the clean resource, according to data from NEA.

Rhode Island touts wind farm project off Block Island

Source: By Mark Harrington, Newsday • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

As Long Island’s power utility once again mulls taking the plunge into wind power, the state of Rhode Island took a pre-victory lap here last week at a staging facility for the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Rhode Island officials, including Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, took note of cooperation among state, industry and labor leaders to pave the way for the project, a 5-turbine wind farm situated several miles from the Block Island coast that will supply 90 percent of the island’s power.

New climate czar charged with making Paris promises a reality

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Jonathan Pershing, who will become the top U.S. diplomat on climate issues next month, has spent the last three years at the Department of Energy working to make the U.S. commitment in Paris easier to achieve. Since stepping down in 2013 as deputy to outgoing U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, Pershing has been responsible for helping DOE align its advanced energy research and policy with the Obama administration’s climate priorities. That’s meant supporting everything from U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan to the U.S. position at last year’s landmark climate summit in the French capital.

Spending bills on hold until budget resolved — Ryan

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) signaled yesterday that the fiscal 2017 spending bills won’t come to the floor until the House sorts out its intraparty squabbling over the budget resolution. While the House Appropriations Committee is set to launch its first markup of the year tomorrow, with the military construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill in subcommittee, Ryan said the bills won’t proceed to the floor until the budget is resolved.