News

Back to school for Branstad: Ambassador 101 required before Beijing

Source: By Kyle Munson, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017

Branstad’s recent hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a two-hour love fest. Our governor certainly sounded like the same old Branstad, ready to barnstorm China by traveling to each of its 23 provinces (including Taiwan) annually as a Far East echo of his 99-county retail politicking ritual here in his native state. Except that before Branstad takes up residence in Beijing, the nation’s longest-serving governor must make a stopover in Washington, D.C., to attend ambassador school and learn some of the finer points of his new job.

SolarWorld collapses as Europe’s solar industry eclipsed by China

Source: By Christoph Steitz, Reuters • Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017

Europe’s embattled solar power industry has been dealt a fresh blow, with cut-price competition from China driving Germany’s SolarWorld (SWVKk.DE) into insolvency and wiping out quarterly profits at SMA Solar. Shares in SolarWorld, which employs around 3,000 people and was once Europe’s largest solar panel maker, plunged about 80 percent on Thursday after the group said it would file for insolvency.

$7 million in state Clean Energy Fund grants advance microgrid projects at Avista, SnoPUD

Source: By Penny Thomas, Washington State Commerce Commission • Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017

“Washington is a state of leaders who share a vision of sustainable growth and prosperity inherent in the low-carbon economy,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I applaud our utilities and their partners for investing in these innovative projects that will secure our energy future.”

Legislation looks to extend offshore tax credit

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the bill’s main sponsor in the Senate, said in a statement that the legislation “puts the ‘win’ in wind energy.” “Offshore wind has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in Massachusetts and up and down the East Coast, encourage local innovation, and reduce carbon pollution. But in order to realize this potential, we need to provide this nascent industry the long-term certainty in the tax code that it needs,” he said.

Senators Markey and Whitehouse, and Rep. Langevin Lead Legislation to Harness Offshore Wind Energy

Source: By Giselle Barry, Senator Markey's Office • Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017

“The WIND Act puts the ‘win’ in wind energy,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “Offshore wind projects are a crucial part of America’s energy future. Offshore wind has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in Massachusetts and up and down the East Coast, encourage local innovation, and reduce carbon pollution. But in order to realize this potential, we need to provide this nascent industry the long-term certainty in the tax code that it needs.”

Maryland Regulators OK Nation’s Largest Offshore Wind Plan

Source: By BRIAN WITTE, The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, May 12th, 2017

Maryland regulators on Thursday approved plans for the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind projects, saying the decision will position the state to be a leader in the developing industry. The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland’s Eastern Shore near Ocean City. The PSC says the decision allows US Wind of Baltimore and Skipjack Offshore Energy, a subsidiary of Deepwater Wind, to build a total of 368 megawatts of capacity.

Obama Remarks Short-Change Ag and Forestry Roles in Combating Climate Change

Source: By Ernie Shea, 25 x 25 • Posted: Thursday, May 11th, 2017

While the former president’s remarks may be unfortunate, they underscore the need for agriculture and forestry to be at the table of all ongoing discussions about dealing with a changing climate. Policy makers around the world need to understand that important and substantial work has long been underway to address the challenge of agricultural productivity amidst a growing global population and changing climate.

Op-Ed: Consumers prefer clean energy

Source: By John Byrne, John Dernbach, Baltimore Sun • Posted: Thursday, May 11th, 2017

President Donald Trump’s climate change executive order is intended to roll back government policies that allegedly are holding fossil fuels back. It’s true that fossil fuels, and especially coal, are losing market share and investor confidence: The world’s 40 largest coal companies saw their market capitalization decrease by a stunning 37 percent between 2010 and 2015. But what really holds fossil fuels back is that investors and consumers prefer clean energy.

Op-Ed: An ill wind blows in Augusta

Source: By Philip Conkling, Bangor daily News • Posted: Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Long ago and in a different reality, the Maine Legislature approved a set of ambitious goals for developing Maine’s offshore wind resources, which are the largest off the country’s Atlantic coastline. Now, the Legislature may completely abandon these ambitions. In 2009, the Renewable Ocean Energy law directed Maine’s Department of Conservation to establish offshore sites where the technology for floating wind turbines could be demonstrated and tested. Two groups immediately went to work on developing the technology in an attempt to open up this potentially vast renewable energy resource.

Former Bush official jumps from API to wind group

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 11th, 2017

A former U.S. EPA and George W. Bush administration official is joining the American Wind Energy Association as senior vice president for government and public affairs. Amy Farrell heads to AWEA next month from the American Petroleum Institute, where she is group director for market development. In that role, she has been outspoken about natural gas as baseload power when “the wind doesn’t blow”