News

Venture capital ‘broken’ for clean energy — analysis

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

The venture capital system is “broken” for clean energy technology, according to a new paper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The analysis concludes that alternative funding streams from government or elsewhere are needed to boost the next wave of clean energy innovations. “The picture for clean tech venture capital looks grim — especially for companies developing breakthrough energy technologies,” said Benjamin Gaddy, director of technology development at Clean Energy Trust and author of the new research released by MIT’s Energy Initiative.

Bound to silence by politics, state regulators plan quietly

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Meetings of state electricity regulators have for years been dominated by conversations about how to cut greenhouse gas levels under U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. But at a conference here of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners this week, mentions of the federal climate change rule were few and far between. More than five months since the Supreme Court halted implementation of the rule, a majority of states are no longer actively talking through compliance options. And regulators from those states don’t want to disrespect the wishes of their political leaders by speaking about the Clean Power Plan publicly, several commissioners noted.

Europe Offshore Wind Investments So Far This Year Already Beating 2015

Source: By Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Europe’s offshore wind-power industry attracted more investment in the first half of 2016 than it did during the whole of last year, according to figures from trade association WindEurope. Investment hit a record 14 billion euros ($15.4 billion) in the first six months of 2016, exceeding the 13.3 billion euros invested in 2015, according to the organization’s report Wednesday.

Solar Plane’s Arrival Highlights UAE’s Clean-Energy Push

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

The United Arab Emirates might not seem like an obvious spot to begin and end a globe-spanning flight promoting renewable energy. It is OPEC’s fourth biggest oil producer, after all, where gas guzzlers rule the road and the air conditioning is always on — not just at its indoor ski slope. Its oil output and fossil fuel-burning airlines are growing, and its per-capita carbon emissions rank among the world’s highest. Yet this federation of sheikhdoms on the Persian Gulf has emerged as an unlikely champion of clean energy. One way is by backing the Solar Impulse 2 solar plane, which ended its groundbreaking round-the-world flight on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi and counts Emirati renewable-energy company Masdar among its sponsors.

Rate agreement moves MidAmerican closer to $3.6 billion Iowa wind project

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

MidAmerican Energy, environmental groups and large tech companies reached a rate agreement over the Des Moines-based utility’s plan to invest $3.6 billion in wind energy. The settlement, which goes to the Iowa Utilities Board for consideration, lowers from 11.5 percent to 11 percent the return MidAmerican would receive from its investment in 2,000 megawatts of wind energy generation. Among other changes in the settlement, MidAmerican Energy agreed to not sell to other states, utilities or businesses renewable energy credits from the large project when customers choose to claim green energy use.

Mojave solar plan besieged by opponents

Source: By Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle • Posted: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

An ambitious federal-state plan to open up the Mojave Desert for solar and wind development in order to fight climate change might backfire, scientists say. Proposed by the Obama administration more than seven years ago, the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, when it is likely finalized this summer, would make almost 2,000 square miles of desert available for renewable energy development. The energy generated could go far in helping California meet its own goal to reach 50 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030.

Mexico’s Wind Farms Brought Prosperity, but Not for Everyone

Source: By VICTORIA BURNETT, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

At night, Juan Piñeda López hears the hum of a wind turbine that churns 300 yards away from his adobe house. Sometimes he catches the stench of lubricant that spews down the turbine’s mast. Beyond that, Mr. Piñeda said, the forest of turbines that has sprung up on the plains here in the southern state of Oaxaca in recent years barely affects him. And that is the problem.

Enviros urge Cuomo to move ahead with Long Island project

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Environmental groups are urging the state of New York to push forward to approve a plan to build the second wind farm in U.S. waters. The Sierra Club and more than 30 other environmental groups in a letter Friday asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to urge the Long Island Power Authority to reschedule a vote on the project. The authority was scheduled to vote last week on a proposal from Deepwater Wind LLC to install 15 turbines with 90 megawatts of capacity about 30 miles off the coast of Long Island.

DSCC predicts green issues will tilt key Senate races

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

Environmental issues could prove pivotal in at least three Senate races in battleground states this fall, according to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials and other party operatives. At a DSCC forum here earlier today, Christie Roberts, DSCC political director, said green issues could prove decisive in bids to unseat Republican incumbents in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. She said the environmental issues raised in those states would vary based on the incumbent’s record.

Climate front and center in stark contrast to GOP confab

Source: Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Convincing skeptical Republicans about climate change could be less important for building momentum around tackling emissions than reaching everyday Americans who are affected by rising temperatures, according to several people who spoke about the future of the issue. The event underscores the attention being paid to climate change at the outset of the Democratic National Convention, where clean energy and the environment are on display like the bronze monuments in this historic city. Prime-time speakers throughout the week are expected to raise it as a key issue, creating a distinct contrast to the convention overseen by Republican nominee Donald Trump last week.