May 1, 2016

San Francisco Passes Mandatory Solar Ordinance For New Buildings

A new mandatory solar power ordinance in San Francisco makes for some very good renewable energy, and energy efficiency, news.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously passed the Better Roofs regulation to “fight climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.” As reported by treehugger, the move, which requires new buildings to go from solar-ready rooftops to solar-actual, represents a huge step toward the city’s goal of powering the city with 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

April 19, 2016

Florida Lawmakers to Tout Renewable Energy Amendment


A group of state lawmakers launched an initiative Tuesday to educate voters on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give commercial property owners a tax break on renewable-energy devices similar to one given to residential property owners.

Part of the education process will be to ensure voters know the proposal on the August primary ballot isn’t tied to a more controversial solar-energy amendment that will go before voters in November.

April 18, 2016

Senate OKs Walaska Bill Expanding Renewable Energy Growth Program


Sen. William A. Walaska (D-Dist. 30, Warwick)’s bill extending the Renewable Energy Growth Program through 2029 passed the Senate today along with two other clean energy bills, all of which now wait on action in the House.

The Renewable Energy Growth Program allows small renewable energy producers, such as homes with rooftop solar panels, to sell their surplus energy to national Grid at a set price over a set period of time (15 to 20 years), according to the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau. The program figures critically in the financing of such small projects.

The program provides a set price for the purchase of electricity by National Grid from small scale projects throughout the state. Should Walaska’s bill become law, the program will handle an additional 400 MW of renewable energy over 10 years.

April 17, 2016

Massachusetts House Passes Bill Lifting solar Net Metering Cap

The Massachusetts House on Wednesday passed a bill that would raise the cap on solar net metering while lowering reimbursement rates for solar energy.

The bill, H.4173, passed the House by a vote of 152 to 1.

State Rep. Thomas Golden, D-Lowell, chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and a member of the conference committee, said the bill "finds a balanced solution between the rates that would keep our solar industry thriving and moving forward, while still staying cognizant of the rates our constituents, the ratepayers, pay on a daily basis."

April 15, 2016

Argentina Establishes New Landmark Renewable Energy Policy

Decree 531 outlines plans to create a trust fund of 12,000 million Argentine Pesos (USD 819 million) for renewable energy this year, and also outlines bidding processes for renewable energy projects.

The new policy establishes a fund for renewable energy development.

April 10, 2016

New Jersey Senate Passes Bill Requiring Utility Companies To Purchase 80% Renewable Electricity By 2050

The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill that will require utility companies operating in the state to source at least 80% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2050, according to recent reports.

The new bill (Bill S1707) would require utility companies to source at least 11% of their electricity from renewable energy sources starting in 2017 — with this requirement growing roughly 10% every 5 years until the 80% target is achieved.

April 8, 2016

Vermont Senate Approves Siting Bill, Snubs Towns and Wind-Turbine Sufferers

 Senators approved a renewable energy siting bill on Thursday but shot down amendments favorable to towns, ratepayers and victims of industrial wind-turbine noise.

After a marathon six-hour session, the long-anticipated energy siting bill S.230 passed the Senate by a 22-3 vote. The Democratic-controlled body voted down a handful of key amendments, ultimately draining enthusiasm from those who want towns to have real authority in the siting process.

The legislation sets up a statewide planning process in which municipal and regional planners identify preferred sites for renewable energy and submit plans for approval by the Public Service Board. For town plans to win approval, they must be written in a way that helps meet ambitious renewable targets set forth in the state’s Comprehensive Energy Plan.

March 29, 2016

Meeting Oregon's New Energy Standard

Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown signed a landmark bill making Oregon the first state in the country to cut ties with coal-fired power.

The new law requires that Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power — who together serve 70 percent of the state’s electricity needs — phase out coal-fired power by 2030 and serve half their customers’ demand with renewable energy by 2040.

Though environmental advocates — and everyone’s favorite Oscar winner — laud the new law as a forward-thinking compromise from a group of unlikely bedfellows, others have expressed concerns about the costs and efficacy of the legislation. 

March 28, 2016

On the Bay: House Approves Clean Energy in MD

The Clean Energy Jobs Act, which aims to increase the state's reliance on solar and wind power, passed in the House of Delegates on Monday.

