News

Offshore wind can match coal, gas for value by 2025: RWE, E.On, GE, others

Source: By Alissa de Carbonnel and Barbara Lewis, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Eleven energy and technology firms said on Monday offshore wind can be as cheap as gas and coal within a decade, but said European nations must do more to ensure a stable legal framework to inspire investment in zero carbon generation. Germany’s RWE, E.On and Siemens signed an open letter, alongside Norwegian oil firm Statoil, Sweden’s Vattenfall and General Electric of the United States, saying they can produce for less than 80 euros ($90.80) per megawatt hour per project by 2025.

Energy Bill Prospects Dim in Dispute Over Drilling, Drought

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Congressional efforts to approve the first major energy bill in nearly a decade are in jeopardy amid a partisan dispute over oil drilling, water for drought-stricken California and potential rollback of wildlife protections. A bipartisan bill the Senate approved in April would boost oil and natural gas production while encouraging renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and increased energy efficiency.

Pathway uncertain for first conference in a decade

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

Congress is close to having the first energy bill conference in more than a decade, but when or whether the Senate will join the House in formally launching negotiations remains up in the air. Before leaving for the Memorial Day recess, House leaders named conferees to reconcile the chamber’s revised energy bill with the Senate’s own package, S. 2012.

Odds against Congress approving any spending bills

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

Congressional leaders will continue their push this week to pass individual fiscal 2017 spending bills. But partisan election-year politics, a limited legislative calendar and other factors make it a long shot that many of those bills will make it to the president’s desk. There are a host of reasons for lawmakers to start planning now for a catchall, year-end omnibus spending package. Otherwise, keeping the government open will require a continuing resolution, leaving agencies stuck with current spending levels until next year. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) insists the surprise defeat of the House energy and water spending bill, H.R. 5055, on the floor two weeks ago is not a sign the appropriations process has gone off the rails.

NextEra’s Pursuit of $2.6 Billion Hawaii Deal Goes Past Deadline

Source: By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. haven’t terminated their $2.6 billion merger agreement after the island state missed a deadline for deciding whether to approve the transaction. The accord for NextEra to take over Hawaiian Electric requires action by one of the parties to end it and didn’t automatically lapse on their June 3 target date, the companies said in a statement Saturday. Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chair Randy Iwase said Friday that he hoped the three-member panel would issue a ruling on the deal this month.

Can States Expand Renewable Portfolio Standards to Include All Low-Carbon Technologies?

Source: By Jessica Lovering, Greenwich Media • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

Looking at the big picture, moving to LCPSs could provide real, significant benefits to the United States. Just adding existing nuclear capacity to RPSs in the states that have both an RPS and existing nuclear would more than double the statutory requirements for clean energy in this country, from 420 terawatt-hours annually by 2030 to 940 terawatt-hours. Assuring this additional power comes from low-carbon sources would prevent 320 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions — 17 percent lower than would otherwise be the case.

America Is Hitting the Road Again

Source: By CLIFFORD KRAUSS, New York Times • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

The great American road trip is back. It’s partly that gasoline this driving season is cheaper than it has been in 11 years, according to the AAA motor club, and that the reviving economy is making people more willing to part with their money. But there is more than that at play here. This may be a cultural shift, as Americans experiment with the notion that maybe money can, in fact, buy happiness, at least in the form of adventures and memories.

New York Has a Plan to Make Long Island Offshore Wind Cheaper

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

New York State is mounting a broad effort to reduce the cost of building a wind farm off the coast of Long Island, an ambitious push to generate clean power in U.S. waters. The state’s Energy Research and Development Authority plans to bid for a federal lease to develop a 81,000-acre (127-square-mile) site in the Atlantic Ocean. If it wins, New York would undertake initial site studies and pursue an agreement to sell the electricity. The state would then hold an auction of its own, selling development rights to the highest bidder.

Meet the scientist who wants to save the world with just renewables

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

With his hands in the air, professor Mark Z. Jacobson lets out an exasperated sigh. A Twitter dispute between him and a conservative commentator is playing out in front of his 6,000 followers. The back-and-forth stems from a paper Jacobson published last year in the journal Energy & Environmental Science outlining paths for all 50 states to run on renewable energy by 2050.

Investors Bet Coal Has a Future as Backup to Renewable Energy

Source: By Mathew Carr, Rachel Morison, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2016

Two investors are betting they can make a profit from coal by burning hardly any of it. Daniel Kretinsky, 40, and Patrik Tkac, 43, are trying to capitalize on Europe’s rapid expansion into renewables by embracing the fuel, a mainstay of European energy before efforts to curb global warming, in its new role as a backup for when the wind dies down and the sun fails to shine.