November 13, 2018

Senate Inquiry to Urge EV Targets for Australia, Range of Incentives

Independent Senator Tim Storer has hinted strongly that the Senate EV Inquiry he is chairing will recommend national targets to encourage electric vehicle uptake in Australia, along with a number of other incentives.

The inquiry’s report is due to be delivered by December 4 and is currently being finalized. Storer says he is keen to help kick-start the sector in Australia, which despite great enthusiasm from consumers is yet to take off because of a lack of available models, high costs and limited infrastructure.

November 11, 2018

In Australia, Victoria Rooftop Solar Rebate to be Extended to Renters, if Labor Re-elected

Victoria’s Labor government has announced plans to extend its rooftop solar rebate to the state’s tens of thousands of renters, if re-elected in the state poll two weeks from now.

The announcement – released alongside a proposal to extend the Victorian renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030 – builds on the Andrews government’s Solar Homes program, which aims to install 2.6GW of solar PV on 650,000 rooftops in the state through a generous rebate.

November 6, 2018

New York and California Lead the Charge Against Climate Rule Rollbacks

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is preparing for battle against the Trump administration over its attempt to dismantle the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

The Empire State, along with 26 Democratic state attorneys general, cities and counties, outlined its legal and policy rationale for opposing the Clean Power Plan replacement in public comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday — the deadline to weigh in on the Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) proposal.

November 5, 2018

From California to Texas, These are the US States Leading the Way in Solar

More than 2 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic solar capacity was installed in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2018, according to a recent report from Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

While this represents a 9 percent year-on-year decrease, the U.S. is still expected to more than double its photovoltaic capacity over the next five years.

November 4, 2018

Millions in Funding Announced for Renewable Energy Project in Mongolia

Project will supply clean electricity to around 260,000 people living in remote and less-developed towns in western Mongolia.

Communities are currently reliant on high-polluting and carbon-intensive electricity.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Mongolian government have signed loan and grant agreements relating to renewable energy and the improvement of tax administration and public investment management. The total cost for both the projects amounts to $85.6 million. 

October 31, 2018

Rules Near for Renewables on Farms and Open Space

The struggle between open space and renewable energy is playing out on Rhode Island farms.

Some farmers see wind turbines and solar fields as a boost to their modest and often unpredictable income. They say renewable energy can keep a farm practicing traditional agriculture instead of being forced to sell farmland — a tempting option given that Rhode Island farmland is the most expensive in the country.

October 30, 2018

Trump Signs Bill Streamlining Permits For Hydropower Plants

President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill from a Virginia congressman that streamlines the permitting process for certain hydropower plants, including a kind Dominion Energy is considering building.

The Roanoke Times reports under U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith's bill, federal regulators would have to make a decision on a closed-loop pumped storage hydropower project within two years of an application being submitted.

October 29, 2018

Puerto Rico Energy Bill: A Step Toward Renewables Or Another Scandal Waiting To Happen?

Last week, leading Puerto Rico senators introduced a major energy policy reform bill for the island, and a hearing on the bill is scheduled for Friday. The bill makes some noteworthy commitments to renewable energy, but unfortunately would do little to shut down the rush for natural gas development in Puerto Rico that threatens to crowd out actual investment in renewables.

October 28, 2018

Democrats Go All-In on Clean Energy

Gubernatorial candidates and potential White House hopefuls are embracing a total phase-out of ‘dirty’ fuels in coming decades.

Democratic candidates are no longer afraid of embracing the war on coal and oil.

At least six Democrats running for governor this year have embraced a goal of moving the U.S. completely to clean energy in coming decades, as have potential presidential contenders like Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren.

October 26, 2018

SADC Officially Launches Renewable Energy Centre in southern Africa

The establishment of a regional centre for renewable energy in southern Africa is expected to go a long way in ensuring the harmonisation of standards in a region inundated with an influx of various solar products and technologies.

This was one of the main sentiments expressed during the official launch of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) in Windhoek on 24 October.

