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.

July 26, 2016

Legal Shake-Up Threatens Germany’s Energy ‘Revolution’

In Germany, people’s power has wrought a revolution.

All over the country, citizens have formed co-operatives to build wind farms and solar arrays, in a grassroots push that has helped to make Germany a world leader in renewables.

The change is most striking in places like Saerbeck, a village of 7,200 people in the north-west that is a pioneer in collectively-owned carbon-free power. Thanks to a €75m investment in a wind-and-solar park, it is well on the way to becoming entirely self-sufficient in energy.

July 25, 2016

Chile’s Roadmap to a Renewable Future

Recent changes in legislation concerning energy generation in Chile could give the renewables market a significant boost.

In the past few years the Chilean energy market has experienced great changes and advances that benefit the industry and boost the development of renewable energy projects. These changes have led to a large development of renewable energy initiatives and to the consolidation of new companies and players in the energy sector. In 2015 almost 300 renewable initiatives were presented for environmental evaluation and renewables accounted for 76% of the investment in electricity generation, which demonstrates the importance of the industry. 

July 24, 2016

Chile Passes Electricity Transmission Law Benefitting Solar

Chile has aggressively moved forward on an electricity transmission law which benefits solar, as well as other sources of energy.

Following the Chilean Congress’s passage of a major electricity transmission law, experts contend this will help the development of both renewable and non-renewable energy projects in the country.

Under the adopted policy, a new national interconnected power system will be established alongside a new independent operator.

July 22, 2016

UK Disbands Energy and Climate Change Department

The new UK government has disbanded the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will now be responsible for policies regarding renewable energies.

Greg Clark has been appointed as new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change,” he stated. The renewable energy sector especially took note of the fact that “climate change” is no longer present in the name of the new department which Clark is to lead now.

July 21, 2016

Building Rules Must Include Green Norms in Maharashtra, India

Nagpur city council ruled that henceforth government buildings (new or renovated) will follow green building concepts. The state of Maharashtra has framed a renewable energy policy favouring the use of solar water heaters. Tamil Nadu recently ordered that one third of terraces be reserved for generating solar power and introduced ‘net metering’. But how much more does ‘green’ need to get mandated to become transformational?

July 20, 2016

Gov. Raimondo Signs Renewable Energy Measures into Law in RI

 Joined by state legislators and other officials on Thursday, Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, D-R.I., ceremonially signed into law several bills meant to advance renewable energy in Rhode Island. Furthermore, the governor and SolarCity announced that the rooftop solar company will be expanding its operations in the state.

According to a press release from the General Assembly, one of the bills was H.7413A/S.2185A, which extends the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from 14.5% by 2019 to 40% by 2035. State lawmakers approved the bill in late June, and the governor technically signed it shortly afterwards.

July 19, 2016

House Approves Bipartisan Amendment to Advance Wave and Water Technologies under the Energy and Water Appropriations Act

By: Vartan Badalian, Cleantech Law Partners

The United States is in the middle of a transition period away from nonrenewable sources of energy. In order to secure a strong renewable energy economy, a wide diversity of energy sources is a must. One source that has come into recent media attention within the clean energy marketplace is hydropower – specifically, wave energy.

Wave energy is clean energy. It’s sustainable and lucrative and provides a way to produce mass amounts of energy when the technology interacts with ocean waves. The energy that it can yield depends on wave height, speed, length and density. While solar and wind energy have become the mainstream clean energy go-to, thus dropping in price, less can be said about wave energy. However, unlike solar or wind energy, which can potentially become stagnate at certain times throughout the day, wave energy is constant. Ocean waves seemingly never come to a halt. This is what makes it a very interesting sector to increase investments in, and what the recent bipartisan amendment hopes to illustrate.

July 18, 2016

Poland: Act On Windfarms And Amendments To The Act On Renewable Energy Sources

On 27 June 2016 the Polish President signed a new bill introducing changes to the Act on Renewable Energy Sources ("Amending Act"). On 22 June 2016 the President signed a new Act on investments in wind power plants ("Act on Windfarms"). Both acts have been widely criticised by the renewable energy sources ("RES") industry, and on reading they suggest that the current Polish government is willing to significantly reduce support for RES.

July 17, 2016

New Renewable Energy Policy Likely to be Ready by Month-End in Bihar, East India

Bihar is eyeing an ambitious capacity target of 3,500 MW renewable energy (RE) by 2021-22 and a new comprehensive policy for promotion of unconventional energy sources to achieve the objective is likely to be ready by the end of the month.

On Monday, Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) organised a consultation workshop of all stakeholders to discuss the draft RE policy, which has already been prepared by the power company.

July 10, 2016

Rhode Island Clean Power Boost

US state almost triples renewables standard to 40% by 2035

Rhode Island has nearly tripled the state’s renewable energy standard to 40% by 2035, up from 14.5% by 2019.

Governor Gina Raimondo signed the legislation into law this week.

“By raising its renewable energy standard, Rhode Island is sending the signal that it’s open for business to renewable energy developers who will invest billions of dollars into the state economy,” said American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan.

According to the Wind Energy Foundation, growing wind power in Rhode Island could result in $240m in electricity bill savings by 2050 and up to $744m in savings through lower gas prices.

Rhode Island joins a growing number of states, including California, Oregon, Vermont and Hawaii, raising their existing renewable energy laws.


July 8, 2016

Massachusetts Needs a New Energy Law

The good news about the Senate energy legislation approved last week is that it means both chambers and the governor have now backed strong plans to help the Commonwealth break its dependency on fossil fuels. The bad news is that one of the few substantive differences between the chambers involves a hot-button issue that could derail a compromise if legislators allow it: Cape Wind.

Massachusetts needs a new energy law to help meet its deadline of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. The state has made great progress, shedding coal and oil-fired generators in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas, but will not reach the goal without tapping renewable energy sources faster.

July 7, 2016

10 States Blocking the Power of the Sun

Some of the sunniest states in the country are actively blocking rooftop-solar development through overtly lacking and destructive policy landscapes, according to a Center for Biological Diversity report.

10 states that are blocking distributed solar potential through overtly lacking and destructive distributed solar policy.

These 10 states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — account for more than 35 percent of the total rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) technical potential in the contiguous United States, but only 6 percent of total installed distributed solar capacity, according to a March 2016 report released by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Agency.