February 8, 2016

Karnataka Leads Indian States in Policy for Renewable Energy

Did you know that Karnataka is home to Asia’s first major hydro-electric power station, which was established back in 1902 at Shivanasamudra, and is currently working on plans to build the world’s largest solar park? The state also has an active policy for converting waste to energy, and provides concessions for companies who use recycled water from sewage. Karnataka continues to pioneer other initiatives and has been named a leader in the country in terms of renewable energy policy by two panels of experts from industry and government. This makes it all the more attractive for investors in this sector, especially with incentives such as reducing VAT for manufacturing of photo-voltaic cells.

February 3, 2016

Ohio Gov. Kasich Admits Renewables Are the Future, So Why Did He Freeze Ohio’s Clean Energy Mandate?

At a town hall event in New Hampshire, presidential candidate John Kasich paid lip service to growing a clean energy economy, despite having hindered the growth of Ohio’s wind, solar and other renewable energy industries.

It’s no surprise he’s talking about the importance of clean energy on the campaign trail—thousands of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have committed to voting on clean energy and a growing number of Ohioans are doing the same. It’s time for Gov. Kasich to start leading by example and support clean energy at home, not just touting empty rhetoric on the campaign trail.

February 2, 2016

Senate Begins Debate on Comprehensive Bipartisan Energy Bill

The Senate on Wednesday started debating its first comprehensive energy legislation since the George W. Bush administration, a bipartisan measure meant to update the nation’s power grid and oil and gas transportation systems to address major changes in the ways that power is now produced in the United States.

Since passage of the last major energy law, in 2007, the United States has gone from fears of oil and gas shortages to becoming the world’s leading producer of both fuels. The use of wind and solar power is rapidly accelerating as those sources become cheaper than fossil fuels in some parts of the country. And President Obama’s clean air regulations are reshaping the nation’s power systems, as electric utilities shutter coal-fired power plants and replace them with alternative sources.

January 27, 2016

New Hampshire Gov. Hassan Pushes Lawmakers for Expansion of 'Net Metering' Program

Gov. Maggie Hassan urged lawmakers to expand a state program that rewards homeowners and businesses using solar panels to generate electricity, despite protests from utilities that the program is being paid for by non-solar customers.

January 26, 2016

IRENA Holds First Legislators Forum to Discuss Renewable Energy Policy

Roughly 30 legislators, selected to represent all regions of the world, met in Abu Dhabi to support the transformation of the global energy system from the policy side. The Legislators Forum 2016, held on the eve of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) sixth Assembly, is the first event of its kind hosted by the Agency. The Forum seeks to facilitate dialogue between legislators on the deployment of renewables and critical elements of the energy transformation underway in countries around the world.

January 25, 2016

Vermont Lawmakers Brace For Contentious Renewable Energy Siting Debate

The renewable-energy industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Vermont economy. But the siting of solar and wind projects has begun generating public outcry in communities across the state, some lawmakers want to give towns and cities more control over the fate of projects in their borders.

Last week, in a packed committee room on the first floor of the Statehouse, Addison Sen. Chris Bray set the stage for what could be one of the more contentious debates of the 2016 legislative session.

January 24, 2016

Apple's Wind Turbine Makes Power Even When There's No Wind

Apple’s patent filings today reveal one concept outside their usual product-focused applications, detailing a method for harnessing wind power in a manner different from that employed in traditional turbines. Electricity gathered from a wind turbine would be converted to heat energy and stored in a “low-heat capacity fluid” in Apple’s patent, allowing it to be tapped on an as-needed basis whenever the wind dies down.

It all gets pretty technical, but painted in broad strokes, the system would potentially use the motion of the rotor shaft moving against a “low-heat capacity fluid” (such as ethanol or mercury, for instance) to generate heat through friction between the two surfaces. This can then be transferred from the storage fluid to a working fluid which is then boiled off to release steam. The steam powers a turbine, converting the energy to usable form.

January 22, 2016

EPA's Flawed Ruling Gives Control of Biofuel Market to Oil Industry

In arguing that U.S. ethanol producers are upset by the recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower the number of gallons of biofuels refiners are required to use in 2016, William O’Keefe and Jane Van Ryan completely miss the point in their Dec. 14 blog post “Ethanol producers and politics, looking for trouble.” 

