December 6, 2017
London's black cabs are going electric, with a range of up to 400 miles. The electric cabs, which have the same fare as diesel cabs, are expected to save drivers about $133 a week on fuel costs. Over 9,000 electric taxis—half the current fleet—are expected on London roads by 2021.
December 5, 2017
The Republican tax bill approved by the Senate contains an obscure provision that could undercut investment in renewables, and the House version has sweeping cuts to clean energy tax credits. As the two chambers start reconciling the bills, the clean energy industry is bracing for a fight.
After more than a decade, developers have canceled plans for a 468 megawatt offshore wind farm called Cape Wind near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The project faced years of delays, in part because of opposition from the Kennedy and Koch families.
A Wyoming lawmaker plans to re-introduce a measure to increase the wind tax in the state from $1 per megawatt hour to $5, in the latest push by the legislature to tax wind energy production. Wyoming is the only state to impose a wind tax separate from other taxes.
BMW, an early mover in the electric-car space, is facing increasing competition from rivals like Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. Carmakers are spending record amounts developing a more attractive suite of electric cars to kickstart sluggish consumer sales.
December 4, 2017
Microgrids are emerging as a solution to electricity outages in cities and towns across the U.S. Installed capacity is expected to more than double between 2017 and 2022, according to GTM Research.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a legal fight between an Arizona utility and SolarCity. The solar company sued in 2015 over Salt River Project's plan to charge a fee for solar power systems operated by individuals. SolarCity says the fees were designed to make rooftop solar too expensive.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $3.5 million in funding to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles. The state is inviting proposals for ways to reduce the costs of charging stations and ways to use electric vehicles to improve grid resiliency.
A pro-coal group that has involved itself in opposing multiple Ohio wind farm cases has not disclosed its members, raising questions about who funds the organization. Read more from ICN about how fossil fuel groups have turned Ohio lawmakers against clean energy policies they once supported.
Google is now offsetting 100 percent of its energy usage with wind or solar energy after signing contracts on three wind power plants that bring its production capacity to more than 3 gigawatts.
November 30, 2017
President Trump's trade representative has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission for details on how it thinks cheap imported solar panels have harmed U.S. manufacturers so he can take "appropriate and feasible action."
The Belridge oil field near Bakersfield, California, one of the largest in the country, will soon be partly powered by solar energy. The project is expected to avoid the release of 376,000 tons of carbon per year from the oil extraction process.
California's last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, will close in 2025, and its 2.3 gigawatts of power are supposed to be replaced by zero-carbon sources. But the California Public Utilities Commission changed the proposal, and environmental groups say it lacks a formal commitment to replace that capacity with renewables.
French President Emmanuel Macron just made a deal to develop West Africa's largest solar energy plant in Burkina Faso. But Africa's renewable energy footprint still lags, as corruption, red tape and poorly-financed power companies delay projects.
November 29, 2017
As renewable energy prices drop, 5 percent of U.S. schools have switched to solar power, saving millions of dollars while teaching students about clean energy and technology. Their solar capacity has almost doubled in the last three years, according to a new study.
Shell has promised to cut the net carbon footprint of its products in half by 2050 and says it will spend up to $2 billion a year from 2018 to 2020 on wind power, biofuels and electric car infrastructure. That's still a fraction of the oil giant's $25-30 billion annual investment. The carbon goal is similar to a recent failed shareholder resolution.
When a new wind farm in Texas started operations this month, the state's wind power capacity hit more than 20,000 megawatts, which is 200 megawatts more capacity than coal-fired power plants, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
By 2025, one of every six cars sold in the world will be electric, according to a new UBS global autos survey. Researchers predicted the global sales of electric vehicles will hit 16.5 million by then; Europe will have the highest percentage of cars sold.
Developing countries increased solar capacity by 54 percent in the last year, reaching 34 gigawatts, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In India, Uganda and Brazil, solar represented 19 percent of new generating capacity.
November 28, 2017
After blackouts in Australia this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would build 100 megawatts of energy storage in 100 days or it would be free—and he just delivered. The Hornsdale Power Reserve battery is the world's largest grid-scale battery; it can deliver power to 30,000 homes for an hour.
Toyota has hedged its bets on hydrogen-powered cars, but it's being left behind by other major automakers that are doubling down on plug-in electric vehicles. Investment in hydrogen fuel-cell technology is falling, but Toyota says it plans to continue research and production.
Arizona Generation and Transmission, a co-op of 10 utilities from Arizona, California and Nevada, opened its first utility-scale solar facility, which produces 20 megawatts of solar in Benson, Arizona. It's one of the largest utility cooperative solar projects in the U.S.
India's minister for new and renewable energy says the country is expected to surpass its target of 175 gigawatts of operational renewable energy capacity by March 2022, possibly reaching 200 gigawatts.
November 27, 2017
The Atlanta City Council passed infrastructure regulations to boost the spread of electric vehicles. Twenty percent of parking spaces must be EV-ready, and builders will be required to install infrastructure to support charging in new residential and commercial developments.
This year, power generated by onshore and offshore wind in Germany exceeded coal and nuclear for the first time, according to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. One day last week, about 46 percent of Germany's electricity came from wind farms.
Hydropower construction has soared by 300 percent across the western Balkans in the last two years, according to a new study. More than a third of the 2,800 dams being built are in protected areas and national parks, raising fears of biodiversity loss.
In London, UPS is trying out an electric trailer delivery system to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. Packages are delivered using an electric bike hauling a small trailer that can carry up to 440 pounds.
November 22, 2017
With ample unused potential for rooftop solar, New York City's public housing authority is taking bids to lease its roofs for community solar projects that could power thousands of households across the city and create solar jobs for public housing residents.
In 2017, solar energy generation has contributed over 7,100 megawatts of capacity to India's electricity grid, according to Mercom Capital Group data. That's nearly 40 percent of all new additions. The surge comes as the government pushes to install 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022.
Mirroring solar energy's rise, global energy storage capacity is expected to reach 125 gigawatts by 2030, with investment exceeding $100 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Eight major countries, including the U.S. and China, will likely install 70 percent of the capacity.