U.S. Military Marches Forward on Green Energy, Despite Trump

Source: By Timothy Gardner, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

President Donald Trump and his top advisors have often scoffed at government support of green energy. His chief strategist called it “madness.” But the largest U.S. government agency – the Department of Defense – plans to forge ahead under the new administration with a decade-long effort to convert its fuel-hungry operations to renewable power, senior military officials told Reuters.

GE Renewable Energy To Supply 1st Integrated Solar-Wind Hybrid Project In US

Source: By Joshua S Hill, Clean Technica • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

While the project is small, it’s nevertheless a good start. The 4.6 megawatt project is a community project set for Red Lake Falls in Minnesota, and to be developed by North American developer Juhl Energy. GE Renewable Energy has been contracted to supply two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business, as well as 1 megawatt (MW) of solar power conversion equipment provided by GE’s Current business.

Wind Energy Will See More Tech Breakthroughs, Falling Costs, Experts Predict

Source: By Jeff McMahon, Forbes • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted the largest-ever survey of experts on energy last year, asking them to predict whether wind energy would continue to get cheaper toward 2030 and beyond. When they plotted the 163 expert predictions against traditional analyses, they discovered the experts are more optimistic than their analyses. “Our experts are somewhat more optimistic about future cost reduction potential than much of the existing literature,” LBL Senior Scientist Ryan Wiser said in Chicago last week. “That suggests our experts are not simply basing their estimates on the existing literature, but are bringing some new information—hopefully insightful information—to the table.”

Op-Ed: Renewable manufacturing jobs continue to make America great

Source: By Denise Bode, The Hill • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The goal of bringing good manufacturing jobs back to the United States is not just an old school game. It is and can be more powerfully advanced by renewables. Let’s start with America’s largest renewable energy resource by installed generating capacity: wind power. Phenomenal growth in wind turbine manufacturing in the U.S. has been driven by the simple fact that the most efficient turbines are so large that it is cost effective to manufacture major components close to installation sites here at home.

Wind Farm Divides North Carolina Republicans

Source: By Valerie Bauerlein and Cassandra Sweet, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

More than 100 giant wind turbines started producing power this month amid 22,000 acres of cotton, soy and wheat fields.

But North Carolina’s first wind farm may remain its only one as the state, like some others, rethinks its commitment to green energy. The recent wind-energy push has caused an unusual fight among North Carolina Republicans, with some GOP politicians opposing the project because of its reliance on federal tax credits and potential risks to the military, and rural Republicans embracing the property taxes and extra income paid by the operators.

Trump’s draconian budget proposals will destroy US clean energy innovation

Source: By Lindsay Iversen, Quartz • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

President Trump’s proposals draw heavily on a blueprint from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative, Washington-based think tank, and promise steep cuts over the next decade to more or less everything outside the national defense. The Department of Energy, for example, is targeted for near-total elimination. Energy isn’t a department that makes the news very often, but its role extends far beyond guarding the US nuclear arsenal. Basic and applied research funded through the department or conducted at US national labs drives clean energy innovation, and commercialization projects help ensure that technology makes it out of the lab and into the real economy where it fuels prosperity and job creation.

Aggressive cuts to Obama-era green rules to start soon -U.S. EPA head

Source: By Richard Valdmanis, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration will begin rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations in an “aggressive way” as soon as next week, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Saturday – adding he understood why some Americans want to see his agency eliminated completely. “I think there are some regulations that in the near-term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way. And I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Conservative Political Action summit in Washington DC.

Trump eyeing 24% cut to EPA budget — source

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The Trump administration is pushing for a 24 percent overall cut to U.S. EPA’s budget, according to a source informed about the administration’s plans. The White House today sent its budget blueprint to federal agencies, which includes cuts for most non-defense entities. The EPA outline, the source said, would trim nearly $2 billion from EPA’s current budget of about $8.1 billion.

Corporate Tax Reform: What The Power Industry Needs To Know

Source: By Paul Maxwell, Forbes • Posted: Monday, February 27th, 2017

Renewable resource owners and investors in particular would be affected by the proposed tax reform due to most renewable plants’ heavy reliance on Federal Tax Credits and the accelerated depreciation of tax benefits in the capital structure. Currently, an entity with significant income tax exposure will often participate in a renewable project as a tax-equity investor to absorb these tax benefits in lieu of cash. With a reduction of the income tax rate to 20%, the value of investing in renewables for these tax-equity investors is significantly depressed. This could lead to a reduction in tax-equity supply and therefore an increase in tax-equity cost and cost of capital. This is somewhat offset by the full deductibility of capital investment (e.g., 100% depreciation in year 1), but again, that value is discounted by the reduction in the tax rate.

Lamar Smith takes on the clean energy agenda

Source: By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle • Posted: Monday, February 27th, 2017

Building the new energy economy,” the U.S. Energy Department still proclaims on its Twitter feed. But with Barack Obama out of the White House, a coalition of conservative politicians led by San Antonio Congressman Lamar Smith, the powerful chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is pressing to overhaul a system they say allows the government, rather than the market, to decide the future of the country’s energy industry in a bid to create a new low-carbon economy. Instead, Smith’s coalition of Republican politicians wants to cut funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy research. They’re questioning a program from the George W. Bush era that backs loans for advanced energy projects that can’t find financing in the private secto