October 2, 2018
Power grid operator PJM has concluded that FirstEnegy Solutions' plan to retire 4 gigawatts of coal and diesel plants won't affect grid reliability. FirstEnergy had asked the Trump administration to issue a rare emergency order to help the plants compete with cheaper renewables and natural gas, arguing they were necessary to prevent blackouts.
The world isn't making nearly enough batteries to meet demand for vehicles, energy storage and other uses. The market is heavily dependent on a few producers, including a bottleneck of manufacturers in South Korea.
President Trump signed legislation designed to speed up the development of advanced nuclear reactors by eliminating some of the financial and technological barriers. It also directs the DOE to facilitate the siting of research demonstration facilities through partnerships with private industry.
Mazda is taking steps to catch up with its rivals in vehicle electrification after a very slow start. The Japan-based automaker now says all of its vehicles will come with electric power by 2030: 5 percent will be all-electric and 95 percent will have hybrid systems.
The $200 billion, 200-gigawatt solar proposal was unusual in its financial structure and faced questions about how its output would be integrated into the grid. For many observers, it was not a surprise when developers announced they were abandoning the plan.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia say they have designed a system that combines solar power and energy storage in a way that would have record-setting efficiency. The system could be a major step forward for solar and storage hybrids.
October 1, 2018
Appalachian Ohio may become home to one of the largest solar projects east of the Rockies. AEP announced a plan to build 400 megawatts of solar there that would more than triple the state's solar capacity. But the project's structure would also break the established regulatory mold in Ohio, a state that has pushed back on renewable energy.
Several long-awaited electric vehicle models are making their debuts this week at the Paris auto show. Now comes the hard part: selling them at a profit.
In Bangladesh, people with rooftop solar systems have started selling power to their neighbors. The startup Solshare found a business opportunity in the fact that about 30 percent of the electricity from solar is being wasted and can easily be shared.
When a wind turbine in Utah goes offline, a worker in Portland, Maine, gets an alert. A 24-7 operations center run by Longroad Energy Partners, a renewable energy developer, monitors 425 solar farms and six wind farms from this Maine location.
Elon Musk has reached a settlement with federal regulators under which he will step down as chairman of Tesla, pay a fine and agree to have his communications monitored. Musk will remain CEO under the deal as the company continues to work to achieve production targets for the Model 3.
September 28, 2018
Two federal appeals courts have now upheld state nuclear power plant subsidies. In doing so, they have also helped to solidify the legal footing for state renewable energy programs across the country. Here's why.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to ban Tesla CEO Elon Musk from leading any public company, saying he lied to investors when he claimed on Twitter that he had secured the funding to take the automaker private. The legal action could prove devastating for Musk, who made Tesla into one of America's most valuable car companies.
A new battery system uses zinc and oxygen in a way that could potentially reduce the costs of energy storage. NantEnergy says it has developed the first commercially available zinc air battery, which it has tested over the last six years by pairing it with solar systems in 110 villages in Africa and Asia.
New Jersey’s Largest Utility Launches $4.1 Billion Plan to Boost Energy Efficiency, Electric Vehicles
New Jersey's largest utility has proposed a $4.1 billion plan designed to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. It includes hundreds of millions of dollars for electric vehicle infrastructure, energy storage and advanced meters.
Wind energy is on a pace to become the European Union's largest source of electricity within a decade, according to an official of the International Energy Agency. The target year of 2027 is an acceleration from IEA's estimate last year.
September 27, 2018
Lawmakers are divided on whether to extend a popular tax credit for electric cars. EV manufacturers face a cap of 200,000 vehicles that are eligible for the credit, a level now being reached by Tesla and General Motors.
Republicans hold a near-record 33 governorships, and a full third of them are considered battleground races this November. The outcomes could affect clean energy policy. Several of the Democratic contenders are calling for their states to adopt 100 percent clean energy commitments, net-metering incentives and other clean energy policies.
Massachusetts regulators have approved provisions of a long-awaited solar incentive program. It provides a flat tariff paid by investor-owned utilities to the owners of small solar arrays with added incentives for projects that meet certain policy goals.
Wan Gang is in many ways the father of China's electric vehicle industry. Two decades ago, he persuaded the government to support electric cars, leading to a wide-ranging subsidy system. Today, Chinese consumers are buying one out of every two electric vehicles sold worldwide.
The Chinese solar panel manufacturer Longo Green Energy Technology Co. has made changes in recent years to become more sustainable, including moving away from China's coal-heavy manufacturing areas. It now wants to use solar energy to power its production processes.
September 26, 2018
California is considering whether to offer a $4,500 subsidy for each all-electric vehicle sold, up from the current $2,500. If approved, it would help offset some of what consumers will lose when Tesla and General Motors run out of eligibility for a $7,500 tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles.
LG, the South Korean electronics giant, is introducing two new home battery products, including one for houses that already have rooftop solar. The company aims to get a share of the booming residential energy storage market.
India's climate change commitments could be threatened by the country's recently imposed tariffs on solar equipment from China and Malaysia. It hopes to encourage growth of India's solar manufacturing industry, but in the short term it is likely to reduce the pace of new projects.
Indiana has a growing clean energy economy, but the pace of growth is hindered by a lack of support from state policies, according to a new report from the Environmental Law & Policy Center. The group suggests developing a more robust statewide energy plan.
September 25, 2018
Iberdrola SA, the world's biggest wind power producer, says it will expand its renewable energy in the U.S. by about 50 percent over four years. The increase would amount to about 10,000 megawatts of new capacity. The company's CEO says it's part of a push to serve investors and companies with ambitious clean energy goals.
Owners of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, which is wildly over budget and far from completion, have voted to continue work on the plant. But Oglethorpe Power said its approval depends on a cost cap and other concessions by the lead owner, a subsidiary of Southern Company.
Two solar industry groups have launched a new initiative to reduce the costs and the time required to get permits to install solar projects. The Solar Energy Industries Association and The Solar Foundation say they hope to cut costs by streamlining the process.
Heliene, a Canadian solar-panel manufacturer, has opened its new plant in a small town in Minnesota. The company says the decision was made before President Trump imposed tariffs on solar imports and that it was attracted by state incentives and the prospect of serving growing markets in the U.S.
A vocal critic of wind energy has resigned from a commission that Maine Gov. Paul LePage created to scrutinize the industry, saying the group lacked credibility and focus. The group has been controversial because of the secrecy surrounding it. Chris O'Neil, who resigned, said the group never met and wasn't making progress on anything.