New admin should form office to coordinate strategy — report

Source: Hannah Northey and Arianna Skibell, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Former top administration officials from both Republican and Democratic presidents today called for the next White House to create a new federal body to coordinate the nation’s disparate energy policy. The Center for New American Security released a blueprint for the first 100 days of the next administration that includes the creation of a “mechanism” to convene various federal agencies handling all aspects of energy and environmental matters and develop policy for the next president.

DOE mounts defense of contentious loan program

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

The Department of Energy is pushing back against critics who say its loan program office spawned useless renewable spending and led to bankruptcy flops like Solyndra. In a new report, DOE notes its loan guarantee office supported the first five utility-scale solar projects in the United States larger than 100 megawatts. When Obama took office, there were no large-scale solar photovoltaics projects of that size in the United States. That initial financing “demonstrated the technology’s success” and fostered a private market, according to DOE.

Wind could supply fifth of world electricity by 2030: group

Source: By David Stanway, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Wind power could supply as much as 20 percent of the world’s total electricity by 2030 due to dramatic cost reductions and pledges to curb climate change, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a report released in Beijing on Tuesday. If last year’s Paris climate accord leads to a worldwide commitment to the decarbonization of the electricity sector, total wind power capacity could reach as much as 2,110 gigawatts (GW) by then, nearly five times its current level, the industry group said.

Study: Wind could save Iowa consumers $12 billion over 25 years

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Iowa consumers could save $12.6 billion over 25 years by doubling the amount of wind generation in the state, advocates say in a new report. Pushing the amount of wind generation in Iowa to 20,000 megawatts would save the average Iowa household $3,200 on its electric bills over 25 years, according to an American Wind Energy Association report. Industrial customers would save $825,000 over two decades.

Tesla says it hopes to work with Panasonic on solar energy

Source: BY YURI KAGEYAMA, AP BUSINESS WRITER • Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

U.S. electric car maker Tesla says it plans to start working with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. on solar energy. Tesla’s said on its corporate blog Monday that the companies have signed a non-binding letter of intent to begin collaborating on Panasonic’s production of photovoltaic cells and modules at a facility under construction by San Mateo, California-based solar-panel company SolarCity Corp. in Buffalo, New York.

Why are greens opposing a carbon tax in Washington?

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

A ballot measure in Washington state seeking to impose the first carbon tax in the United States faces an uncertain future due to an unlikely source of opposition: environmentalists. The rancor among Evergreen State greens threatens to sink a long-standing priority of U.S. climate activists. A recent poll showed those in favor of a tax with a 5-point lead, 42 percent to 37 percent, but fully 21 percent of Washington voters remain undecided.

Company wants to build huge solar array in Nevada desert

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

A California company says it intends to spend billions of dollars to build the largest solar power plant in the world on a sprawling 25-square-mile plot in the sun-baked Nevada desert about 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas. SolarReserve chief executive Kevin Smith outlined a plan Tuesday to create a 10-tower concentrated solar array dubbed Sandstone Energy X near the Nye County city of Tonopah.

California offshore renewables task force launched

Source: By Plamena Tisheva, SeeNews Renewables • Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the state of California on Thursday held the first meeting of the California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force in Sacramento. The task force will facilitate coordination between BOEM, local authorities and other federal agencies with respect to potential renewable energy leasing offshore California, BOEM said in a statement. It will also seek to identify areas that may be suitable for research or commercial renewable energy development. The creation of the task force was requested in May by California governor Jerry Brown.

Midwest states urged to update grid access rules ahead of growth

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Interconnection standards lay out the process and a set of rules for a customer or solar developer that wants to connect a solar project or other distributed energy resource to a utility’s grid. Many Midwest states adopted interconnection standards a decade ago. But much has changed, including a dramatic reduction in solar costs and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s publication of small generator interconnection procedures in 2013.

SunEdison says it is under federal investigation

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, October 17th, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a formal investigation of SunEdison Inc. after the solar giant filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. In a filing this week, SunEdison said it had received a subpoena “seeking production of certain emails and other electronic communications.” It also has received subpoenas from the Department of Justice “seeking information and documentation relating to various matters.”