Congress to vote on stopgap bill running through April 28

Source: George Cahlink, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Congress is on track to pass stopgap spending legislation this week that will avoid a government shutdown Friday by extending federal funding through April 28, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said last night. The text of the stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), is expected to be released today. The House would pass the bill by Thursday with the Senate expected to act on it by no later than Friday. Both chambers are then due to adjourn the 114th Congress.

Terry Branstad to China? Ambassador chatter heats back up

Source: By Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Speculation over whether Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will be named ambassador to China ramped up Saturday as the governor prepares for an economic development trip to New York later this week. The Independent Journal Review reported Branstad is scheduled to meet with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the position during the trip, which was previously planned. However, the governor’s spokesman, Ben Hammes, said in an email that no meeting with the Trump transition team has been scheduled.

Conservatives See Bipartisan Support for Renewables, but Gaping Divide on Climate

Source: By Jack Fitzpatrick, Morning Consult • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Republicans who support clean energy touted bipartisan support for renewables in a post-election poll released Wednesday, but said they did not ask voters about climate change because the topic turns off so many Republican voters. A survey by Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, conducted for the Conservative Energy Network, found that strong majorities supported increasing their states’ use of wind, solar, and hydropower, while a plurality supported the increased use of natural gas, and a majority opposed the increased use of coal. Even loyal Republicans who were supportive of coal were also supportive of increased natural gas and renewables.

Merkel Plans to Challenge Trump on Renewables in G-20 Forum

Source: By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fresh from taking over the presidency of the Group of 20 nations, plans to use her leverage to challenge Donald Trump’s skepticism about the value of renewable energy by pointing out where it’s a viable business. The strategy is aimed at reducing the risk that Trump will upend work by Europe and the rest of the G-20 to rein in greenhouse gases and advance the cause of low-pollution fuels, according to a senior German official.

Nation’s largest solar installer to open Florida facility

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

The largest U.S. solar panel installer is moving into Florida’s residential market after the state’s voters last month rejected a utility-backed ballot measure that critics said would make going solar more expensive. SolarCity, a San Mateo, Calif.-based subsidiary of electric car maker Tesla Motors, on Thursday said it is opening an operations center in the Orlando area and plans to expand into other areas of Florida.

The next front in the net-metering battle: Utah

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Blue Raven may no longer be welcome in its home state. Utah’s sole investor-owned utility, Rocky Mountain Power, has proposed a series of fixed charges on rooftop panel owners, in a move that photovoltaic advocates say would effectively crush the Beehive State’s nascent solar industry. “They are not trying to send a warning shot across the bow,” Lee said. “This is their way to sink the ship.”

Battle over $600M wind power superhighway heads to Illinois Supreme Court

Source: By Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Backers say $600 million would be spent on the 120-mile stretch in Illinois, in the process creating construction jobs, stimulating the manufacturing sector, generating tax and other revenues for state and local governments, and providing low-cost, clean renewable energy to 1.4 million Midwest homes. There’s just one problem: The 300-member Illinois Landowners Alliance, the 80,000-member Illinois Farm Bureau and Commonwealth Edison have fought the project. In August, an appellate court handed the opponents a victory, reversing a 2014 Illinois Commerce Commission decision that allowed the construction of the transmission line to proceed.

1st US offshore wind farm to begin production within days

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

There has been a hiccup at the nation’s first offshore wind farm as it prepares to start delivering power. Deepwater Wind, which owns the five-turbine farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, says one turbine is not turning. But spokeswoman said Friday that will not delay the start-up and the other turbines will begin delivering power for the grid within days.

Solar growth outpaces other energy sources in 2016

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Solar power generation saw a 42.5 percent jump in the first nine months of 2016 compared with the same period a year ago, outpacing all other energy fuels in terms of percentage growth, according to newly released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Wind power saw the second-largest increase in use, rising by nearly 22 percent, followed by conventional hydroelectric power, which increased 9.1 percent, according to EIA’s latest Electric Power Monthly report

US Wind makes Maryland case

Source: By ReNews • Posted: Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Developer US Wind has expressed confidence in having submitted a winning application to develop a 250MW offshore wind farm in Maryland. The local company, one of the two seeking state funding for the technology, said its proposal will bring an entire industry to the area and create thousands of construction jobs. US Wind wants to make Maryland the East Coast hub for offshore wind, it said