News

Governor Brown signs landmark climate bill

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 9th, 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will signed a bill yesterday enshrining greenhouse gas targets in the nation’s most populous state through 2030. The measure, S.B. 32 by state Sen. Fran Pavley (D), would require the state to reduce its carbon emissions to 40 percent below 1990 emissions levels by 2030, the most aggressive target of any state.

Energy storage projects grow at record levels

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 9th, 2016

The U.S. energy storage sector is on track to notch another record growth year in 2016, spurred by government backing, rising utility investment and the scaling of storage systems to provide backup power over longer periods, new industry data show. The United States deployed 41.2 megawatts of energy storage capacity during the second quarter, up 126 percent from the previous quarter and slightly higher than the same quarter of 2015, according to data released yesterday by GTM Research.

Expiring tax breaks threaten baseload power — groups

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 9th, 2016

Renewable energy interests are once again scrambling to extend a key tax incentive that will expire at the end of the year. In a letter sent to House and Senate leaders yesterday, the National Hydropower Association, American Biogas Council, Biomass Power Association and Energy Recovery Council called for lawmakers to take “immediate action” to extend tax breaks that will expire Dec. 31.

Promoters of cleaner electric grid zapped by roadblocks

Source: John Fialka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 9th, 2016

In the West, it can involve as many as nine federal agencies. States sometimes delegate their role to multiple agencies. Even counties can get involved in the deliberations. The upshot is that going through the legal hoops and keeping investment capital at the ready for several of the proposed lines has set back construction for years. Congress tried to solve this problem in 2005 and failed. In 2011, the Obama administration, which supports many of the projects, picked seven pending interstate AC and DC power lines, promising to push them through this bureaucratic mess by forming a “rapid response team for transmission.”

House Democrats demand infrastructure funding in reform bill

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 9th, 2016

“Today, much of our energy infrastructure is aging, rooted in the past, and doesn’t really serve our current and future energy needs,” he told colleagues. A final product should focus on modernizing our infrastructure and reducing its vulnerabilities to extreme weather and attacks from those seeking to do us harm,” he said. “It should also facilitate the deployment of smarter electric grids that support more distributed and renewable energy generation.”

Energy execs, AGs huddled at resort ahead of litigation

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Attorneys general from Republican-led states met with energy executives at the West Virginia’s storied Greenbrier resort less than two weeks before they filed a lawsuit last year aimed at halting U.S. EPA’s rule for curbing greenhouse gases from power plants. The closed-door meetings took place last August at a four-day summit hosted by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), according to an agendaobtained by a watchdog group using public records requests.

Prius sales plummet in U.S. when gas is cheap

Source: By Sean McLain, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

While Toyota Motor Corp.’s signature Prius is topping sales charts in its home country of Japan, sales in the United States have slumped significantly due to low gas prices. Sales of the electric-gasoline hybrid, marketed as environmentally friendly, were down 26 percent in 2016 through August. The newest version of the car gets 54 mpg, making it the most fuel-efficient Prius yet.

Iowa sees explosive growth in solar, wind energy

Source: By Mike Fisher, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

The explosive growth of wind and solar energy is occurring in a state that already ranks No. 1 nationally in the production of biorenewable fuels, holding the title of No. 1 producer of ethanol and No. 2 producer of biodiesel. Iowa also ranks in the top 10 states for hydropower potential from existing dam structures with projects underway at Red Rock Reservoir and under study for Saylorville Reservoir. When you add Iowa’s potential energy capacity from biomass fuels and biogas methane to energy, the state’s overall renewable energy capacity is staggering.

Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’

Source: By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, MARK LANDLER and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Climate change, Mr. Obama often says, is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. More than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency.

The birth and troubled childhood of an American supergrid

Source: John Fialka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

It may seem ironic that the pioneer of projects that could lead to the sharpest increase in emissions-free electricity in the United States started in Wyoming, the state that leads U.S. production of coal, ranks in the top 10 for natural gas production and pumps 2 percent of the nation’s oil. The project started with a 320,000-acre cattle ranch in Carbon County on Wyoming’s southern border. In 2006, Philip Anschutz, the ranch’s billionaire owner, put it up for sale. Then one of his top aides, Bill Miller, pointed out that the ranch is swept by some of the steadiest, most powerful land-based wind resources in the world.