News

Big solar worked to kill Maine solar energy bill

Source: BY TUX TURKEL, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The Maine lawmakers who last month defeated a landmark bill that would have expanded solar energy had unusual allies: national companies that are the country’s largest installers of rooftop solar panels. The companies, led by California-based Sunrun Inc. and SolarCity, hired lobbyists to fight the bill, donated money to political action committees that benefit the bill’s opponents and used social media to push an alternative measure that created a smokescreen for the bill’s detractors.

Getting to 50% renewables a ‘no-brainer’ — utility CEO

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

California’s mandate to make half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 isn’t just feasible, “it’s a no-brainer. We will get there,” the head of the state’s largest utility said here yesterday. Anthony Earley, Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s chairman, CEO and president, said his utility already is ahead of the state’s earlier mandate to generate 33 percent of its power from green sources by 2020.

Climate regs could have modest impact on electricity prices — EIA

Source: Emily Holden and Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Electricity prices in the later years of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan might be 3 percent higher than without the rule, according to an early release of part of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s outlook for 2016. Those figures are significantly lower than analyses cited by opponents of the climate rule that project 11 to 14 percent increases

DOE solar program 70% to its goal — reports

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative has reached 70 percent of its 2020 goal to slash solar power costs. DOE made that announcement with the release of eight research reports about the 5-year-old initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of solar energy technologies 75 percent by the end of the decade.

Alexander looks to quash proposed Tenn. farm

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Sen. Lamar Alexander’s longstanding fight against federal support for wind energy is getting personal. The Tennessee Republican took to the Senate floor yesterday to lambast a wind farm proposed in Cumberland County, Tenn., which is nestled between Nashville and Knoxville.

Comment: Big Oil Cheerleader Robert Bryce Predictably Misleads On Wind Energy And Eagle Deaths In WSJ

Source: By ANDREW SEIFTER, Media Matters • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Life can be full of surprises, but Big Oil ally Robert Bryce deceptively attacking wind energy in the pages of the Wall Street Journal evidently isn’t one of them.

China Leads in Offshore Wind Energy as U.S. Only Starting: Chart

Source: By Bloomberg News • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

China and the U.K. are far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to developing offshore wind energy. Developers plan to put into operation the first seaborne U.S. wind farm this year — off Rhode Island — but advocates point to the stronger winds off the Pacific coast and say that’s where the industry’s greatest potential lies.

The Oil Industry Can Teach Offshore Wind Farms How to Stay Afloat

Source: By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

When turbines start spinning at the first U.S. offshore wind farm near Rhode Island later this year, some energy developers will already be eyeing a bigger prize. There’s a steadier, harder wind blowing off the California coast. Those reliable Pacific gusts could yield nearly a terawatt of electricity, 13 times the capacity of all the wind turbines now installed on land in the U.S. — without consuming real estate or blocking anyone’s views.

Trump targets Paris climate deal

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is vowing to renegotiate last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement if elected. In an interview with the Reuters news service yesterday, Trump said the deal treats the United States unfairly. Even though the billionaire magnate has clashed with members of his own party, his comments on Paris are in line with GOP orthodoxy.

Latest legal twist shuffles calendars, prospects

Source: Ellen M. Gilmer and Robin Bravender, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

With the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s surprise decision to push Clean Power Plan arguments to September before the full court, dozens of lawyers are now shuffling their schedules and planning for a new legal timeline. The court’s announcement took everyone by surprise. Instead of presenting oral arguments before a three-judge panel in early June, defenders and challengers of the Obama administration’s signature climate rule will make their case before all participating judges on Sept. 27.