September 29, 2016

Where Next for UK Renewable Energy Policy?

In November last year, former Decc secretary (and now home secretary) Amber Rudd said: “Frankly, if at all pos­sible, energy policy shouldn’t be noticed.” The comment came shortly after a con­troversial letter was leaked, where Rudd said it was difficult to know whether or not the UK would hit its 2020 renewable energy targets. So her comment could be read as her asking the public to pay less attention.

In early September 2016, the Energy and Climate Change committee con­cluded that, on its current course, the UK will fail to provide for 15% of its energy needs from renewable sources by the end of the decade. Many in the energy-from-waste (EfW) sector are still awaiting clarity from the Govern­ment on a number of policies.

September 28, 2016

Madhya Pradesh Releases Decentralized Renewable Energy Policy

The government of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has introduced its 2016 policy for decentralized renewable energy systems with a particular focus on rooftop solar PV.

The aim is to reduce the burden on conventional sources of energy and lower distribution losses. Meanwhile, consumer electricity bills can be lowered and energy independence increased.

The technology neutral policy still has the major focus on distributed solar PV rooftop systems as they have “the largest potential for mass replication amongst consumers and small independent power producers”, according to the state policy makers.

September 26, 2016

California Law Targets Methane Emissions

Enforcement could encourage more organics recycling versus landfilling.

A greenhouse gas reduction bill signed into law in California has been designed to encourage greater organics recycling and byproducts anaerobic digestion while also clamping down on landfill methane emissions.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has signed SB 1383, which the governor’s office says “establishes the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane.”

September 25, 2016

New York Unveils Offshore Wind Blueprint

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced the release of the New York State Offshore Wind Blueprint — a plan to advance the development of offshore wind along New York’s coastline.
According to the governor’s office, the blueprint creates a framework for wind energy generation development off the coast of New York in the form of an offshore wind master plan.

The blueprint defines a New York Offshore Study Area and identifies wind energy areas (WEA) outside of that study area that will be reviewed with respect to grid interconnection, costs, and benefits they may bring to New York.

September 23, 2016

India To Add 4.8 Gigawatts Of Solar Power This Year

India, with its enormous and rapidly growing population, has a voracious appetite for electricity. Until recently, that appetite has been met by building more and more coal fired generating plants. Coal was cheaper than any other power source. So what if the emissions from all those coal plants slowly poisoned the population? India was on a mission to bring its citizens all the conveniences of the modern world and coal was the answer.

September 22, 2016

Pakistan To Add 1 GW Wind Energy Capacity Over Next 2 Years

Pakistan is expected to see a huge jump in wind energy installed capacity over the next two years as 21 projects are lined up for commissioning.

Government officials in Pakistan has told local media that almost two dozen wind energy projects are currently at various stages of development and 1,012 MW capacity is expected to be added to the grid by 2018.

All these projects are being developed in the eastern province of Sindh which shares international border with the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. These states have some of the largest installed wind energy capacities among all Indian states.

September 21, 2016

Sri Lanka To Introduce Cash Payouts In Solar Net-metering Program

In a bid to attract more consumers towards the net-metering scheme the Sri Lankan government is planning significant changes in the way excess power generation accounted.

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to introduced cash payout to consumers for the excess electricity they generate. At present, the excess electricity generation by rooftop solar power systems is carried forward to up to 10 years.

September 19, 2016

Los Angeles City Council Backs Planning for 100 Percent Renewable Energy

The Los Angeles City Council took a major step Friday toward making the city run on clean energy alone.

The Council directed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to develop a plan for going 100 percent renewable, including looking at where, when, and how the city should allocate resources to achieve that goal.

In the motion, Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Mike Bonin wrote that “the city has an opportunity to re-create its utility in a way that recognizes the potential for a fossil-free future, demonstrates global leadership in its commitment to clean energy, and protects ratepayers from the increasing costs of carbon-based fuels.” It passed unanimously, 12–0, on Friday. (Three council members were not in attendance.)

