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.

Bipartisan senators introduce resolution on industry milestone

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a resolution yesterday to celebrate the U.S. solar industry achieving its millionth solar installation. The resolution cites statistics on solar industry growth, declining costs of solar panels and the increase in industry jobs. It states that “the Senate supports the United States solar energy industry in its effort to bring low-cost, clean, 21st century solar technology into homes and businesses across the United States.”

SolarCity subpoenaed over N.Y. gigafactory

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. solar installer, said Friday it has been subpoenaed in a broad investigation of state contracts and lobbying in New York. The development, first reported by Newsday, involves a probe by Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, of state construction projects, including those tied to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) $1 billion plan to boost the economy in Buffalo, N.Y. SolarCity is building a solar panel gigafactory in the city with a $750 million investment from the state as part of Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” initiative.

U.S. Energy Chief: Texas Should Develop Clean Power Plan

Source: by Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

When Ernest Moniz looks at Texas, he sees groundbreaking energy research and innovation — and not only related to oil and gas: wind, solar and battery technology that could bolster the reliability of those renewable resources, too. “The kind of innovation shown here is certainly very important for the whole country,” the U.S. energy secretary said this week at the University of Texas at Austin. “I know Houston claims to be the energy capital of the world, but I think Texas has a broader role.”