December 19, 2018

New Governors Could Mandate 34 GWac More Solar, Wind by 2030


Illinois, Nevada show most potential for solar

A new analysis by Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables finds that the renewable energy and climate ambitions of governors elected on November 6 could increase the total market for solar in five states by 17.7 GWac, if all five pass 50% by 2030 mandates.

November 6 was a big night for renewable energy and climate policies. While voters rejected a 50% by 2030 renewable energy mandate in Arizona and a carbon tax in Washington, they also elected governors in five states that have called for stronger renewable energy mandates.

Four more either pledged to commit to the Paris Agreement or are in states that have already joined an alliance of states committed to meeting Paris Agreement goals. Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables has identified renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies as the most likely way to meet those goals, bringing the total number of states that could potentially see RPS increases to nine.

In a new report, Wood Mackenzie looks at the market ramifications of states passing 50% by 2030 renewable energy mandates. This is less than the 100% being called for by three of these governors, however both timelines and total ambition of the final policies will likely be decided through political processes.

The report found that if all five pass 50% by 2030 RPS policies, this could increase the total solar that is built by 2030 by 17.7 GWac, and the total wind by 16.5 GW. These volumes and ratios are based on current electric demand and the current wind/solar ratio in each state, and it is important to note that these numbers are outside of other renewable development which may happen for other reasons, including to meet current RPS mandates or driven by factors such as voluntary utility and corporate procurement.

The state that would see the most solar market growth as the result of a more ambitious RPS is Illinois, which at 9.1 GWac makes up more than half of the total anticipated increase. This is doubtless due to the much larger population in Illinois, including 8 million residents in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, than other states that are considering raising their mandates.

Wood Mackenzie has expressed concerns regarding Illinois’ financial condition, and it is also unclear how the state’s sizable nuclear fleet would fit into all of this. However, the firm points to a large interconnection queue for wind and solar projects, and also the state’s ability to import capacity from other wind-rich states in the region.

The state with the 2nd-greatest potential for more solar is Nevada. And while Governor-elect Steve Sisolak (D) has called for putting the state on a path to 100% renewable energy, the initial path forward is up to Nevada voters. November 6 saw an electoral victory for the state’s Question 6, which calls for 50% renewables by 2030, however the bill must go to the voters one more time before becoming law.

Wood Mackenzie is projecting that all new capacity under an RPS in Nevada will come from solar, not wind, and that this additional 4 GW by 2030 would more than double the current volume in the state. Nevada is one of only three states where solar met more than 10% of in-state electricity demand in 2017, and the state also has developed its geothermal resources.

Political and infrastructure constraints

The report projects that New Mexico, Colorado and Minnesota would each deploy from 1-2 GWac of additional solar to meet a 50% by 2030 RPS. In Colorado and Minnesota wind is expected to dominate capacity additions, but none of these states have particularly large populations and electric demand.

Wood Mackenzie also included Michigan in the report, but as major actors in this state do not appear to be contemplating an RPS increase we have omitted this from our summary of the findings.

The firm also noted that Democratic governors who have taken office in Kansas and Wisconsin are unlikely to pass RPS policies with Republican control of both houses of each state’s legislature. 

Wood Mackenzie additionally did not provide forecasts for Connecticut and Maine, due to a variety of factors. This includes a preference in the region for importing Canadian hydropower, and “severe transmission constraints” in Maine.



December 18, 2018

Renewable Industry Urges Congress to Modify the Tax Code to Include Energy Storage


The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), alongside a broad coalition of energy trade and advocacy organizations, filed a letter to urge the US Congress to modify the tax code to include energy storage as an eligible technology for the investment tax credit (ITC).  Energy storage systems are critical to modernization of the electric grid. The National Governors Association has underscored the multiple benefits of energy storage to save utilities, businesses, and households money while enhancing grid reliability and resilience.  Energy storage systems are also fuelneutral and help any generation resource connected to the grid become more efficient, productive, and competitive.

December 17, 2018

New State Governors Committed to Solar and Renewables


Contrary to President Trump, more and more U.S. states are setting their sights on an ambitious expansion of solar and other renewables. Five new state governors elected in the midterms are committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity. Several others are also pro-clean energy and pro-solar.

Jared Polis, the new governor-elect of Colorado, wants to transition the state to 100% renewable power by 2040. Governor-elect Ned Lamont’s aim for Connecticut is at least 50% renewable electricity by 2030, and 100% by 2050. Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker wants to bring Illinois “toward 100% clean, renewable energy,” according to his campaign website. Nevada’s new governor-elect Steve Sisolak says that “I’d like to get us on the road to 100%” renewables and “enable community solar,” underlining that “clean energy creates jobs.” Governor-elect Janet Mills has proclaimed her goal for Maine to run “virtually entirely” on renewables by 2050. Oregon’s reelected governor Kate Brown endorses “100% clean energy by 2050.” The governor-elect of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, pledges to increase the renewable portfolio standard, develop transmission infrastructure for renewable energy, enable community solar and expand the use of storage. The new governors-elect Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California are pursuing similar objectives.

So far Hawaii has set a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2045, while California aims to achieve 100% zero-carbon electricity by the same year.



December 16, 2018

Moea Defends Renewable Energy Plan After Control Yuan Pans Feed-in Tariff


The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday defended its renewable energy policy roadmap after the Control Yuan issued corrective measures on Friday.

