September 20, 2017

Turkey Adds 553 MW of Solar in H1 2017

The country’s cumulative installed PV capacity has now surpassed 1.5 GW, while another 500 MW is expected to be installed by the end of 2017.

Turkey had reached 1,503 MW of installed PV capacity as of the end of June 2017, according to statistics released by the Turkish solar association Günder, which are based on the country’s Energy Market Regulatory Board’s monthly Electrical Statistics Report.

September 19, 2017

Illinois Utilities Begin to Design Community Solar Programs Under New Energy Law

Illinois utilities and regulators are putting into motion plans for community solar programs under the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act that passed last year.

In filings with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) last month, ComEd outlined proposed terms and conditions for “Community Supply,” also referred to as community solar. Ameren Illinois has also recently filed paperwork with the ICC outlining changes to net metering policies as the state moves to implement community solar.

September 18, 2017

Argentine Chamber of Deputies Gives Preliminary Approval to Draft Bill for Distributed Generation

The bill, which will now have to be approved by the Senate, is intended to introduce a net metering scheme for residential and commercial PV

The Chamber of Deputies of Argentina has approved with 3 votes against and 159 votes in favor the long-awaited draft bill for the development of distributed generation, which is expected to create the conditions for the development of residential and commercial rooftop solar on deck in the country of the Southern Cone.

September 17, 2017

Officials Vote on Energy Loan Law in Fulton County, NY

Would loan funds for renewable energy systems to qualified applicants

 Fulton County supervisors on Monday passed a local law establishing a sustainable energy loan program in the county.

Action followed a public hearing at the County Office Building at which no one spoke.

The new law, which takes effect upon county filing with the state secretary of state, amends County Code to establish an Energize NY Benefit Financing Program in the county. The program would provide funds to qualified property owners in the county to finance the “acquisition, construction and installation” of renewable energy systems for those who promise to make energy efficiency improvements.

September 13, 2017

End the Use of Plastic Bags or Face up to Four Years in Prison, says Kenya.

"£30,000 ($40,000) fines and up to four years behind bars are threatened to those producing, selling or even using single-use plastic bags."

Kenya has introduced a new law designed to cut the use of single-use plastic bags that are somewhat more punitive than the United Kingdom's 5p minimum charge – with fines and jail time both possible. Kenya has joined more than 40 nations worldwide attempting to drastically reduce the number of bags in circulation, but the east African country’s approach is by some distance the most aggressive: £30,000 ($40,000) fines and up to four years behind bars are threatened to those producing, selling or even using single-use plastic bags.

September 7, 2017

Nevada PUC Approves Net Metering Rules Expected to Reboot the State’s Rooftop Solar Industry

The draft order approved Friday puts an end to many months of contentious deliberation.

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) unanimously approved a draft order on Friday that establishes new rules and regulations for how net-metered solar customers will be compensated in the state, bringing an end to nearly two years of policy debate.

“Sometimes the best way to move forward is to take a step back, adjust direction, and restart again,” the order states. “That is what Nevada is doing with rooftop solar and net energy metering.”

September 6, 2017

Pueblo, Colorado Targets All-Renewables Future To Bolster Local Economy

Pueblo, Colorado, earlier this year became the first city to commit to an all-renewables future since President Donald Trump took office. The new administration continues to cast significant doubt over the future of federal policies designed to promote clean energy and distributed generation, virtually ensuring the best energy policy will sprout from state and local leadership.

Under the plan approved by the Pueblo City Council, the city of roughly 110,000 residents will transform its energy economy between now and 2035. The community has begun to integrate renewables, including through community solar gardens. In addition, Pueblo will host a new $12 million, 7.5-MW hydroelectric generation facility spearheaded by the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

August 28, 2017

Renewable Energy Transition Surges in Southwest

As renewable energy costs continue to fall, the path toward a clean energy economy has never looked better.

Price drops in the West have been particularly dramatic. From Texas to Arizona to Colorado, states across the southwestern U.S. are taking advantage and setting an example for the rest of the nation as they move away from coal and slash dangerous carbon emissions. Lawmakers and power companies alike have doubled down on renewable energy and climate action, accelerating the transition to a cleaner, cheaper and healthier energy system.

