DOE finds renewable standards reaped billions in benefits

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 8th, 2016

State renewable energy standards netted $7.4 billion in environmental benefits in 2013 while spurring the creation of roughly 200,000 new energy-sector jobs, a new analysis from the Energy Department finds. Among other things, the joint study released yesterday by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that renewable portfolio standards (RPSes) have spurred $2.2 billion in benefits through reduced greenhouse gas emissions alone and reduced water withdrawals by 830 billion gallons in 2013.

Record wind investment to help 1,000 new turbines soar

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 8th, 2016

United Wind Inc., a leading developer of distributed wind energy projects, has secured a record $200 million in funding from a Canadian investor, officials announced yesterday. The financing, from Forum Equity Partners Inc. of Toronto, is the largest investment ever made in a distributed wind energy firm and will allow Brooklyn, N.Y.-based United Wind to install roughly 1,000 new turbines in key markets in the Northeast and Midwest. The investment also represents a huge financial-sector endorsement of distributed wind power, a niche industry that is applying the wildly successful solar lease model to wind power

Clinton would keep solar panels on White House

Source: By Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Friday, January 8th, 2016

During a town hall meeting in Sioux City, Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would like to see a half-billion solar panels installed throughout the country by the end of her first term, and she said she’s willing to begin the process in Washington, D.C. After being prompted by an event attendee, Clinton said she would like to see panels reinstalled on the roof of the White House. President Carter originally installed the panels, but President Reagan had them removed when he reached office. President Obama installed new solar panels in 2014.

NOAA, BOEM weigh local ‘attitudes’ on turbine farms

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 8th, 2016

Federal agencies plan to survey residents of North Carolina and South Carolina on their support of proposed wind farm development off their coasts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will use the survey’s results in evaluating commercial leases across more than 300,000 acres of federal waters. North Carolina’s outer continental shelf is the latest area that the Interior Department has eyed for commercial wind development

Neb.’s rural nature adds twist to compliance planning

Source: Rod Kuckro, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Nebraska epitomizes the tension present in many state governments weighing compliance with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The governor and attorney general of this red state are in litigation with the federal government over the rule to force emissions cuts from power plants. Its environmental regulator and major utilities, however, are doing their precautionary duty to craft compliance options aimed at mitigating possible effects on the state’s electricity ratepayers and reliability.

States reach for ambitious goals, but industry is skeptical

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

The so-called ZEV Alliance announced a most ambitious goal late last year: eliminate the sale of traditionally fueled passenger cars by 2050. Comprising California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, British Columbia and Quebec, the Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance was formed to allow states and nations to swap ideas on how to better promote electric vehicles.

Offshore wind to set sail, studies find

Source: Eric Marx, E&E Europe correspondent • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

The dawn of a more robust era in offshore wind may be breaking, according to two recent reports on floating wind power that show long-inaccessible deepwater sites with some of the highest winds on Earth now appear to be within reach. One report, a polling result commissioned by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) at its annual conference in November, finds the sector to be already “winning the cost argument” based on simpler installation requirements. It projects electricity generation as low as $93 per megawatt-hour and focuses on construction of floating foundations as the main design challenge. That would be competitive with traditional offshore projects if floating wind reaches commercial-scale deployment in the 2020s.

N.J. positioned to be a leader in wind energy

Source: BY SCOTT FALLON, • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

New Jersey is in position to generate more power from offshore wind turbines over the next few years than neighboring states, according to a report released by an environmental group Monday. If every regulatory and financial hurdle are met, two major projects in New Jersey could produce 1,700 megawatts by 2020 outpacing Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maryland, which also have large offshore plans, said the report by Environment America.

Renewable energy for state renewable portfolio standards yielded sizable benefits

Source: By Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

A new study estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies operating in 2013.

National labs find RPS mandates yielding ‘sizable’ benefits

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Renewable portfolio standards have “sizable” impacts on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, water use, job creation and the economy, two national laboratories say in a report released today. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclude that renewable portfolio standards in 29 states and the District of Columbia resulted in $2.2 billion in benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, assuming a “midrange” scenario and a central value for the social cost of carbon.