October 25, 2018

Australia’s “Largest” Solar Microgrid Set to Slash Power Costs in Victoria Coal Hub

Victoria’s coal power hub, the Latrobe Valley, is set to host Australia’s “largest” renewable energy microgrid, after a $15 million solar and battery storage project proposed by a consortium of local companies was announced as the winner of a $3 million state government grant.

The Labor Andrews government said on Monday that a project led by SGSP Assets (Jemena) subsidiary, Ovida, had won the grant for the Latrobe Valley Microgrid Program, designed to cut energy bills for 750 small to medium sized businesses in the region.

October 23, 2018

Puget Sound Energy Launches Green Direct To Support 100% Renewable Goals

Washington State energy provider Puget Sound Energy announced this week that the second round of its Green Direct program has been fully subscribed, providing participating local councils and businesses with an opportunity to purchase 100% of their energy from local renewable energy sources.

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) announced on Tuesday that the second round offering of its Green Direct project had been fully subscribed, with participants benefiting from a mixture of wind and solar, including a 120 megawatt (MW) solar farm, Washington State’s largest such project. In addition, Green Direct is supported by the 137 MW Skookumchuck Wind Project which will be built in Lewis County, Washington. Further details about the project developers is not available, as of yet.

October 22, 2018

Scottish Power to Invest in Solar Energy for the First Time

Big six firm to focus exclusively on renewables, adding solar power to its windfarms

Scottish Power, one of Britain’s biggest energy companies, has said it will invest in solar power for the first time as part of its move away from fossil fuels.

The big six firm sold off its last gas-fired power stations to Drax Group this week to focus exclusively on renewables, which today consists of onshore and offshore windfarms.

But Keith Anderson, the company’s chief executive, told the Guardian he had decided to move into solar, too.

October 21, 2018

Rural India Offers a $50bn Opportunity for Clean Energy Innovations

The farming sector alone offers a potential $40bn marketplace, thanks to rice transplanting, pesticide spraying and grain harvesting – says the Council on Energy, Environment and Water thinktank.

Rural Indian communities, and particularly farmers, represent a $50 billion clean energy innovation opportunity, according to a report by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) thinktank, with agriculture alone offering a potential $40bn marketplace.

India’s non-farming rural sector offers an opportunity worth more than $13 billion, with clean energy innovations offering the chance to transform activities such as spinning, weaving, milling, refrigeration and heating.

October 18, 2018

Rooftop Solar Costs Fall 5% in Latest French Tender

Fifth rooftop auction sees farmers taking 40 percent of 230 megawatts.

France’s latest rooftop solar auction saw prices dropping 5 percent compared to a previous round in April, according to the government.

The tender, for 230 megawatts of rooftop solar across 392 projects, saw costs falling from an average of €80.80 (USD $92.77 at current exchange rates) in April to €76.80 ($88.22) per megawatt-hour. 

Larger projects within the tender went as low as €72.20 ($82.87) per megawatt-hour, marking a record for the French market, the government said. 

October 17, 2018

World's Largest Windfarm Opens Off Cumbria Coast

The world’s largest offshore windfarm, capable of supplying enough green energy to power around 600,000 homes, has opened off the coast of England.

The Walney Extension, a Danish-led and funded project in the Irish Sea off Cumbria, consists of 87 turbines covering an area of 145 square kilometres – roughly equivalent to 20,000 football pitches.

Nearly 12 miles off the coast of Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, the windfarm is capable of generating 695 megawatts and has been connected to the National Grid by 300km of cables.

October 16, 2018

India’s Renewable Energy Capacity to Reach 140 GW by 2023

The government is planning to ramp up the country’s green energy capacity base to 175 GW by 2022 from the current 72 GW

India’s renewable energy generation capacity is expected to reach 140 Gigawatt (GW) by 2022-23 and solar power would account for around a half of this followed by wind energy with 40 per cent, research and ratings agency CRISIL said in a report.

The government is planning to ramp up the country’s green energy capacity base to 175 GW by 2022 from the current 72 GW. 

