News

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.

TransCanada Sues U.S. Over Keystone XL Pipeline Rejection

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016

TransCanada Corp sued the U.S government on Wednesday to reverse President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XLpipeline, and also plans to seek $15 billion in damages from a trade tribunal. TranCanada’s lawsuit in a federal court in Houston, Texas, called rejection of its permit to build the pipeline unconstitutional. In a separate action under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the company said the pipeline permit denial was “arbitrary and unjustified.”

Fact Sheet: Offshore Wind – Can the United States Catch up with Europe?

Source: By Laura Small, EESI • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

In comparison, the United States is just beginning to invest in offshore wind energy, and is rapidly approaching the operational launch of its first commercial offshore wind farm. There is incredible potential for offshore wind development in the United States – the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has estimated the United States has over 4,000 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind potential, enough to power the country four times over.

Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition welcomes new leadership

Source: By GREG ALVAREZ, American Wind Energy Association • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Govs. Terry Branstad and Gina Raimondo will chair the coalition in 2016. The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has announced its new leadership for 2016. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will take over as chairman, while Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo will step in as vice chair.

Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition Names New Leadership Team

Source: By North American Wind Power • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has appointed Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as the group’s new chair and vice chair, respectively, for the 2016 term. “I look forward to working with Governor Raimondo and our coalition colleagues to help the wind energy industry diversify our nation’s energy portfolio and drive economic development in our states,” says Branstad, who previously served as the coalition’s vice chair. “We will continue to share best practices across the states and work with federal leaders to deliver stability and predictability in supportive federal policies.”

Like Night And Day: How Two States’ Utilities Approach Solar

Source: By Lauren Sommer and Molly Samuel, NPR • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

This was a record-breaking year for rooftop solar power. It’s booming across the country. But as more homeowners make their own power, electric utilities are making less money and that’s shaking up their business model. Utilities in two states — California and Georgia — are handling the growth of solar in dramatically different ways.

Google Helps Analyze if Rooftop Solar Panels Are Good Deal

Source: By Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The company that lets you compare air fares and translate foreign languages online wants to make it easier to weigh the costs and benefits of installing solar panels on household rooftops. Google is rolling out a new online service that quickly tallies up considerations of going solar and whether homeowners should consider buying or leasing photovoltaic panels costing thousands of dollars. Google’s Project Sunroof combines the eye-in-the-sky images behind Google Earth with calculations on how much shade trees cast over a rooftop, data on local weather patterns, industry pricing and available subsidies to arrive at its bottom line.

Regulators deal a blow to rooftop solar industry

Source: By Daniel Rothberg, Las Vegas Sun • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

With no discussion, state regulators today voted unanimously to slash the value of credits rooftop solar customers earn for generating excess energy. The three-member Public Utilities Commission adopted a proposed order that would reduce by 75 percent the amount NV Energy pays customers for excess power their solar panels produce and change the flat service rate for customers with solar panels. The changes in so-called net metering policies would phase in over four years, starting Jan. 1.

State-by-state renewable energy requirements

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have requirements that utilities get a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources. Nine additional states have goals for renewable energy, while a dozen others have no targets. A state-by-state look at renewable energy policies.

Litigation 101

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

All the lawsuits taking aim against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan have been filed. Now the action begins. The case against U.S. EPA’s rule to curb greenhouse gases from power plants is shaping up as one of the biggest environmental law battles of all time. Nearly 150 opponents — including 27 states, industries and labor groups — rushed to attack the rule with more than 50 separate lawsuits that will all be linked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. On the opposite side, 18 states, cities, greens and industry groups have jumped in to defend the agency’s signature climate rule.