Solar installations reach record high in the third quarter

Source: By Ivan Penn, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Solar energy continued its bullish growth across the United States in the three months ended Sept. 30 with a record number of installations for a single quarter. California, by far the nation’s leader in use of solar, led the expansion and became the first state to install 1 gigawatt of solar power in a single quarter, according to the Solar Energy Industries Assn.

Utah regulators put Rocky Mountain Power net metering proposal on hold

Source: By Krysti Shallenberger, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, December 15th, 2016

RMP is returning to the drawing board for its net metering proposal in a move clean energy advocates applauded. Advocates earlier protested the proposal with additional fees and demand charges, both moves that have proved unpopular when utilities have tried them in other states. RMP however, had defended its proposal, saying last month that the average Utah solar customer underpays her actual cost-of service by $400 annually.

For new infrastructure, apply Republican approach to power and communications

Source: By Reed Hundt, The Hill • Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

One is the system of generating power, transmitting it to local utilities, distributing it to buildings and consuming it from the grid as efficiently as possible. This energy infrastructure attracts about $100 billion a year in capital expenditure, mostly by utilities. But it could use at least double that amount in order to guarantee that only domestic sources — principally natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind — are used. The other goal is to deliver the electricity to end users at the same or lower prices than are paid today.

America’s New Ambassador To China Is A Boon To The Renewables Sector

Source: By Tristan R. Brown, Seeking Alpha • Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

The renewable energy trade between the U.S. and China has very much been bidirectional, however. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated that the U.S. was a net importer of wind turbines and wind turbine parts. Furthermore, Asia, primarily in the form of China, was the source of 42% of the value of those imports. The state of Iowa has installed an average of 500 MW of new wind power capacity annually over the last decade, more than any other state except Texas. Not all of this expansion occurred under Mr. Branstad, who was out of office between 1999 and 2011, and not all of the capacity was imported from China. Mr. Branstad has overseen some of the largest increases in capacity, however, and China has been financing U.S. wind power production even when it does not directly supply the turbines.

AP Sources: Trump Offers Montana’s Zinke Interior Secretary

Source: By Matthew Daly and Matthew Brown, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has offered Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke the job of interior secretary, though it’s unclear whether the congressman has accepted, two people with knowledge of the offer said Tuesday. Zinke, 55, is a retired Navy SEAL who was awarded two Bronze Stars for combat missions in Iraq. He was an early supporter of Trump and met with the president-elect Monday at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Big Zap: Huge New Power Lines in West Get Federal OK

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Two power line projects that won federal approval Tuesday will give a big capacity boost to the Western energy grid, including power for up to 1 million homes from what’s on track to become the biggest wind farm in the U.S. The TransWest Express project will help California meet its goal of getting half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 by carrying up to 3,000 megawatts from the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in southern Wyoming. The new power lines would span 728 miles from the wind farm to southern Nevada, crossing northwest Colorado and all of Utah along the way.

Beyond ‘Oops’: Perry’s Past May Raise Confirmation Questions

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent years perfecting his cowboy swagger — he rarely left home without his signature cowboys boots and even claims to have once used a .380-caliber Ruger pistol to gun down a coyote while jogging. He’s probably best known, though, for the 40 seconds he spent on a 2011 presidential debate stage trying desperately to remember the third of three federal agencies he’d promised to shutter if elected, before sheepishly muttering “Oops.”

Rick Perry’s energy legacy is more complicated than you think

Source: BY JIM MALEWITZ AND KIAH COLLIER, Texas Tribune • Posted: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Although Texas’ longest-serving governor was, perhaps unsurprisingly, pro-oil and gas during his tenure, he didn’t simply nod to those iconic, staple fuels: “You can be proud that Texas produces more energy from wind turbines than all but five countries,” he said. Indeed, Perry, left a nuanced energy legacy — including overseeing booms in fossil fuels and renewables — during his time in Austin. (Texas is now the No. 1 U.S. producer of both natural gas and wind energy.) Now, he is poised to take his experience to Washington, where President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly tapped him as U.S. secretary of energy. The appointment would mark a full repair in Perry’s relationship with Trump, whom he called “a cancer on conservatism” last year while the two men were in a crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination

Bill Gates Leads New Fund as Fears of U.S. Retreat on Climate Grow

Source: By HIROKO TABUCHI, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump has bred fears that the United States will take a back seat in global efforts to tackle climate change. Could a billion-dollar investment fund led by Bill Gates and his fellow technology titans fill the void?

Trump Picks Rex Tillerson, Exxon C.E.O., as Secretary of State

Source: By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump settled Monday on Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to be his secretary of state, transition officials said. In naming him, the president-elect is dismissing bipartisan concerns that Mr. Tillerson, the globe-trotting leader of an energy giant, has a too-cozy relationship with Vladimir V. Putin, the president of Russia.