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.

September 30, 2018

100% Renewable Energy: Cleveland Sets a Big Goal as It Sheds Its Fossil Fuel Past

Cleveland joins more than 80 U.S. cities that have committed to get all their electricity from renewable sources. But in Ohio, that might be easier said than done.

Cleveland's climate action plan includes improving energy efficiency in buildings to help lower electricity demand as it shifts to 100 percent renewable power. 

Cleveland, Ohio, which has worked for years to reinvent itself as it sheds its industrial past, has become the latest major city to announce plans to shift to 100 percent renewable energy sources for electricity.

September 28, 2018

Canada to Boost Support for Riskier Forms of Renewable Energy

Project by Irish-based DP Energy aims to have turbines producing energy into grid by 2020

Millions of dollars in subsidies for a Nova Scotia tidal project is just one of the coming announcements as Ottawa boosts riskier forms of renewable energy, says the federal natural resources minister.

Amarjeet Sohi said Friday at a G7 energy ministers meeting that a $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy tides will be among a series of subsidies given to kickstart innovations in emerging sectors across the country.

September 27, 2018

Australia Set to Run on 100% Renewable Energy Within 15 Years

Australia is set to reach its target of 100% renewable energy by the early 2030’s, provided current uptake of renewable energy options in the residential and commercial sectors remains strong.

The Australian renewables energy industry will install more than 10 gigawatts of new solar and wind power before the end of 2019 and if that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% of its renewables target in 2025.

September 26, 2018

New Jersey Approves Largest Single-State Offshore Wind Solicitation to Date

The state is seeking 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity to commence construction before federal tax credits expire.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously on Monday to open a solicitation for 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity — the largest single-state offshore wind solicitation in the U.S. to date.

The new order marks the first step in meeting New Jersey’s goal to deploy 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030.

September 23, 2018

Deep Decarbonization

Building renewable energy projects isn’t the hard part—it’s managing the shift to a low-carbon economy, says CPUC President Michael Picker.

“Decarbonization” was the catchword of last week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

Stakeholders from all over the world made new commitments to combating climate change. But the spotlight was really on California, where Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic bill into law requiring the state to power its electric grid with 100 percent carbon-free resources by 2045.

September 18, 2018

Solar Broke Records All Over Europe This Summer

And more could be broken next year as deployment picks up.

This year saw new solar output highs across Europe as summer temperature records were smashed.

In the U.K., solar broke the record for weekly output between June 21 and June 28, producing 533 gigawatt-hours of energy. The spike in output led solar to take over from gas as the number-one energy source in the country, said the European PV industry body SolarPower Europe.

September 17, 2018

How Community Choice Aggregation Fits Into California’s Clean Energy Future

CCAs are pushing ahead of California utilities’ renewable energy goals—and facing challenges in sharing the burden with investor-owned utilities.

This month, California enacted one of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the country: getting 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. 

California’s community-choice aggregation (CCA) providers say they’re ready to hit that milestone — and on an accelerated schedule. 

September 16, 2018

California’s Road to Carbon Neutrality Runs Through the State’s Buildings

At a Global Climate Action Summit side event, a high-level panel grappled with solutions for building decarbonization in California.

California must build housing closer to transit and jobs, and wring carbon from new and existing buildings, if the state is to meet its ambitious climate targets.

That was the message delivered by a high-level panel at a Global Climate Action Summit side event convened in San Francisco on Wednesday by Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit.

September 9, 2018

California Legislative Roundup: What Passed, and What Didn’t

Our review of the key energy and environmental bills of the state’s just-ended session, from clean energy and batteries to EV charging and green buildings.

California lawmakers ended last week with a long list of energy and environmental bills that they passed — and a shorter list of those that failed to come to a vote. 

We’ve already covered the highest-profile bills that managed to win enough votes to move on to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for a signature by Sept. 30. Those include SB 100 and its new 100 percent clean energy mandate; SB 700 and its extension of behind-the-meter energy storage incentives; and AB 901, the sprawling and controversial bill to give utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric ways to manage the multibillion-dollar costs of wildfires past and future. 

September 8, 2018

Germany Drives Onshore Wind Growth in Northwest Europe

But changes are coming to region’s largest wind market, according to a new Wood Mackenzie report.

A record year for installations helped Germany power growth in onshore wind across Northern and Western Europe, figures from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables show. 

The analyst group’s Northern and Western Europe Onshore Wind Power Outlook showed Germany notched up 5.3 gigawatts of new capacity in 2017, helping to deliver a record year for onshore wind installations in the region.

September 4, 2018

New York Looks to Europe for Successful Offshore Wind Transmission Models

A New York Power Authority-led study will determine the most cost-effective means to build transmission for 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

New York state will look to the world leader in offshore wind deployment for advice on how to connect sea-based projects to mainland grids.

European nations have together installed nearly 16,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. The United States has thus far managed just one 30-megawatt project, the Block Island Wind Farm, off Rhode Island.

September 3, 2018

California Assembly Passes Historic 100% Carbon-Free Electricity Bill

The world’s fifth-largest economy will have to eliminate carbon emissions from electricity by 2045.

The California State Assembly passed a historic bill Tuesday to decarbonize is electricity system, putting clean energy advocates one procedural vote away from a major victory.

The Senate already passed the bill last year, 25 to 13. The Assembly version now heads back to the Senate for final approval, before heading to Governor Jerry Brown's desk. The Senate has until the legislative session closes on Friday to hold the vote.

September 2, 2018

California Passes Bill to Extend $800M in Incentives for Behind-the-Meter Batteries

SB 700 would extend the Self-Generation Incentive Program by about $166 million per year through 2023.

There are still a number of important energy bills awaiting their fate on the final day of California’s legislative session. But extending the state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) to boost behind-the-meter energy storage deployments over the next five years isn’t one of them. 

August 28, 2018

Solar and Wind, Plus More Geothermal

AB 893 would mandate that utilities and CCAs buy 2,500 megawatts of solar and wind by 2022, before federal tax credits expire.

On Thursday, California legislators were introduced to a new clean energy bill, one with a decidedly shorter-term goal than shifting to a 100 percent clean energy grid by 2045 (SB 100), or creating a pan-Western region grid over the coming decade (AB 819).  

Instead, the new bill, AB 893, aims to force utilities to buy about 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power over the next four years — a move its supporters say will fill a widening gap in the state’s utility-scale renewables market, and save hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits that could otherwise be lost. 

August 27, 2018

Senator Heinrich: A 100% Clean Energy Grid Is ‘Completely Doable’

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) outlines his new “Clean Energy Vision” in a special episode of Political Climate.

Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich is the son of a utility lineman, and one of just a few engineers in Congress. 

Clean energy piqued the New Mexico lawmaker’s interest at an early age, while he was building and racing solar-powered cars in college. But for most of his life, he says, it was hard to imagine a world in which renewables could power more than 20 or 30 percent of the electric grid.