Expanding the system that powers California’s grid with utilities beyond the Golden State’s borders would allow for more renewable power and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the grid manager said yesterday. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages most of the state’s grid, released a series of reports it said prove the benefits of a multi-state system. They include lower costs for consumers, reducing fossil fuel usage over the long term, and sparing the land and water that are used to build large power plants.
The experts the Chinese government relies upon to advise on energy planning say the world’s largest emitter is on track to stop growing its greenhouse gas output as much as a decade earlier than promised. Jiang Kejun, a lead researcher at the Beijing-based Energy Research Institute, said on the sidelines of the 2016 U.S. Energy Information Administration conference this week in Washington, D.C., that current economic and policy trends meant China would “for sure” outperform its Paris pledge to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Missouri regulators have again rejected the state’s portion of a power line that would carry wind energy from Kansas to Indiana, citing the company’s failure to provide the required 60-day notice before submitting its latest application. Immediately after the Missouri Public Service Commission announced its decision Tuesday, Houston-based Clear Line Energy Partners pledged to try a third time to win permission to build the Grain Belt Express line across northern Missouri.
The Department of Energy has given a $150 million loan guarantee to what could end up being the first offshore wind farm built in the U.S.—the Cape Wind project slated for construction in the middle of Nantucket Sound. While it’s certainly a nice chunk of money, Cape Wind had initially sought $500 million from the DOE. The loan is contingent on Cape Wind securing the total $2.6 billion in financing it needs. So far it has raised about half that.
Privately held wind power developer Deepwater Wind has proposed supplying Long Island with 90 megawatts of offshore wind energy, the company said on Thursday. The 15-turbine project from Deepwater Wind, builder of the first offshore wind farm in the United States, would become the largest in the country when completed, the company said It said that depending on permitting, construction could start as early as 2019 with the project commencing operations in 2022.
The Long Island Power Authority plans to approve a 90 megawatt wind farm off the coast of New York that would become the largest in the U.S. when completed. Deepwater Wind LLC was selected to install 15 offshore turbines about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Montauk for a project that the utility’s board expects to approve at a meeting on July 20, said Sid Nathan, a spokesman for the state-owned utility, which is operated by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.
White House science adviser John Holdren’s comment Monday that it was “unrealistic” to halt fossil fuel extraction altogether in the U.S. may have seemed like stating the obvious. But it has further highlighted the tensions that exist even among top American policy makers and environmental advocates concerned about curbing the rate of climate change.
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced legislation yesterday that would allow energy storage systems to get investment tax credits similar to those available for solar power. The “Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act,” S. 3159, covers both grid-connected systems and smaller battery systems for households and businesses. The bill would let commercial storage systems receive the same tax incentive currently available for solar energy under Section 48 of the IRS code. That includes all types of storage technologies, including batteries and pumped hydropower, as long as their storage capacity is at least 5 kilowatt-hours. The language is similar to a House bill introduced in May from Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.)
Energy storage would gain access to the same tax incentives that helped make renewable energy the biggest new source of electricity in the U.S. last year under a bill introduced in the Senate.
Batteries like the lithium-ion ones in phones and electric vehicles would be eligible for the tax incentives when connected to the utility grid at homes and businesses under a bill introduced Tuesday by Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico. The bill has eight co-sponsors including Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican, according to a statement.
The global offshore wind energy market is growing rapidly, and at the end of 2015 was reported to have reached 12 GW — with several more GW in the pipeline. Europe unsurprisingly leads the way, with the European Wind Energy Association claiming it makes up the lion’s share of all global offshore wind capacity. What continues to baffles many analysts, however, is the lack of development across the pond in the United States.