Comment: Strong energy policy should follow the market

Source: By James Hewett, The Hill • Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

When businesses are able to invest in high-growth markets, it almost always means job creation, too. One of the most overlooked aspects of policies like the PTC and ITC, is that they spur investment and job creation in places that need it most; locales like the Rust Belt and our Great Plains benefit greatly for instance. Before renewable energy tax policy was passed, a negligible number of Americans worked in the renewable industry. But since their passage the number of American workers in the clean power sector has swelled to well over half a million.

Kansas Senate panel considers cutting renewable energy tax break

Source: By ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Kansas companies that produce energy from wind, solar or other renewable resources would lose their property tax exemption under a bill discussed by a Senate panel Monday. Such companies have been exempt from property tax since 1999. A bill discussed by the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee would instead give those companies a 10-year exemption starting with the launch date of each project.

Clean Power Plan not a danger to PJM states — report 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

The strategic consulting firm Analysis Group took aim again today at Clean Power Plan critics who charge the U.S. EPA rule will harm grid reliability. In a new report focused on the area served by regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection, the Analysis Group argued that the existing power plant rule allows ample opportunity for states to construct rules that will safeguard power supplies while reducing carbon dioxide. Today’s report argued that dire warnings about grid reliability are common whenever a major change in the industry is proposed but that issues would only come about if states, regulators and the industry go on autopilot and refuse to respond to problems before they arise.

U.S. to fund bigger wind turbine blades

Source: By Daniel J. Graeber, UPI • Posted: Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

More than $1.5 million in federal funding is available for research and development of bigger wind turbine blades, the U.S. Department of Energy announced. The department in December outlined parts of the country where the next generation of wind turbines could be installed. The new areas would roughly triple the amount of land suitable for wind energy development through taller, and potentially multi-megawatt, turbine structures.

China’s BYD Takes Aim at Tesla in Battery Factory Race

Source: By REUTERS • Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2015

The companies are fast emerging as two of the key players in the nascent electricity storage sector. Storage technology is considered critical to integrating large amounts of renewable energy because it can absorb excess power from wind farms or solar panels and keep that for use when conditions don’t allow for power generation. “We have demonstrated that BYD is capable of adding 6 GWh every year with strong market demand,” Jurjevich, who works for BYD’s U.S. unit, said in an interview.

Comment: Wind is driving energy development In Montana

Source: By Jeff L. Fox, Guest Columnist, Bozeman Daily Chronicle • Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2015

Montana is lucky to have one of the best wind resources in the country and it has been driving energy development in the state for more than a decade. As other Western states look to reduce carbon emissions and purchase the lowest cost renewable resources available, Montana will likely see even more wind energy growth and accompanying economic benefit ahead.

New Mexico House votes to roll back 2020 renewable energy standard

Source: BY SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press • Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2015

A measure reducing the amount of renewable energy sources utilities would have to tap to provide electricity for their customers by 2020 has narrowly passed the New Mexico House. New Mexico’s standard increased from 10 to 15 percent at the start of the year. It’s required to hit 20 percent in 2020.

Ohio may find that its ‘timeout’ for renewable energy standards was expensive — study

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2015

Ohio’s decision to freeze for two years the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards has cost the Buckeye State hundreds of millions of dollars in energy investment and “will come to represent a missed opportunity for Ohio to lead the country in building a clean energy economy.” That is the finding of a new analysis from the left-leaning Center for American Progress, which draws its conclusions from surveys and interviews with Ohio business leaders and energy experts who have witnessed what CAP describes as the Ohio’s retrenchment on clean energy policies.

Study Boosts California Push For Renewables, Biofuels To Meet GHG Target

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2015

An independent study commissioned by several California agencies could help state officials justify ambitious new renewable electricity and biofuel programs policymakers are seeking as they debate ways to achieve a strict new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for 2030. The study, by consulting firm Energy & Environmental Economics (E3), was requested by California agencies — including the state air board and energy commission — as part of their PATHWAYS project to support setting a 2030 GHG target, which is expected to be debated by state lawmakers this year.

Kerry slams oil and coal in broad push for renewable power 

Source: Lisa Friedman, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 16th, 2015

“It is time … to do real cost accounting. The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the price of immediate energy needs. We have to include the long-term cost of carbon pollution. We have to factor in the cost of survival,” he said. “We’ll have to stop government money from going toward nonrenewable energy sources, like coal and oil. It makes no sense to be subsidizing that.”