September 18, 2016

Nebraska Making Efficiency Push for State-Owned Buildings

Nebraska is making another stride on efficiency, launching an initiative to measure – and eventually reduce – the energy used in buildings throughout the state.

Last month, the federal Department of Energy preliminarily awarded the Nebraska Energy Office $300,000 to begin benchmarking energy use in all 3,762 state-owned buildings. The work is expected to get underway by early 2017.

September 16, 2016

With Hopes Fading, Lawmakers Meet On Energy Bill

Congressional efforts to approve the first major energy bill in nearly a decade got a jump-start Thursday as lawmakers convened a long-delayed meeting aimed at finding a bipartisan agreement.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, acknowledged that the election-year bill faces long odds but urged her colleagues to "prove the skeptics wrong" and "succeed where so many anticipate we'll fail."

Murkowski chairs the Senate Energy Committee and is among nearly 50 lawmakers from both parties who serve on a joint House-Senate panel tasked with developing an energy bill. The panel met for the first time Thursday after several months of delays.

September 15, 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs New Climate Change Laws

California is already on track to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Now under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, the state will ratchet up its fight against climate change by launching an ambitious campaign to scale back emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

"This is big, and I hope it sends a message across the country," Brown said.

California reduced emissions by imposing limits on the carbon content of gasoline and diesel fuel, promoting zero-emission electric vehicles, and introducing a cap-and-trade system for polluters.

September 4, 2016

New Hampshire Sticks With Solar Net Metering, Which Voters Support

 Last Friday, Governor Maggie Hassan joined ReVision Energy co-founder Phil Coupe at Throwback Brewery in North Hampton for a ceremonial signing of HB1116 — New Hampshire’s landmark solar energy bill — which Governor Hassan officially signed into law in May.

HB1116 essentially doubled the Granite State’s net metering cap (from 50 MW to 100 MW) and called for a 10-month study by the Public Utilities Commission to look into the future of solar rate design in the state. This was a huge victory for solar advocates in response to a full-court press by monopoly utilities looking to gut the policy.

The ceremonial signing adds to growing momentum behind solar energy in New Hampshire, a key swing state in the upcoming US presidential election. Recent polling found overwhelming support for solar energy among critical independent voters, with 90% of those polled in favor of increased usage. 

August 26, 2016

Myanmar, Thailand told to exploit more solar, wind resources

Myanmar is moving to exploit solar and wind energy, but experts said such attempts must be stepped up to smoothen the country’s development.

Soe Soe Ohn, director of the national electrification project at the Rural Development Department, said solar energy offered high potential particularly in rural electrification.

Some homes are equipped with solar panels and more are in the pipeline to increase off-grid supply.

August 25, 2016

Beyond Growing Pains: Germany’s New Normal in Renewable Energy Policy

In July 2016, the German government decided to abolish the country’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewable electricity generation. Instead, the government now plans to auction contracts for renewable electricity deployment to the lowest bidders.

The FIT is a policy that basically forces electric utilities to buy renewable electricity from generators for a premium price. Since 1990, the German FIT had played a key role in making the country a pioneer in the use of renewable energy. Why did Germany replace the FIT after almost three decades of unparalleled growth in renewable electricity generation?

August 17, 2016

New Offshore Wind Requirement Leads to Price Worries in MA

New renewable power requirements in Massachusetts' comprehensive energy law could lead to rate hikes, according to business and industry officials.

"It really does have the potential to define the way we buy power and how we provide that power for the next generation, really," said Chris Geehern, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a business advocacy group. "It's very important for employers as ratepayers, and for individual homeowners who struggle with high costs as well."

August 16, 2016

Bill Would Remove Solar Power Cap in Guam

Guam agencies, commercial entities and private residents may be able to supplant even more of their energy use with solar power due to a measure proposing to pave the way for virtual net-metering. If enacted, Bill 363-33 would overhaul several aspects of Guam law regarding renewable energy and net metering, including doubling the cap for a residential customer's entrance capacity from 25 kilowatts to 50 KW. For nonresidential customers, the bill removes the current cap of 100 KW altogether. However, agencies must still adhere to law requiring approval from the Guam Power Authority to utilize renewable energy, according to the bill's main sponsor, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr.

