February 7, 2018
A bipartisan Florida Senate panel unanimously approved a fracking ban in the state, which gets most of its drinking water from underground aquifers. But the bill faces much more opposition in the House.
The UK accounted for more than half of new offshore wind power capacity built in Europe in 2017, according to industry group WindEurope. Wind farms continue to get bigger, and 2018 is expected to break even more records.
February 6, 2018
Houston-based lobbying group Consumer Energy Alliance, which reportedly has ties to Canadian tar sands industry interests, is behind a campaign in Kentucky to pass a bill that would slash credits utilities pay solar panel owners for any extra electricity they produce.
A Republican Nebraska senator has proposed a bill that would undo provisions that streamline wind power development and end the designation of wind power as a renewable energy. The proposed legislation would strike the word "wind" from a list of renewable energy generation facilities.
As Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority takes steps towards privatization, the governor's office and other officials have found themselves at odds over how to manage it. A resource plan is due in July; the governor has called for at least a third of electricity generation to come from renewables. Meanwhile, more than 400,000 customers are still without power, more than four months after the hurricane.
Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its economy and become a global force in clean power by investing in renewable energy. The country aims to invest up to $7 billion to develop seven new solar plants and a wind farm by the end of 2018, and provide up to 10 percent of power with renewables by the end of 2023.
February 5, 2018
The massive growth of electric vehicles could be a boon to the U.S energy grid, leveling out daily electricity demand and helping store renewable energy in cars' batteries. Experts say utilities need to plan for it.
Controlled Thermal Resources wants to develop 1,000 megawatts of geothermal electricity near the Salton Sea in Southern California over the next decade—enough to potentially power about 1,000 homes. The technology has been largely overlooked since plants have been expensive to build.
Tesla Is Installing Solar and Batteries on 50,000 Homes to Create Biggest Virtual Power Plant in the World
By 2022, Tesla plans to install install solar panels and batteries at 50,000 Australian homes to create the biggest virtual power plant in the world, with 650 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity. The Australian government says installations have already started for lower-income households.
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee has rejected the Northern Pass hydropower transmission project that would bring clean energy from Canada to New England. Project developers can appeal the decision, and the case could potentially go to the state Supreme Court.
Southern California's major utilities reached a settlement that ensures they will shoulder $775 million in final costs for the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. It overrides a 2014 decision by state regulators that put 70 percent of the closure's expenses on ratepayers.
February 1, 2018
White House Seeks 72 Percent Cut to Clean Energy Research, Underscoring Trump’s Preference for Fossil Fuels
The Trump administration plans to ask Congress to slash the Energy Department's renewable energy and energy efficiency programs by 72 percent in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by the Washington Post. Read more from ICN about President Trump's focus on fossil fuels during his State of the Union address.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has issued an executive order to revive an offshore wind energy development plan, with the goal of building 3.5 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. Previous efforts had languished under his predecessor, Chris Christie.
The Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against Maine Gov. Paul LePage, saying his moratorium on most new wind energy projects in the state is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers. The state legislature has passed laws for the permitting of wind energy.
Massachusetts, a progressive state with many clean energy policies, is facing a controversy over a 192-mile transmission line to bring in hydropower electricity from Quebec. The plan has sparked an uproar over local conservation efforts, permitting processes and climate mitigation.
Oklahoma is now the number two state in the country for wind energy production, according to the American Wind Energy Association. But the state's subsidies have gotten more expensive as the industry has grown, and a new large-scale wind project is at risk of being scrapped because of them.
January 31, 2018
Facing increasing competition from alternative energy and pressure from investors, BP says it is shifting more of its focus to natural gas. "We have more oil than the world needs," said Bernard Looney, head of the oil company's upstream division. "The change is structural. The change is here to stay."
The EU gets more than 30 percent of its electricity from renewable energy, according to a new report. In the past three years, Germany and the UK have accounted for more than half the growth; at the current rate, the EU could reach 50 percent of renewables in its electricity mix by 2030.
PPL says it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70 percent from 2010 levels by 2050 and mothball most of its Kentucky coal fleet. The move follows a shareholders resolution last year urging the utility to examine how climate change could impact its business.
A member of Arizona's Corporation Commission proposed an 80 percent clean energy target by 2050 along with with a 3 gigawatt energy storage target for 2030. If the plan is adopted, it would exceed California's and New York's goals for renewables and energy storage.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said during his Senate committee hearing that the agency hopes to decide soon whether it has the legal authority to issue a national waiver on selling renewable motor fuel containing 15 percent ethanol during summer months.
About 75 miles of the coast of Yorkshire, in the UK, construction has begun on what would be the world's largest offshore wind farm, developed by energy company Ørsted. Read more from ICN about how offshore oil and gas companies are getting into offshore wind energy.
January 30, 2018
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has released a plan for developing the state's offshore wind energy industry. The state says it will establish 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, and procure 800 megawatts over the next two years.
On average, Americans spent 7.8 more days at home in 2012 compared to 2003, which reduced national energy use by 1.8 percent, according to new research. Some researchers suggest this shift has to do with changing work habits, like more part-time workers and more people working remotely rather than in office buildings because of technology.
Massachusetts residents want more renewable energy, a price on carbon, electric transportation, environmental justice, and an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure, according to a new report from the state's Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. The committee says it will issue "a substantial piece of legislation" soon to reflect the priorities.
During a call with investors last week, Jim Robo, CEO of NextEra Energy, said that by the early 2020s it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to continue running existing coal and nuclear plants. He predicted that unsubsidized new wind power would cost about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, and solar would be 3 to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour.
MidAmerican Energy, Iowa's largest utility, is proposing to shrink its energy efficiency programs that help customers cover the cost of energy audits and rebates on energy-saving lighting and appliances. A bill introduced last week in the legislature, which clean energy advocates say the company is pushing, would do away with the energy efficiency mandates.
January 29, 2018
California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to put 5 million electric cars on the road in the state by 2030 and to add 250,000 vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025. Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage put a moratorium on new wind power permits last week and created a Wind Energy Advisory Commission that will meet behind closed doors to examine the industry's impact on tourism and potential regulatory changes. The actions worry clean energy advocates.
Traditional automakers are partnering with technology companies, ride-sharing groups and even pizza-delivery companies to help spur development and use of electric and self-driving vehicles. Read more from ICN about how electric vehicle car-sharing is being used around the U.S.