A major increase in renewable power is “economically viable” in many parts of the United States when the social cost of carbon is taken into account, according to a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The analysis concludes that there is an economic potential for an additional 820 terrawatt-hours of renewable generation beyond what exists now, or the approximate equivalent of 20 percent of the current annual U.S. output of electricity. NREL said the report presents a first-ever method for measuring whether many U.S. renewables are economically viable, outside of their technical potential.
At a time when investors have darkened on the solar power industry, a big investment firm has moved in to buy a stake in SolarCity, the biggest company in the sector. SolarCity is expected to announce on Wednesday that it has raised $113 million in a new investment led by the clean-energy arm of Silver Lake, as well as the solar company’s chairman, Elon Musk, and its chief executive, Lyndon Rive.
For years, power companies, manufacturers and entrepreneurs have tried to make capturing and storing carbon emissions from industrial operations like burning coal into a business, to little avail. Despite decades of promising research, demonstration projects and government investment, large-scale developments have often proved too difficult and costly to get off the ground. But now two senators think they have hit on a way to move the industry forward. Under a bill set to be introduced on Thursday, carbon capture projects — considered important tools for fossil fuel power plants and industrial facilities to meet anticipated greenhouse gas restrictions — would qualify for tax-exempt private activity bonds, which helped clean up air pollution in the 1970s and 1980s.
In response to the opinion column “Support affordable energy by ending corporate welfare” LJS, Nov. 14) here are three questions for author Thomas J. Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, with ties to the Koch Brothers oil company.
Federal judges yesterday rejected an environmental challenge to a major wind farm in Southern California. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that environmental groups including the Desert Protective Council had not shown that the Bureau of Land Management acted arbitrarily in greenlighting the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility project in the desert east of San Diego
A company proposing a $2 billion transmission line to ship Iowa wind energy to electric customers in Illinois confirmed Thursday that it has asked regulators to suspend their review while the company figures out how best to move forward with its plan. Clean Line Energy Partners said it is assessing plans for the Rock Island Clean Line, amid opposition from some landowners and uncertain odds of gaining regulatory approval. The Iowa Utilities Board has granted the company’s request to pause a technical review of its petitions to build the high-voltage, overhead line through 16 counties.
“I’m okay with subsidies, to an extent. I don’t like subsidies when you have $19 trillion in debt.” That said, he was clearly supportive: “If oil goes up [in price], it’s great. But if oil stays low, it’s a very tough business.”
A new study says Arizona could meet carbon-cutting goals in U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan simply by developing the state’s abundant and already available solar and wind power resources over the next 15 years. What’s more, the 46-page study, conducted by the Tucson, Ariz.-based Sonoran Institute and researchers with Arizona State University, reports there are at least 15 large-scale solar and wind projects with the capacity to produce 2,032 megawatts of electricity that are already in some stage of the federal or state permitting process.
The White House announced new partners in a federal initiative to broaden Americans’ access to solar power — particularly in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods — with more than $500 million in pledged funds. The program is part of President Obama’s broader climate plan heading into the Paris climate negotiations. Last week, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said lower costs of key technologies like solar — enabled by research and development — would be a “central theme” from the United States at the U.N. climate conference.
Large wind and solar farms can compete in the power market even with low natural gas prices and will drive the adoption of technology to store renewable energy, according to an analysis by financial advisers Lazard Ltd. The cost to build a utility-scale solar photovoltaic plant has fallen by about 80 percent since 2009 while wind projects have dropped by 60 percent, the financial advisory and asset management company said in a report. Lower costs make large renewable power projects competitive with conventional generators without subsidies.