Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced a bill this week to boost distributed solar power on rooftops and other decentralized sources. The bill would provide a 20 percent increase in the current investment tax credit for small solar systems under 20 kilowatts. The measure is the latest push to expand renewable tax credits that were extended last year.
Much was made a few months ago about the historic climate agreement in Paris. Much is being made now about the race for the U.S. presidency. The two intersect on the question of whether the next president will build on President Obama’s climate plans or backslide on the progress Mr. Obama has managed against global climate change. But while the spotlight is on this year’s extraordinary race to the White House, America’s ability to keep its commitments in the Paris agreement and to build a 21st century energy economy depends largely on states and communities far beyond the beltway.
U.S. EPA today rolled out more details on how the agency would award early credit to states that take certain steps to cut carbon before the federal rule to curb power plant emissions takes effect in 2022. The agency has sent a proposal on the Clean Energy Incentive Program, or CEIP, to the Office of Management and Budget for review.
At a discussion among state regulators and lawmakers yesterday, several officials said the Supreme Court’s decision in February to stay implementation of the federal climate regulation has not blocked broader discussions within states about decarbonizing their power sectors. “Even those states that have pressed pause per se are still having discussions about what life will look like under a carbon-constrained [future],” said Alexandra Dunn, executive director of the Environmental Council of the States, which represents state environmental commissioners.
The Swedish furniture giant better known for cheap furniture and aromatic cinnamon buns has a new item on the shelves: solar panels. In a partnership with Solarcentury, Ikea will begin selling the panels to its U.K. customers this summer, both online and at three locations, to start out. The move comes as the United Kingdom is weakening its subsidies for solar. Still, Ikea is moving ahead with its plan, its second attempt to sell panels in the United Kingdom after an earlier partnership with Chinese company Hanergy, which ended last year.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia plans to generate 9.5 gigawatts of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, it said on Monday as it approved its Vision 2030 reform plan. The plan, a package of economic and social policies is designed to free the kingdom from dependence on oil exports. “Even though we have an impressive natural potential for solar and wind power, and our local energy consumption will increase threefold by 2030, we still lack a competitive renewable sector at present.”
Likely sales of Tesla batteries to just one solar company this year could be 60 percent larger than the entire U.S. “behind-the-meter” energy storage market last year, said a new report by GTM Research. Even though the analysis focused only on Tesla Motors Inc.’s sale of high-capacity batteries to SolarCity Corp., GTM Research executive Shayle Kann said results were noteworthy. He pointed to Tesla likely being the country’s top stationary battery supplier and SolarCity its top customer. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is SolarCity’s chairman.
Under the scheme, companies will conduct some operations at night or at midday when there is a lot of electricity generation from wind farms and solar power plants. As a part of the tender, companies were required to prove they need to carry out such operations and that the electricity would not be wasted.
New York State will spend $150 million on large-scale clean energy projects as part of its goal to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030. The state will award contracts for as long as 20 years to spur public-private partnerships for solar, wind, fuel cell, biomass, biogas and hydropower projects, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.
For Maine independent Sen. Angus King, answers about the basic science of climate change are just a pocket away. The former governor has carried copies of a plastic laminated card in his pocket for the past several years. One side details the rise of carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere over the last 1 million years, and the other the correlation between CO2 and temperature. “It’s all you need to know.”