April 12, 2018
An influential Japanese energy panel says it wants to reduce dependence on nuclear power and shift from coal to natural gas and renewables. It also says it's open to building nuclear plants to help the nation meet long-term emissions targets, despite public opposition since the Fukushima disaster.
April 11, 2018
Tesla has a new agreement with BP to install battery storage at BP's wind energy division in South Dakota. The Titan 1 wind farm will receive about four Powerpacks in a pilot project that BP says is an opportunity for it to learn more about the potential for battery storage.
The South Carolina House killed a bill that would have removed a cap on the expansion of solar power in the state after pressure from the state's major utilities. The vote was a reversal from a preliminary House vote in support of it last week.
The world's most powerful wind turbine has been installed at Vattenfall's European Offshore Wind Deployment Center off the coast of Scotland. It's the first of two 8.8 megawatt turbines. Read more from ICN about how older wind farms are repowering with longer blades and new technology.
Google is considering another big clean energy investment, possibly in battery storage. The company is already the world's biggest corporate buyer of wind and solar power.
April 10, 2018
Energy Secretary Rick Perry said at an event on Monday that he may not declare an emergency in the Northeast's electric grid or grant FirstEnergy's request for subsidies to save its coal and nuclear plants. Read more from ICN about the utility's plea to the Trump administration.
Five Republican senators are calling on President Trump to stop issuing waivers of federal biofuels regulations for small oil refineries, saying they are "undermining" the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved two new reactors at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station in South Florida, even though the facility and its surrounding communities face a high risk of sea level rise and storm surges in the coming decades.
Apple announced that its facilities are 100 percent powered by renewable sources, although the company relies on renewable energy certificates to offset carbon usage for about 34 percent of its energy usage.
Illinois is trying to address concerns about ensuring that clean energy is for everyone: the state's renewable energy procurement plan sets aside $30 million for a program that requires regulators to get renewable energy credits for solar projects to serve low-income consumers.
April 9, 2018
Massachusetts is the state to watch in the offshore and onshore wind industry. A former whaling port has been retrofitted to serve the wind industry, a blade-testing center is up and running, and the state has an offshore wind power mandate — and it's paying off in jobs.
With an expected surge of offshore wind power, growth in emerging markets and U.S. tax subsidies, global wind power capacity is set to double by 2027, according to new projections from MAKE Consulting.
China first overtook the U.S. in new renewable energy investment in 2009. Last year, nearly half the world's new renewable energy investment of $279.8 billion was in China.
New York Power Authority Proposes Rebuilding North-South Transmission Line to Bolster Renewable Energy
The New York Power Authority has petitioned state regulators for authority to rebuild an 86-mile transmission lines in northern New York to allow more renewable energy from upstate to be added to the power grid. If approved, construction is expected to start in 2020 and be completed by 2023.
Next month, a North Carolina-based company plans to start installing 81,000 solar panels near Lind, Washington, a small community about 75 miles west of Spokane. The solar farm will be the largest in Washington state, producing about 28 megawatts of energy for large commercial and industrial customers.
April 6, 2018
President Trump said he is "looking at" issuing an emergency order to boost coal and nuclear plants after a request that FirstEnergy made shortly before FirstEnergy Solutions filed for banktruptcy. Trump's comments come a day after he reportedly dined with a lobbyist for the utility. Read more from ICN about FirstEnergy's calls for emergency subsidies.
SunZia, the developer of a $2 billion project that would transmit renewable energy from New Mexico and Arizona to other parts of the Southwest, quietly submitted its application to New Mexico regulators this week to set the stage for the approval process. The project has been years in the making.
The Maine House fell three votes short of overriding Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill on solar energy. The bill would have prohibited utilities from requiring solar energy users to install a second meter to monitor their electricity generation, which solar advocates say allows utilities to charge extra.
Kirkbi, the fund that manages the wealth of Lego's billionaire owner, is planning to step up its investments in renewable energy. It already own stakes in offshore wind farms, and its renewable energy profits more than tripled last year.
April 5, 2018
Renewable energy developers are planning a floating array of wind turbines off the coast of Northern California. It follows a similar project two years ago in Oregon that failed to gain traction with electricity buyers.
The EPA has exempted 25 small refineries from the nation's biofuels laws, triggering an outcry from farm groups worried it will hurt ethanol demand. In the past, the EPA has issued six to eight waivers per year for small refineries that could demonstrate they were struggling financially to comply.
Renewable energy sources made up a record 61 percent of net power generation capacity added worldwide in 2017, according to a new report from the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China added 53 gigawatts of solar, enough capacity to power more than 38 million homes.
The Illinois Commerce Commission has finalized the state's renewable energy procurement plan, which includes getting 25 percent of state energy from renewable sources by 2025. The plan includes community and distributed solar and a focus on municipal and rural cooperative electric cooperatives.
The world's largest maker of wind turbines is tapping the car battery industry's experience to help wind and solar energy meet a growing share of power demand. It's partnering with Sweden's Northvolt, headed by a former Tesla executive, to develop a lithium-ion battery for power plants of the future.
Google reports its total purchase of energy from renewable sources last year was greater than the electricity used by its global operations. It says for every kilowatt-hour of electricity it used, the company bought a kilowatt-hour of energy from a solar or wind farm built for it. The tech giant has contracts to buy 3 gigawatts of power from renewable energy projects.
April 4, 2018
The EPA has exempted one of the nation's largest oil refiners, Andeavor, from complying with biofuels regulations requiring them to blend biofuels such as ethanol into gasoline or purchase credits from those who do. The decision raises questions about other oil companies that have or could receive the waivers, which are often granted by the agency in secret.
Maine lawmakers voted down Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to raise the bar for new wind energy projects in the state. LePage wanted to limit streamlined permit reviews and expand reviews of the turbines' visual impacts to anywhere within 70 miles of significant scenic resources.
The massive data centers that power the internet consume vast amounts of electricity and emit 3 percent of global carbon emissions. Almost as important as switching the data companies to low-carbon energy sources is improving their energy efficiency.
One California family's shift to all-electrification, including running their home on solar and battery storage, reveals some of the challenges created by gas-friendly legacy state policies.
April 3, 2018
Americans aren't terribly concerned about energy affordability or access, according to a new Gallup poll. Researchers say low gas prices and no signs of energy shortages are part of the decline in concern, which is near a record low.