The industry’s objection to the EPA’s final rule has little to do with the numbers. Rather, U.S. ethanol producers have objected to the methodology the EPA used in straying away from the statutorily imposed blending requirements. 

January 21, 2016

Sun Doesn't Set on Michigan's Energy Law

Key provisions in Michigan’s energy law will continue into the new year, despite requirements that electric utilities meet renewable energy and efficiency targets by the end of 2015.

Even though lawmakers haven’t adopted bills to update the state’s 7-year-old energy policy, those standards don’t sunset — meaning utilities only will have to maintain current benchmarks unless or until a new law is signed.

Without changes to policy, Michigan’s standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency don’t increase; utilities won’t be required to meet stricter goals than what they’ve already achieved.

Under current law, utilities have to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources — a target they’ve met — and to offer energy efficiency programs to customers with savings equal to 1 percent of total electric sales.

January 20, 2016

Perk Up: Renewable Energy Policy to Address Power Woes in Uttar Pradesh, India: ASSOCHAM

There is a need to upscale the renewable energy policy of Uttar Pradesh in order to mitigate the growing power shortage in the state, according to industry body ASSOCHAM.

"A clear roadmap with targets for development of renewable energy technologies based on overall resource potential is imperative to perk up renewable energy sector in UP", Secretary General of ASSOCHAM D S Rawat said while releasing a chamber paper here.

Description: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/images/pixel.gif
There is a huge scope to upscale renewable energy for meeting both electricity and thermal energy requirements in UP, said the paper titled 'Roadmap for tapping renewable energy potential in Uttar Pradesh'.

December 21, 2015

Energy Law Change Sours Facebook on NC

Changing attitudes toward renewable energy in state government are apparently prompting Facebook to unfriend North Carolina.

An official with the California-based social media company told a reporter at the COP21 climate summit in a Paris suburb recently that Facebook would probably not expand further in the state because of ebbing support in state government for clean energy.

"We are only considering states with strong policies and a determination to produce renewable energy," said Bill Weihl, head of sustainability at the company. He was quoted by Justin Catanoso in a story that appeared in slightly different forms in Triad Business Journal and The News and Observer of Raleigh.

December 20, 2015

Congress Passes Tax Credits for Solar and Wind: ‘Sausage-Making at Its Most Intense’

The biggest federal policy development of the year for renewables plays out on Congress’ last day of work in 2015.
 

Lawmakers in the House and Senate passed a spending package today that includes multi-year extensions of solar and wind tax credits, plus one-year extensions for a range of other renewable energy technologies.

The pair of bills, which included tax extenders and $1.1 trillion in funding to keep the government running for the next year, passed hours before lawmakers adjourned for the holidays.

December 18, 2015

FERC Removes Obstacles that Limit Distributed Renewable Energy in Colorado


In a July 1 ruling FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) cleared the way for Colorado’s Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), along with other electric co-ops, to step outside the bounds of a 40-year power supply contract with Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association and tap into local renewable energy supplies. FERC's ruling, which was unanimous, clarifies what had been deemed unclear wording in PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act), as well as Tri-State's regulatory status.

December 17, 2015

Congress Is on the Verge of Passing Multi-Year Extensions for Solar and Wind Tax Credits

Lawmakers reached a compromise as part of a spending package. Will there be enough votes to pass it this week?

 House Republicans unveiled legislation late Tuesday night that included multi-year extensions of tax credits for solar and wind. 

The credit extensions were attached to a broad set of spending measures as part of a negotiation with Democrats over lifting the ban on exports of U.S. crude oil.

December 16, 2015

California Net Metering 2.0 Keeps Retail Rates for Rooftop Solar

Regulators won’t let utilities slash payments to solar-equipped customers. But there are changes coming for rooftop systems.

California regulators have proposed a future net metering regime that will preserve retail payments for residential rooftop PV.

However, the proposal would add new interconnection costs and non-bypassable charges to distributed solar systems, while also imposing new minimum bill requirements and time-of-use rates that could complicate the solar value proposition.

December 15, 2015

In Scotland, Sturgeon Hopeful of Climate Deal, but Returns from Summit to Attacks Over Renewables Policy

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is "cautiously optimistic" that a global deal on climate change is imminent, but returned home from a UN summit in Paris to stinging criticism of her own Government's renewable energy policy.