October 14, 2018

Jamaica PM Upbeat About NWC's Renewable Energy Thrust

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is upbeat over consideration by the National Water Commission (NWC) to install solar panels to power operations at the Mona Reservoir in St Andrew, in a move to reduce energy cost.

“One project which is under contemplation is putting solar panels over the Mona Dam. If you manage to achieve that I think that would be quite significant,” Holness said.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 27th Annual Conference of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in St James Monday.

October 12, 2018

Climate Bill Would Move D.C. to 100% Renewable Energy by 2032

The District would adopt one of the nation’s most aggressive plans to cut carbon emissions, aiming to use entirely renewable sources of energy for the city’s power grid just 14 years from now, under new legislation proposed by five D.C. Council members.

The bill — which would also enhance the city’s green building standards and authorize the mayor to enter regional agreements with Virginia and Maryland to cut greenhouse gas emissions — comes at a moment of international reckoning with the problem of climate change.

October 11, 2018

IPCC: Renewables to Supply 70%-85% of Electricity by 2050 to Avoid Worst Impacts of Climate Change

The United Nations confronts a future with “the slimmest of opportunities remaining to avoid unthinkable damage.”

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require extreme changes, including markedly increasing the percentage of electricity from renewables by mid-century, according to a Sunday report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

The report, commissioned as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, presents a stark portrait of the future unless the world undertakes “rapid, fair-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in the next decade or so — changes that thus far have been difficult for decision-makers to agree on.

“The report shows that we only have the slimmest of opportunities remaining to avoid unthinkable damage to the climate system that supports life as we know it,” said Amjad Abdulla, an IPCC board member and chief negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States. 

October 10, 2018

California Community Solar Isn’t Working. SoCal Edison Wants to Redesign It

The utility would gather customers for community projects, alongside other new 100 percent clean electricity options.

Southern California Edison is asking regulators for permission to improve clean energy offerings for customers who can’t install rooftop solar.

The utility connects between 3,000 and 5,000 solar roofs per month, but many of its 15 million customers don’t own their homes or have access to a suitable rooftop for solar generation. By the company’s own admission, the existing program to serve those residents with community solar didn’t work well enough.

October 9, 2018

Vulture Funds Circle Spanish Solar as Windfall Looms

Spain may have to pay developers for retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs.

Spain’s solar industry is attracting foreign investors amid expectations that the Spanish government will be forced to repay cash withheld through retroactive cuts.

Miguel Ángel Martínez-Aroca, president of Anpier, Spain’s national association of photovoltaic energy producers, revealed the group’s members were being approached by so-called vulture funds, investors looking to buy distressed solar assets, earlier this summer.

October 8, 2018

Election 2018: Clean Energy’s Future Could Rise or Fall with These Governor’s Races

Governors have the power to set the agenda on renewable energy or throw up roadblocks to its progress. It's become an issue in several races this year.

Some of the most consequential elections for climate policy this fall could be the 36 governor's races, where a blue wave could position clean energy advocates as a significant counterforce against the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda.

October 5, 2018

How a New California Law Will Expand the State’s Competitive Energy Market

Commercial and institutional customers can now buy more power from competitive retail providers, while regulators are set to explore further program expansion.

California has put multiple major energy policies into law this year: SB 100 and its new 100 percent clean energy mandate, SB 700 and its extension of behind-the-meter energy storage incentives, and wildfire utility relief bill AB 901. So it was easy to overlook another piece of legislation, signed into law last week, that will expand the state’s competitive energy market, known as direct access. 

October 4, 2018

Voters to Decide if Worthington Should Adopt an Energy-Aggregation Plan

Worthington wants to shrink its residents’ electric bills — and its carbon footprint — and city officials say Issue 39 can make that happen.

If voters approve the issue on Nov. 6, the city would have permission to go directly to energy suppliers to secure a bulk price that, when divided among residents and small businesses, could lead to cheaper electric bills.

The city says the agreement also would allow it to increase its reliance on renewable energy.