The bill will ensure the state gets 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, according to the Maryland Climate Coalition. Passed 92-43, the bill increases an earlier goal of 20 percent by 2022.

March 24, 2016

Merrick Garland is Good News for the Clean Power Plan

By: Marc Z. Goldgrub, Cleantech Law Partners
According to Harvard Environmental Law Professor Richard Lazarus, President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Federal Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland, is highly respected in the environmental law community, and likely to give the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently-stayed Clean Power Plan rule “a fair hearing” if confirmed. UCLA Environmental Law Professor Ann Carlson even calls him “a good bet” to uphold the rule.

March 23, 2016

Pakistan: Renewable Energy Growth Linked with Net Metering Law

There will be a phenomenal growth in power generation from renewable sources of energy once the regulations on consumer’s electricity sale to distribution companies get in place, a company’s senior executive said.  

“The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has already approved net metering regulations, but the distribution companies have some reservations over them and the law has not been implemented,” Chief Executive Officer Inam-ur-Rehman at Reon Energy, a leading solar solutions provider in Pakistan, told The News. 

March 22, 2016

Vermont Panel Backs Bill to Keep Energy Projects Where They're Welcome

Senators on the energy committee approved legislation Friday that subsidizes solar development in preferred locations and grants localities greater say in siting renewable energy projects.

S.230 would put into effect many recommendations made by the Solar Siting Task Force, which delivered a report in January that was meant to form the backbone of the bill.

"I think it's really a game-changer for towns," said Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chairman Chris Bray. "It creates a way for towns and regions to work with the state, planning for our energy future, as opposed to getting informed by the state."

March 21, 2016

NJ Lawmakers Push for 80 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050--Again

One of the problems with this aggressive goal is that the Christie administration is not likely to back it

If legislators get their way, New Jersey will rely on solar panels, wind turbines, and other forms of clean energy to provide most of the electricity the state needs by 2050.

That’s the goal of a bill making its way through the Legislature, which would require 80 percent of the electricity used in the state to come from renewable energy, an aggressive target aimed at helping New Jersey sharply curb emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

March 20, 2016

Oregon Moves Towards 50 Percent Renewable Energy

The US State of Oregon has decided to raise its state renewable energy law to 50 percent renewables by 2040, doubling access to renewable energy in the state.

Oregon’s new renewable portfolio standard (RPS) target puts it on track to meet its target of a 75 percent reduction in carbon emissions, below 1990 levels, by 2050. Portland General Electric and Pacific Power will now generate 50 percent of their power from renewables by 2040, up from the current 25 percent by 2025 target, a move that will help spur significant growth in local wind and solar energy investments.

March 18, 2016

Hawaii Governor Ige Signs Bill Setting 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal In Power Sector

Gov. David Ige today signed into law four energy bills, including one that strengthens Hawaii’s commitment to clean energy by directing the state’s utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2045.

The bold step taken by the Hawai‘i State Legislature in passing the landmark legislation (HB623) fulfills one of Ige’s policy objectives by making Hawai‘i the first state in the nation to set a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for the electricity sector.

March 17, 2016

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Signed One of the Nation's Most Aggressive Pieces of Pro-Climate Legislation into State Law

With the stroke of Gov. Kate Brown's signature Friday, Oregon became the first state to eradicate coal from its power supply through legislation and now boasts some of the most stringent demands for renewable energy among its state peers.

The new law will wipe out coal-generated energy in phases through 2030 and requires utilities to provide half of customers' power with renewable sources by 2040, doubling the state's previous standard.

March 16, 2016

Canada’s New Leader Meets with Obama, Reverses Canadian Federal Policy on Climate Change

By: Marc Z. Goldgrub, Cleantech Law Partners 
           
Emerging from his meeting with President Obama at the White House on Thursday, March 10th, newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that for the first time in over a decade, the two nations’ leaders share a “common goal” regarding climate change. “We want a clean growth economy that continues to provide good jobs and great opportunities for all of our citizens,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “And I am confident that by working together we will get there sooner than we think.” Prime Minister Trudeau’s speech also referenced his and Obama’s intention to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, reduce methane and hydrofluorocarbon emissions in both countries, and introduce aligned greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles.

