News

N.Y. outlines plan for replacing renewable standard, awards 7 storage grants 

Source: Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Precisely how the Empire State will approach distributed generation and energy storage under its “reforming the energy vision” process has begun to take shape with major announcements this and last week by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on both fronts. NYSERDA, which is officially billed as a public benefit corporation but operates much like a state-run utility, has filed a proposal with state regulators detailing how it wants to approach renewable energy after the state’s renewable portfolio standard ends later this year.Separately, the organization last week announced awards to seven companies looking to scale up or invent new approaches to energy storage.

Missouri panel questions adding multistate wind energy line

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

“I do not see the benefit to Missourians,” Kenney said. A majority of members on the Public Service Commission must vote to allow Clean Line to construct the line, and three of five members spoke against it. That means the project likely will not muster approval when it comes up for a final vote, which could occur as early as a scheduled June 11 meeting. Regulatory agencies in Kansas and Indiana already have approved the Grain Belt Express, and an application for construction in Illinois still is pending.

IKEA Pledges 1 Billion Euros to Help Slow Climate Change

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, pledged on Thursday to spend 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) on renewable energy and ways to help poor nations cope with climate change, in a new sign of companies upstaging governments on the issue. The investments will be “win, win, win. It’s good for customers, good for the climate and good for IKEA too”, Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall told Reuters in an interview.

California lawmakers boost climate change bills

Source: BY ALEXEI KOSEFF AND JEREMY B. WHITE, Sacramento Bee • Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Continuing the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, California lawmakers approved expansive legislation Wednesday that will require ambitious new renewable energy and pollution standards over the coming decades. In the Senate, the effort was led by President Pro Tem Kevin de León and fellow Democrats, who touted the economic benefits of building a green economy.

Texas renewable standard survives bumpy session for enviro groups 

Source: Edward Klump, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

“We are pleased that the policy framework that existed before the legislative session, which is helping us to advance our clean energy goals in the state, is largely intact,” said John Hall, Texas director of clean energy for the Environmental Defense Fund. Still, the mood was mixed among Hall and other environmental advocates. Cyrus Reed, conservation director at the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter, said he was “extremely disheartened and disappointed” by two energy bills that made it through.

Senate spending proposal would unfairly punish wind energy

Source: By Joshua Smalley, Windpower • Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), passed the spending bill including the wind energy research cuts on May 21, just before Congress left town for a recess from which it returned today. The full House approved its own version of the bill earlier in May on a 240-177 vote. The White House has threatened a veto unless the bill is changed later in the appropriations process, which reportedly is far from over. Research at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has helped advance technologies and drive down the cost of wind power and other renewables, said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan, but such R&D would be cut by about $70 million in the Senate version of the appropriations bill.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy to push for PURPA reform at hearing today 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Berkshire Hathaway Energy today is poised to make another bid on Capitol Hill to scrap federal requirements for utilities to buy power from small solar generators and cogeneration units. Jonathan Weisgall, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs, is slated to make the pitch before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, according to his prepared testimony.

Oil and gas CEOs call for carbon price as Exxon, Chevron outline climate strategy

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

The CEOs of six of the largest energy companies worldwide want national governments to put a price tag on greenhouse gas emissions. In a letter addressed to Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the authors call upon the United Nations and countries to “open a direct dialogue” on climate change and carbon pricing, “including at the UNFCCC negotiations in Paris and beyond.” The authors — the CEOs of European oil and gas companies BG Group PLC, BP PLC, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Statoil and Total SA — want the international community to create national and regional carbon pricing mechanisms and a global network that could “eventually connect national systems.”

‘It’s not a grant charity’ — experts make the business case for renewables 

Source: Brittany Patterson, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Renewable energy — once a niche industry — has the potential to transform the world economy while simultaneously mitigating carbon emissions, according to panelists speaking at an event yesterday on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of U.S. energy policy at the Atlantic Council. “The business case for renewables is here; it’s not a grant charity enterprise anymore,” said Adnan Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. “It’s a growth agenda.”

Poll shows broad support for state-level renewable mandates 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

A new poll from the National Surveys on Energy and Environment shows broad — but conditional — support for state-level renewable portfolio standards. Nearly three-quarters of poll respondents back the idea of states requiring a set percentage of electricity to be produced by renewable sources like wind and solar. That support decreases, however, the more the price goes up. While 58 percent of respondents told pollsters they’d still back an RPS that increased annual electricity prices $25, support dropped to 45 percent when the hypothetical price tag hit $50. And the vast majority of those surveyed have no idea whether or not their state even has an RPS on its books.