August 27, 2017

Scottish Government Extends Support for Offshore Wind Accelerator

The Carbon Trust said that the Scottish government has extended its financial support for the Carbon Trust’s collaborative research, development and demonstration program for offshore wind.

The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) program will benefit from an additional £1.5 million (US$1.9 million) in funding to help drive new technologies to market and create new industry standards and best practices. The government last year made an initial £1.5 million investment in the OWA program.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said in a statement: “The Carbon Trust have done a fantastic job so far in reducing the costs of offshore wind, as well as encouraging collaboration across the public and private sectors to improve the industry as a whole. The potential benefits of offshore wind energy in Scotland are enormous, which is why the Scottish Government is committed to its development. By continuing to invest in it, not only are we stimulating economic change for the better, but we’re also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland and helping to fight the impacts of climate change.”

The OWA program’s collaborators include DONG Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, innogy, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall.

August 25, 2017

Renewable Energy Target of 40pc by 2025 to be Enshrined in Law by Victorian Government in Australia

Victoria's ambitious renewable energy targets of 40 per cent by 2025 will be cemented in law, with legislation introduced to State Parliament to protect their future.

The Andrews Government is claiming the targets and investment in new projects will help reduce power bills.

The Government said its modelling — which it has not released yet — showed on average, household power bills will drop $30 a year.

August 24, 2017

Scotland and Wales Environment Ministers Band Together on Brexit Strategy

Environment ministers from the two nations pledge to work together to protect devolved green agendas

Environment ministers from Scotland and Wales have promised to work together on Brexit amid fears the UK government's approach to withdrawal could hamper their climate agendas.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham met yesterday with her Welsh counterpart Lesley Griffiths in Cardiff to discuss their concerns over the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is designed to translate EU law into the UK statute book.

August 23, 2017

Puerto Rico Plans to Add 240 MW of Solar by June 2019

The new PV capacity will be part of a plan to add 1.5 GW of new generation capacity and to address the state of emergency in the island’s electricity system.

The head of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) stated in a press conference that 240 MW of solar power will be added to the country’s energy system in the frame of a plan aimed at addressing the state of emergency of the electricity network.

August 22, 2017

New Illinois Law Encourages ComEd to Champion Community Solar

Under a new tariff structure, consumers could subscribe to community solar projects and get credits on their bills equal to their share of the project.

Could Illinois’ new Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) provide an impetus to a new net metering-like structure for community solar projects? If a new proposal from ComEd is approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) (which regulates utilities in the state, that could become a reality.

August 17, 2017

Mass. Pushing Ahead With Renewable Energy Initiative

Proposals are flooding in to help Massachusetts ramp up its reliance on renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydropower.

The state has received nearly four dozen bids for a contract to add more renewable power to its energy portfolio — enough to power nearly 200,000 homes. The aim is to reduce Massachusetts’ reliance on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas-emitting power plants, major contributors to climate change.

August 16, 2017

Solar Revolution: New State Law Aims to Make it Easier to go Green in NC

Dan Kessler wanted to save money when he decided to install solar panels on his family’s Gray’s Creek house.

“One of the biggest reasons was because our electric bill was like $200 and some a month,” Kessler said.

“And I look at it as a ‘rent or own.’ If I pay $200 to an electric company, then what do I really see out of it?”

Solar panels mounted on rooftops aren’t a common sight in North Carolina neighborhoods, but that may be changing. The state legislature in July approved a wide-reaching bill that aims to grow the already burgeoning solar industry. In addition to the expansive solar farms in rural counties already generating power for utility companies, this new law is meant to make it easier for homeowners and businesses to install their own panels.

August 11, 2017

Gov. Cooper Signs Solar Energy Bill Despite Controversial Wind Project Moratorium in NC

Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law on Thursday legislation promoting solar energy in the state and issued an executive order encouraging wind-power development despite an 18-month moratorium on wind projects included in the bill.

Cooper said his executive order clarifies that wind projects can proceed through the initial permit stages – and that the state should do all it can to help them along – regardless of the temporary ban.

