News

Electric Vehicles May Get a Boost From OPEC Decision

Source: By Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Electric car makers may breath a sigh of relief from OPEC’s decision to curb oil output, which if it holds may help tilt the argument in favor of greener transport. Electric car sales stalled in the U.S. last year as gasoline prices fell 5.8 percent on average and demand for the motor fuel rose for the first time in six years. Rising oil prices, or even signs that the cost of gasoline won’t fall further, would help underpin the economic case for alternatives such as biofuels and electric cars, according to the International Energy Agency.

Tax credits aren’t enough to spur renewables, governors say

Source: By Jodi Delapaz, Agri-Pulse • Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Although a long-term renewable energy tax credit policy is in place, a bipartisan group of 20 governors says that other policy and permitting issues still hinder wind and solar development. Expanding wind and solar energy production is one of the best ways to meet the nation’s energy needs, the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition said in a recent letter to President Obama, but despite the renewable tax incentive the nation still has only one offshore wind project under construction, off the coast of Rhode Island.

Is New York Ready for Solar Power?

Source: By KAYA LATERMAN, New York Times • Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Solar power in New York City may finally be having its moment. The number of residential projects across the five boroughs has risen to more than 5,300 this year from 186 in 2011, according to state officials, and there are another 1,900 in the pipeline. The solar boom has been prompted by a 70 percent drop in installation costs in recent years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, along with the streamlining of government approvals and incentives.

Offshore wind power part of a clean energy future

Source: By Nancy Sopko, The Hill • Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Offshore wind energy is a mature, proven technology that has the potential to supply clean energy to millions of Americans, despite the mischaracterizations in Dan Ervin’s Sept. 23 commentary. While offshore wind in the U.S. may be in the early stages of development, in Europe it has been reliably generating emission-free electricity for decades. There are currently memorandum of understanding to further the development of offshore wind power. That sort of collaboration, combined with American ingenuity, often leads to better products at lower costs.

Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float

Source: By DIANE CALDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Right now, almost all offshore wind turbines require fixed platforms built into the seafloor. Floating turbines, with anchors, would mean new flexibility in where wind farms could be placed, with potentially less impact on marine life — and less opposition from the human neighbors on shore. More than half of the United States’ potentially capturable offshore wind capacity — more than what the entire nation can now produce — is in deeper waters, said José Zayas, who directs the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the federal Department of Energy. Mr. Zayas predicts that floating platforms may come to outnumber fixed-foundation installations. The use of floating technologies, proponents say, could help overcome some obstacles that have deterred offshore wind farms.

McConnell will ‘take a look’ at energy extenders in lame duck

Source: Geof Koss and George Cahlink, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled yesterday that he’s open to extending expiring renewable energy tax credits during the lame-duck session of Congress. Asked if he was open to fixing what Democrats call a drafting error in last year’s end-of-the-year omnibus spending and tax deal, which extended the investment credit for solar but not other qualifying sources, McConnell responded “yes.”

Wyoming rejects tax on wind energy that will likely be sold in California

Source: By William Yardley, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

The plan, advanced by an interim joint revenue committee, was to raise the state wind energy production tax – the only such tax in the nation – to help pay for important school construction projects. Yet instead of finding new revenue, lawmakers in the conservative state found controversy and, finally, rejection. Last week, after listening to five hours of testimony from wind companies, business groups and local communities opposed to the tax increase, the revenue committee voted overwhelmingly to kill the idea. By doing so, they pleased wind advocates but made it harder for Wyoming to balance its budget.

Clinton uses 1st debate to reiterate push for solar, clean energy jobs 

Source: By SNL • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

In the first of three debates between the two major party presidential candidates, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Sept. 26 reiterated her call for renewable energy development, making an appeal for becoming a “clean energy superpower of the 21st century.” “We can deploy half a billion more solar panels,” Clinton said during a discussion on economic development. “We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs. That’s a lot of new economic activity.”

Analysis: EPA emerges from court battle with the edge

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Tuesday was a good day for U.S. EPA, observers on both sides of a fierce legal struggle over the future of the Obama administration’s landmark climate change rule conceded as they emerged from federal appeals court. Many thought the agency and supporters of the Clean Power Plan had an edge during the nearly seven hours of oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It quickly became apparent, though, that the agency’s biggest legal hurdle may come from its attempts to make the standards for power plants more flexible, affordable and ambitious.

Clinton’s tenure on Senate EPW: ‘very focused, very diligent’

Source: George Cahlink and Geof Koss, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Clinton emerges as a pragmatic policy wonk eager to focus on New York-centric issues and push for environmental justice. It also finds a lawmaker aware of her star power and eager to be seen as working with Republicans. But it also shows a senator who did not often break with Democratic environmental orthodoxy — nor did she author any major green legislation that was signed into law.