June 27, 2018
Australia is on track to get one-third of its power from renewable sources by 2020, which would be near double what was in place in 2015, according to a new report. The country is seeing a dramatic increase in wind and solar construction, and elected officials are discussing how to encourage and manage the transition.
June 26, 2018
Atlanta's City Council is hearing three proposals today for getting to 100 percent renewable electricity while fighting climate change, improving health and bolstering the economy. Here are the plans and why it may take longer than the council had hoped.
The U.S. Senate has passed a $145 billion spending bill that would increase funding for some clean energy programs. The measure, passed 86-5, now heads to the House. It includes funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ARPA-E would get $375 million, the most since its launch.
The French water and waste group Veolia has opened what it says is Europe's first recycling plant for solar panels. The plant disassembles the panels and recovers the glass, silicon, plastics, copper and silver for use in new panels.
Italy's new government wants to change the country's status as a backwater on electric cars with a plan to put 1 million EVs on the road. The plan calls for $10 billion in incentives.
A new solar farm near Medford, Oregon, is using the spaces between panels for beehives. The farm's operator is trying to change the culture of solar power by focusing on the surrounding environment. The farm's land has native flowers and 48 beehives, part of a plan to help pollinators.
June 25, 2018
Developers of solar power and some other renewable energy projects got important new guidance from the Internal Revenue Service that should give them more flexibility. Companies can get the full 30 percent investment tax credit if they start significant physical construction or incur at least 5 percent of the project's costs by the end of 2019 and have the project in service by 2024.
A lack of supportive policies has led to almost no growth in community renewable energy projects in Britain, according to a new report. At the same time, fossil fuel industries continue to be heavily subsidized.
A vocational school in Washington state is seeing growing demand for programs that train people to work in the wind and solar energy industries, part of a larger trend in the U.S. economy. Read more from ICN about wind industry training in Texas, and the students who see its potential.
Demand for solar from companies in India has soared, largely because of falling prices. The developments are a mix of large arrays and rooftop systems, both of which are popular with corporate buyers.
June 22, 2018
The road ahead looks clearer for clean energy bills that stalled in the California legislature last year, and lawmakers are trying again to pass a plan requiring utilities to get 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. It's one of several notable clean energy bills being considered.
Tesla is closing about a dozen solar installation facilities in nine states and ending a retail partnership with Home Depot, all part of a previously announced cost-cutting plan. Tesla's solar division was once SolarCity, and the cuts will likely add to criticism of putting the two businesses together.
Four state utility regulators talked about challenges they face in preparing for more electric vehicles, from skeptical lawmakers to a technology landscape that's moving fast. Three are making plans without clear direction from their state legislatures. Ohio faces lawmakers directly opposed to clean energy.
Financial institutions say they could double their planned investments in the U.S. renewable energy sector, with the potential to mobilize $1 trillion by 2030, but growth will depend on policies and market signals. A survey of financial firms shows 58 percent say the lack of a federal policy driver after key renewable energy tax credits sunset is an obstacle.
Some big businesses and government agencies are jumping on board with all-electric vehicles. The Antelope Valley Transit Authority, in Los Angeles County, hopes to ditch all its diesel vehicles by the end of the year.
June 20, 2018
Falling battery costs will have a major impact on the electricity mix over the coming decades, Bloomberg New Energy Finance's latest outlook shows. Wind and solar are expected to surge to almost 50 percent of world generation by 2050, and electric vehicles are forecast to account for 9 percent of electricity demand by then, up from 0.2 percent today.
Uber is launching a yearlong project in seven cities to help drivers pay to buy electric vehicles, part of a plan to burnish the company's environmental credentials. The cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Montreal, and the incentives will vary by city.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill that was designed to expand net metering to encourage rooftop solar and other small clean energy projects. Renewable energy advocates hope legislators will override the veto. The bill has bipartisan support in the state House and Senate.
A U.S. House committee will kick off debate next week on three bipartisan bills aimed at boosting offshore wind energy leases in federal waters. The proposals include requiring development of a leasing plan and providing funding for educational or career programs for the offshore industry.
JinkoSolar says it is still on track to open a previously announced plant in Florida this year, despite an escalating trade dispute between the United States in China. Company officials say the plant's supply chain is set up in a way to minimize the negative effects of tariffs.
The UK is a world leader in capturing renewable energy from the oceans, but some tidal energy companies are heading for new shores over a lack of government support. A company that developed and tested floating tidal turbines in Scotland is taking its device to Canada, and the developer of the first large-scale tidal array connected to the grid is looking to France.
June 19, 2018
A proposal to more than double Nevada's use of renewable energy is likely headed to voters. The plan, backed by a group tied to billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, would amend the state constitution to require electricity providers to obtain half of their power from renewable sources by 2030.
Partners in a UN-led plan want to stop inefficient incandescent light bulbs from ending up on store shelves in developing countries. The group released a model policy that would help countries adopt energy efficiency standards as stringent as those in North America and Europe.
Candidates who support solar power have won primary elections in South Carolina in both parties, a sign that pro-solar policies might have a better chance in the future. The state hit a stalemate this year on a proposal to increase a cap on net metering. The solar industry has been arguing that the cap and other policies are harmful to the state's economy.
Avangrid says it will scrap plans for a 100-megawatt wind farm in St. Lawrence County, New York, because of a town ordinance that reduces the number of turbines that can be built in the project area. The developer has been working on the plan since 2010.
The Race Bank wind farm, described by developer Orsted as the fifth-largest offshore wind farm in the world, is part of a building boom in Europe for offshore wind. Read more from ICN about oil giants and their suppliers seeing a future in offshore wind.
June 18, 2018
China's government plans to increase supervision of the electric-car market, responding to concerns that manufacturing capacity is in danger of outstripping demand. China's manufacturers sold 328,000 new energy vehicles in the first five months of 2018, up 142 percent on the year.
The Massachusetts Senate has passed a measure that would increase the state's renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent a year. Utilities would be required to get 49 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030, increasing over time to 100 percent. The bill, which now heads to the House, also removes caps on net metering.
The 32 percent renewable energy target that EU negotiators agreed to last week is still "much lower" than what would be needed to reach the Paris goals on climate change, experts at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany say.
India's power ministry has increased its renewable energy targets to require large consumers to get 21 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2022, up from 17 percent today. The ministry also plans to step up enforcement.