News

Electricity Prices in the U.S. Are Capping Their Worst Year Ever

Source: By Naureen Malik, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Electricity prices from Boston to Dallas sank to their lowest levels ever in 2016, presenting new challenges for generators more than a decade after the industry was deregulated. Power prices plunged this year as cheap natural gas cut fuel costs, and wind and solar alternatives came online. Consumers also used less electricity for the second straight year, despite a summer heat wave, amid an industrial slowdown and growing awareness among households and businesses of ways to boost energy efficiency, according to government estimates.

License issued for $1B Montana power storage project

Source: By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The 50-year license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allows Absaroka Energy, of Bozeman, Montana, to construct and operate the project on a 177-acre site near the tiny town of Martinsdale, home to fewer than 100 people. The facility called the Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Project would use excess power produced by wind farms or other sources to pump water uphill to a 3,000-foot long reservoir, according to the license

Iowa’s new energy plan: More renewable energy, stronger power grid

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Iowa’s new energy strategy envisions electric car-charging stations across the state, anaerobic digesters that turn animal waste to energy, and top state and federal researchers finding ways to store wind and solar energy. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released the broad energy report Wednesday that looks at Iowa’s energy needs over the next decade. It provided 45 recommendations ranging from modernizing the state’s electric power grid to improving state tax credits for solar energy.

Farmer turned lawyer helps make Iowa wind power go

Source: By Grant Rodgers, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Each wind turbine spinning on the Iowa skyline stands on reams of legal paperwork spelling out in fine detail the property rights of all those involved — from rural landowners to the developers involved in building the project. Before many of the approximately 3,700 turbines dotting Iowa’s fields and prairies went up, Des Moines real estate attorney Kathleen Law drafted those documents, sometimes working the phones to answer questions from farmers about the effects wind farms might have on their crops and livestock.

California, at Forefront of Climate Fight, Won’t Back Down to Trump

Source: By ADAM NAGOURNEY, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

“California can make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of dealing with climate change, irrespective of what goes on in Washington,” Mr. Brown said in an interview. “I wouldn’t underestimate California’s resolve if everything moves in this extreme climate denial direction. Yes, we will take action.”

Solar Could Beat Coal to Be the Cheapest Power on Earth

Source: By Jessica Shankleman & Chris Martin, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere. In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

US yanks funds from unbuilt windmill farm

Source: By WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Company CEO Chris Wissemann said Fishermen’s Energy hopes a last-ditch effort to secure a power deal will succeed. But if it doesn’t, he says the company will wait until New Jersey officials adopt friendlier policies toward wind energy development. “We sincerely appreciate the support of the DOE over the past few years seeking to drive down the cost of offshore wind and bring this job intensive industry to the U.S.,” he told the AP on Tuesday. “We will continue to seek a customer for our power so that we can eventually build the project, hopefully working with the DOE. We have a short period of time to complete a Hail Mary pass.

Trump Taps China Critic Lighthizer for U.S. Trade Representative

Source: By Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump has picked lawyer Robert Lighthizer to head the U.S. Trade Representative office, his transition team said Tuesday in a further sign the incoming administration will take a tougher line on China.

Chinese Renewable Power Giant Builds Global Empire

Source: By Joe McDonald, The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

State-owned China Three Gorges Group is spending heavily to buy or build hydro, wind and solar projects at a time when Western utility investors are pulling back and President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to revive coal use has raised doubt about U.S. support for renewables. “They’re happy to invest wherever they see value or they can gain a foothold,” said Andrew Shepherd, who follows the global utility industry for BMI Research.

Nations’ First Offshore Wind Farm To Debut – NBC News

By NBC News • Posted: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Nations’ First Offshore Wind Farm To Debut – NBC News