August 9, 2016

N.Y. Gets Green Light On 50% By 2030 Clean Energy Standard

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., says that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the state’s clean energy standard, which will require 50% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

In its initial phase, utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power resources: specifically, 26.31% of the state’s total electricity load in 2017 and 30.54% of the statewide total in 2021.

According to Cuomo, the clean energy standard will add less than $2 to the average residential customer’s bill each month.

August 8, 2016

Renewable Energy Policy in Final Stage in Nambia

Nambia must address the problem of inadequate access to electricity (especially in rural areas), the challenge of extending affordable energy services to underserved populations and the need for self-sufficiency and energy independence.

The country must also ensure that the energy sector development is climate-resilient and able to secure energy access even in a non-stationary natural environment. 

Renewable energy, if developed strategically and with foresight, holds the solution to all these challenges. 

These are some of the statements included in the final draft of the renewable energy policy, which was presented to stakeholders during a one-day workshop held in Windhoek last Thursday.

August 7, 2016

New Alternative Energy Law Will Also Benefit Judea and Samaria

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked: It should be clear already that residents of Judea and Samaria are equal to all other citizens.

The Knesset Legislation Committee approved a bill that, if passed, would encourage investment in renewable energy by granting tax breaks to suppliers of electricity that is generated from alternative sources of energy.

As per the instruction of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the new law will also apply to suppliers in Judea and Samaria.

August 2, 2016

EP Should Maintain Renewable Fuel Standard

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) don’t agree on much — but then again, U.S. senators from different parties rarely seem to agree on anything these days.

That’s why it was encouraging to see democracy at work, when leaders from across the political spectrum recognized the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and decided to work across the aisle to make the program a success. That’s exactly what happened last month among 39 bipartisan champions of the RFS — including Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) — who sent a joint letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging the administration to stay true to the goals of America’s best renewable energy policy.

August 1, 2016

New Program Will Make D.C. A Leader On Renewable Energy

The nation’s capital will get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032, officials announced Monday.

The new, 50 percent renewable portfolio standard will require the District’s utilities to increase electricity from sources such as wind and solar from the current goal of 20 percent by 2020 to 50 percent by 2032, getting at least 5 percent from solar. In addition, under a jobs and installation program, more than 100,000 low-income D.C. households will be outfitted with solar over the next 16 years.

July 31, 2016

Catskill, NY Passes Solar Regulations

A new local law regulating the use of solar energy in the town of Catskill will soon be going into effect.

The Town Board recently held a public hearing on the law authorizing adoption of zoning provisions that would allow solar farms in the town and permit the addition of solar energy systems on individual homes.

Catskill Town Supervisor Doreen Davis said the town has been gauging a lot of interest from individual homeowners and solar energy companies who want to know the requirements the town has for alternative energy systems.

July 29, 2016

U.S. Government Makes up to $4.5 Billion in Loan Guarantees Available for EV Infrastructure

The new access to loan guarantees is part of a suite of actions that the Obama Administration has unveiled to support electric vehicles and charging stations.

EVs and charging infrastructure have received less attention from policymakers than renewable energy has.

July 28, 2016

In Ontario, Canada, FIT projects approved for MH, AH

The province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has approved a number of feed-in tariff (FIT) projects for Minden Hills and Algonquin Highlands. 

The IESO recently released a list of 936 renewable energy projects that were approved in the latest round of applications, more than 20 of them in Haliburton County. 

In Algonquin Highlands, five ground-mounted, solar projects were approved, all of them receiving support resolutions from Algonquin Highlands council last year. 

July 27, 2016

Why the Environment and Energy Merger Makes Sense for Australia

When it was announced that the Energy and Environment portfolios would be united some expressed concern the move represented a downgrade of the Environment portfolio.

Under the new arrangements, Josh Frydenberg will take up the job of Minister for the Environment and Energy and a new Department of the Environment and Energy will be created by adding Energy matters to the existing Department of the Environment.