March 15, 2016

Brazil's Paraiba Passes Renewables Support Bill

Brazil's Paraiba state Committee on Constitution, Justice (CCJ) approved on Wednesday a bill project for the state renewable sector.

The bill establishes the Wind and Solar Incentive of Generation and Energy Utilization State Policy. The proposal aims to promote investments into solar and wind power generation capacity and boost the technological development of photovoltaic (PV) and thermal-solar energy self-consumption systems.

March 14, 2016

Virginia Lawmakers Push Back Slate of Clean Energy Bills into 2017

Virginia lawmakers had been considering a slate of clean energy and storage measures, but according to Greentech Media virtually all of the more than a dozen bills introduced in this session have been carried over into the 2017 term.

Only a bill backed by Dominion Energy, HB 1305, which includes a sales and use tax exemption and real and personal property tax exemption on solar and wind energy facilities, is still working its way through the session.

March 13, 2016

Oregon Senate Passes Bill to Scrap Coal Power by 2030

Doubles state mandates on renewable power by 2040; reaction pours in

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon lawmakers have given final approval to pioneering legislation that would eliminate coal from the state's energy supply by 2030 and double state mandates on renewable power by 2040.
    
In a statement, Gov. Kate Brown seemed to indicate she would sign the bill.
    
She said it "equips Oregon with a bold and progressive path towards the energy resource mix of the future."
 

March 8, 2016

Israel Crawls Toward Green Power Future with Proposed Renewable Energy Law

Currently, only 2.6 percent of Israel's electricity is produced from renewable sources. 

A renewable energy law could be in the works after the Knesset’s Finance Committee met on Wednesday to discuss the basics before bringing it for an initial reading in the plenum.

One of the points that bothered some present was that the legislation, sponsored by MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union), would not spell out clean power targets, but rather leave them up to a subsequent cabinet decision. It would require, however, the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry to uphold whatever decision the government makes.

March 7, 2016

Virginia Lawmakers Punt on a Suite of Renewable Energy Bills

Legislation on community solar, net metering and third-party-owned solar was “carried over to 2017.”

Virginia lags well behind its neighboring states on renewable energy. With no tax credits or renewable energy certificate market to drive development, Virginia has yet to erect a wind farm, and the growing interest in solar has not translated into significant megawatts.

Legislators assure renewable energy industry members and advocates they are determined to make progress. But though the 2016 legislative session is not over yet, it appears there will be no policy reforms this year -- at least not on legislation championed by advocates of customer-owned and distributed renewable energy projects.

March 6, 2016

Argentina Charts Course For Renewable Energy

Argentina, Latin America’s third largest power market with approximately 32,000 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, faces the task of installing 7,000 MW, or 22.5 percent of its 2015 total capacity, in five years.

With the majority of Argentina’s current generation needs being met by costly imported fossil fuels, the nation has the economic incentive to begin exploiting its abundant renewable energy resources. In 2015 this incentive translated into a new renewable energy law mandating that eight percent of generation derive from renewable sources by 2018 and 20 percent by 2026. Whether Argentina’s business leaders and policymakers will maximize the nation’s abundant renewable energy potential and new pro-business executive branch policies to create investor confidence, bankable power purchase agreements (PPAs) and significant renewable production remains to be seen.

March 3, 2016

"Is Paris Burning?": Looking Anew at the Significance of the Paris Climate Change Agreement

By William Byun, Cleantech Law Partners

While that question hung over the last days of World War II, on December 2015 the world media definitely projected a cheerful resolution for the recent climate change negotiations there that "no", the ballyhooed Paris Agreement inked there should provide a new pathway to avoid such fate. Seeing the multitudes of various politicians all in good cheer though, one could not help but be a wee bit skeptical.

March 2, 2016

Bill Would Clarify Hawaii's 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal

A proposed bill would make Hawaii’s current 100 percent renewable energy goal more clear and make sure that all resources being fed to the grid are by renewable resources, the head of the state’s Energy Office told PBN.

Senate Bill 2820, introduced by Senate President Ron Kouchi, is intended to correct the renewable portfolio standards methodology to more accurately represent 100 percent renewable energy.