August 10, 2017

Ministry Aims to Revise Law to Push Ahead with Energy Policies in South Korea

The South Korean government is setting out to amend its energy law and elevate the status of the national energy committee to push ahead with its energy policies, which are already facing resistance from the relevant industries and residents.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Aug. 2 that it had submitted a revision proposal to the National Assembly for review in the hope that it will be put to a vote at the plenary session before the end of the year.

August 9, 2017

Community Solar Goes to Washington

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate aims to move community solar forward nationwide. The bill would make permanent a U.S. Department of Energy program that promotes community solar, as well as boosting community solar in low-income communities and encouraging federal government participation in community solar.

Can new federal legislation help bring solar access to everyone?

August 8, 2017

‘Solar for All’: Can Illinois Energy Bill Live Up to Ambitious Promises?

After months of negotiations and surviving a contentious budget battle in the state legislature, the hard work of enacting Illinois’ comprehensive energy bill is underway.

The Future Energy Jobs Act calls for the installation of about 2,700 MW of solar in Illinois by 2030, a dramatic increase from the state’s current 75 MW.

“It’s going to be crazy, and it’s going to be really exciting,”said Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. “We’ve seen such interest from around the country, from all types of developers focused on helping get this legislation built out correctly.”

August 3, 2017

Michigan Program Finances First Megawatt of Solar, With Ambitious Goals Ahead

A clean energy financing program in Michigan reached a milestone last month when it helped homeowners and businesses install 1 MW of solar energy across the state.

Michigan Saves — which was created by a $6.5 million Michigan Public Service Commission grant in 2009 — acts as a green bank by financing clean energy projects at homes and businesses. While it deals mostly in energy efficiency projects, it also removes the barrier of high upfront capital costs for solar installations.

August 2, 2017

Argentina’s Future Legislation for Distributed Generation Takes Shape

The Parliament’s Committee for Energy and Fuels has reached an agreement for a unified text of the net metering scheme that is expected to finally support residential and commercial PV and other distributed generation renewable sources across the country.

Argentina may soon have its first regulatory framework for distributed generation from solar and renewable energy sources.

According to the local renewable energy industry body Cámara Argentina de Energías Renovables (CADER), the Committee for Energy and Fuels at the Chamber of Deputies has reached an agreement for a unified text of the future law, which is expected to authorize the sale of excess power to the grid from renewable energy power generators for residential, commercial and industrial use.

August 1, 2017

Pakistan Continues Initiative to Increase Reliance on Wind Power

After a Chinese investment in renewable energy, Pakistan opens a new wind farm to bolster energy production and decrease reliance on fossil fuels.

Pakistan is beginning to reap the benefits of Chinese investment in renewable energy infrastructure, with the opening of the first wind power project constructed as part of the huge China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, aimed at overhauling the country’s transport and energy systems.

July 31, 2017

U.S. House Rolls Out 100% Renewable Energy Bill

The House version of a landmark 100% clean energy bill rolled out earlier this year has been introduced by U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.; Jared Huffman, D-Calif.; and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.

According to the lawmakers, the “100 by ‘50 Act,” calling for 100% clean energy by 2050, is the first bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that fully envisions a complete transition off of fossil fuels for the U.S.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.; and Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced the Senate version in April. Likewise, their “100 by ‘50 Act” also lays out a roadmap for a transition to 100% clean energy no later than 2050.

July 30, 2017

Court Ruling Affirms States’ Authority On Renewable Energy Policy

States’ authority to enact clean energy policy was significantly bolstered last week in an important federal district court decision. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a challenge from fossil fuel companies that objected to an Illinois program to support nuclear generation because it hurt their bottom line.

The case is important far beyond the nuclear context because it demonstrates that states have many strong tools to dictate their energy mix (including advancing renewable energy) without violating the Constitution or federal energy laws.

July 28, 2017

California Assembly Committee Clears Measure for 100% Renewables Goal

The California Assembly’s Utilities and Energy Committee last week approved SB 100, moving the state one step closer to its 100% renewable energy goal. 

SB 100 would increase California’s current renewable portfolio standard to 60% by 2030 and establish a goal of meeting 100% renewable energy by 2045.

If the bill becomes law, California would be the second state, after Hawaii to strive for 100% renewables. But unlike Hawaii, California's 100% renewable energy goal is not a mandate.