The First Minister, who represented Scotland at the meeting of world leaders in the French capital, has claimed that her administration is setting an example to the world by imposing tough targets on greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy generation.

December 14, 2015

Mexico Completes Energy Reform with Passage of the Energy Transition Law

The law has established a program for Clean Energy Certificates and favors distributed generation. The goal of 35% clean energy by 2024 has been re-established, and businesses will have a 50% requirement by 2020. The bill is pending ratification in the Senate.

The law is the final program in Mexico's sweeping energy reform

December 13, 2015

In Paris, California Governor Brown, Ambassador Hartley Welcome 15 New Signatories to Under 2 MOU Climate Pact

On his second full day in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and U.S. Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley today welcomed 15 new signatories to the Under 2 MOU climate agreement at a signing ceremony hosted at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Paris.

“Make no mistake, as leaders of the world’s cities, states and regions, we are on the front lines in the battle to combat climate change,” said Governor Brown.

December 11, 2015

UAE Committed to Negotiations on Climate Change

UAE delegation at Paris summit highlights clean energy strategy among other efforts to tackle global warming

The UAE is committed to negotiations regarding the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in order to reach a global agreement that ensures practical and effective steps to curb the repercussions of climate change.

Speaking at the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21), Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Climate change affects the entire world and has economic, political and humanitarian consequences that pose a real threat to present and future generations.”

Dr Al Jaber, who is also Head of the UAE delegation participating in Paris talks, said the UAE has taken initiative for many years to deal with climate change and launched several initiatives to develop clean energy.

December 10, 2015

Can Renewable Energy Investment Survive Subsidy Cuts?

With more players chasing development, and lower absolute subsidies in many cases, Morningstar analysts think renewable energy investment returns may fall

All around the world hundreds of millions of people are pushing for higher living standards, leading to increased consumption of polluting resources. But the current consumption of fossil fuels, and related air pollution, water pollution and public health costs, is unsustainable – and governments around the world are acting.

With governments meeting in early this month for the Paris climate conference COP21, stronger commitments are possible, although we do not expect legally binding agreements on all parties to emerge from the talks.

December 9, 2015

In India, Final Touches to Recommendations for Amending Electricity Policy on Friday

The panel tasked with review of the National Electricity Policy is meeting on Friday to finalise its recommendations.The review is meant to address problems relating to integration of renewable energy which is intermittent by nature, financial viability of distribution companies, setting up of peaking and reserve power plants, scaling up of energy efficiency projects, improvement in reliability and quality of power supply, training of utility personnel and market competition.Similar changes are also being introduced in the National Tariff Policy.

December 8, 2015

Alex White Denies Rift With Alan Kelly Over Wind Turbine Rules

TDs must balance local concerns with ‘bigger picture’ of renewable energy, says Minister

Minister for Energy Alex White has denied a ministerial rift between himself and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly over draft wind energy guidelines.

The guidelines on the size of turbines, their shadow flicker, noise levels and the setback distance from dwellings, were published two years ago but a final decision has yet to be made.

December 7, 2015

EPA Rule Recognizes Biogas' Leading Role in the Advanced Biofuel Industry, says ABC

American Biogas Council says rule falls short of recognizing biogas industry's full potential.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its long anticipated final rule for the renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the years 2014-2016 on Dec. 1. According to the American Biogas Council (ABC)., Washington, the action recognizes the leading role among all advanced biofuel producers, including cellulosic ethanol, that biogas has been playing and will continue to play for generating renewable fuel for U.S. vehicles. This recognition is cause for celebration and should result in new biogas projects, but to really accelerate industry growth the biogas industry needs to see much higher volumes in future years that will adequately recognize the full strength of the U.S. biogas industry.

December 6, 2015

Malaysia Committed in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Malaysia aims to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 45 percent, by the year 2030.

The government in submitting its climate change action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), stated that it was pleased to communicate its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), together with relevant clarifying information.

December 4, 2015

Australia Needs a Fresh Start on Climate Policy: Authority

Australia needs to “reset” discussions related to climate policy, according to the government’s advisory body on climate policy. The Climate Change Authority makes the argument in the second draft report of its special review on policy.

In a statement released today, acting chair Stuart Allinson said, “it is time for a fresh look at the range of policy options… with a view to ‘resetting’ Australia’s public discussion”.