Cash-strapped Alaska looks to Senate energy bill for help

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

While Alaska has its share of big wind farms, smaller turbines used for microgeneration at homes and businesses are a more common sight, especially in isolated rural areas that have never been connected to a centralized electric grid. Rural residents in recent years have been turning to the broad array of renewable resources found in Alaska to replace the expensive — and polluting — power from diesel generators, which have historically powered rural Alaska. Both the state and local governments have been all in to encourage the spread of renewables, which reflects the fact that Alaska’s energy costs are among the highest in the nation. In some remote villages, residents spend as much as half their income on energy and heating bills.

N.D. adapts to climate change, without saying it’s real

Source: Erika Bolstad, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Something is happening, though, and it’s measurable: The growing season is almost two weeks longer in much of the state, and average temperatures in North Dakota are 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they were at the start of the 20th century. It’s still bitterly cold in the winter, but the number of extremely cold days has been below average since 1980, and winter average temperatures are about 5 degrees warmer than they were 100 years ago. Those rising wintertime lows have changed the freezing and thawing patterns that contribute to spring flooding.

CPP Rule meets Clean Air Act requirements — legal experts

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The Clean Power Plan falls squarely within the bounds of the Clean Air Act, a trio of law professors at New York University argue in a new policy brief. In the paper released yesterday, the experts from NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity contend that U.S. EPA’s foes are incorrect that the agency “dramatically overstepped its authority” in issuing the rule to reduce the power sector’s carbon footprint.

China ‘laser-focused’ on legal challenge — former EPA chief

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The legal challenge to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is “very definitely” causing concern among the international community that America may fall short of commitments it made during the Paris climate talks last year, a former Republican EPA administrator said today. William Reilly, who led the agency under President George H.W. Bush and who now advises an international investment partnership, today told a crowd at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., that China in particular is “laser-focused” on the court battle.

Voters in states suing EPA support Clean Power Plan rule — poll

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Two weeks ahead of oral arguments on legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan, backers of U.S. EPA’s rule are touting support from voters in states suing to halt its implementation. A survey found that 67 percent of registered voters in the 24 states challenging the rule said they favored the program for cutting carbon emissions, pollsters said during an event at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., this morning.

New electric bus has longer range than a Tesla

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Electric bus company Proterra Inc. unveiled its latest Catalyst E2 series at the American Public Transportation Association’s annual meeting in Los Angeles today. The electric bus has a storage capacity of 440 to 660 kilowatt-hours and a range of roughly 350 miles between charges. The Catalyst E2, which can accommodate 77 passengers, has a longer range than either the Tesla Model S or a Tesla Model 3, which can travel 315 and 215 miles between charges, respectively.

State’s new climate law could resonate across nation — if Clinton wins

Source: Debra Kahn and Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

“The most important thing about S.B. 32 is that it shows that this whole effort in California to address climate change and to be assertive in addressing climate change is embraced by the Legislature, and was embraced by a previous Legislature, a previous governor of a different party,” Phillips said. “It shows that this is a core value that runs through more than one generation of legislators and governors. Because it is, it sends a pretty powerful signal to the polluting industries. This isn’t just a blip. This means you guys really have to change what you’re doing.”

DONG Energy Installs World’s Largest Wind Turbine

Source: By Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

DONG Energy announced last week that it had successfully completed the installation of the first of thirty-two 8 MW wind turbines at the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm which it is developing, currently under construction in Liverpool Bay, off the west coast of England. The 8 MW wind turbines, built by Vestas, are the largest in the world, standing at 195 meters — in excess of two Big Bens.

Solar Construction expands at ‘eye-popping’ pace

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

U.S. solar firms installed more than 2 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity between April and June, a 43 percent increase over the same period in 2015 and the fifth largest quarterly growth in the industry’s history, according to data released this morning by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The latest figures, rolled out at the annual Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas, reflect solar’s surging popularity outside its traditional markets. They also add credence to the notion that sunlight is a cost-competitive fuel for electricity generation against nearly every other resource, including natural g

Appropriations: Agencies getting used to ‘circus’ on spending

George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The federal bureaucracy will soon be dealing with the impact of lawmakers failing to finalize spending negotiations before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. As congressional leaders wrestle with the politics of a new appropriations plan, departments will have to wait for new money. The reality is not new for agencies, like U.S. EPA and the Interior Department, because Congress has rarely finished its annual appropriations work on time over the past two decades.