The Control Yuan in a report pointed to several shortcomings in the ministry’s renewable energy development plan, saying they could hamper the nation’s long-term progress.

Critics have said that the plan was hastily put together to meet President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy goal of generating 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from alternative energy sources by 2025.

December 14, 2018

California Mandates 2 Largest Pension Funds Factor Climate Risk into Investments


Big news from California: The state legislature has just passed a bill, SB 964, that requires two massive pension funds run by the state, the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), to factor in climate-related financial risk and report progress both on that, and towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

December 13, 2018

U.S. Senate Confirms Fossil Fuel Advocate Bernard Mcnamee to FERC


The 50-49 party line vote shows the great controversy that surrounds McNamee, who has worked for pro-fossil fuel think thanks and has made hyperbolic negative statements about renewable energy.

Only one day after Cincinnati became the 100th U.S. city to commit to 100% renewable energy, the U.S. Senate confirmed Bernard McNamee as the third Republican on the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC).

December 12, 2018

The New Sunshine State! California Officially Becomes the First State in the U.S. To Require All New Homes to Be Powered by Solar Energy


California has become the first state in the U.S. to mandate that all new homes built in the Golden State must be solar powered, after law makers passed a historic vote last Wednesday. 

The initiative, which will come into action in 2020, has been passed unanimously by the California Building Standards Commission and will see all homes in the area equipped with more sustainable energy sources.

Members of the board declared the move as a 'historical undertaking' that should act as 'a beacon of light' for the rest of the country to follow.

December 11, 2018

DC Gave Initial Approval to Weakened Clean Energy Legislation


The DC Council gave preliminary approval to landmark clean energy legislation Tuesday that would make DC a leader in the fight against climate change.

Though it would be one of the strongest clean energy laws in the nation if passed, substantial changes were made late in the process, at least one of which significantly weakens the bill.

When Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced the bill in July, it included a provision requiring that DC’s electric utility, Pepco, buy renewable energy through long-term contracts. That would reduce DC’s greenhouse gas emissions by 710,000 tons of a year, or 8.1% of DC’s total emissions, according analysis of the bill from the DC Department of Energy and Environment.

December 10, 2018

Vietnam’s Wind Power Tariffs Attractive, but Grid Capacity a Major Concern


Vietnam’s new feed-in tariffs are attracting great interest in wind power, but investors are concerned about grid connection and purchase agreements.

The new feed-in tariffs (FIT) are expected to be attractive to domestic and foreign investors, Tommaso Rovatti Studihard, South East Asia sales director for wind power developer Vestas Asia Pacific, told VnExpress International.

The government recently approved tariff revisions under Decision 39 on support mechanisms for the development of wind power.

December 9, 2018

Newton, Mass Signs Historic Green Energy Contract


Newton, Mass has signed an historic contract for all of the city’s electricity customers that is 60 percent from local renewable sources such as solar and wind, significantly reducing Newton’s carbon footprint while also cutting the price customers pay.

This is an additional 46 percent above the state mandate for renewables.

Today’s decision makes Newton the community with the highest percentage of additional local renewable electricity of any municipal aggregation program in Massachusetts. Of the 40 cities and towns with municipal aggregation programs, the closest to Newton’s 60 percent is Brookline’s 39 percent.

December 7, 2018

New Hampshire Democrats Look to Override Governor on Clean Energy


After reclaiming both state legislative chambers, New Hampshire Democrats look to revive clean energy agenda.

Newly empowered New Hampshire Democrats are preparing to push a clean energy agenda in sharp contrast with Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s “all-of-the-above” energy vision for the state.

At issue will be proposals to expand solar net metering and double the state’s renewable electricity standard to 50 percent by 2040, as well as potential legislation to bolster small hydro, offshore wind and energy efficiency.

December 6, 2018

Proposal Extending Rooftop Solar to Apartments Rejected by Utility Regulators


Renewable energy advocates and lawmakers of both parties have for the past year touted the returning rooftop solar industry after slashed favorable reimbursement rates resulted in a year-long hiatus for solar businesses.

But even as the number of rooftop solar installations continues to grow, not all Nevadans have equal access — rooftop solar and other forms of distributed generation remains largely out of reach for the nearly half a million state residents who live in apartments and other non-single family residences throughout the state.

December 4, 2018

Build a Bridge, Not a Wall: Us Companies Have Renewable Energy Opportunities in Mexico


You might think the people of Texas are thrilled to hear the current president threaten to shut down the US government on December 7th if Congress doesn’t give him $5 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico, where everyone is a dangerous criminal, a rapist, or a murderer. Since Texas has a border with Mexico that stretches 1,254 miles and has 28 international bridges and other crossings, surely it favors such a wall, doesn’t it?

Not necessarily. It turns out many people in Texas see the people on the other side of the border as neighbors, not mortal enemies intent on slaughtering them in their sleep. According to an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News written by Carlos Torres-Verdin, now is the perfect time to leverage some of the experience Texas has acquired in renewable energy — especially wind power — by sharing it with Mexico. There’s money to be made, and Mexico has recently elected a new president and a new mayor of Mexico City who are strong renewable energy advocates. Torres-Verdin is a professor of petroleum and geosystems engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

December 3, 2018

Developing Nations Are Stepping Up Into Global Clean Energy Leadership


A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance has highlighted the rising importance of developing nations in driving clean energy adoption worldwide, and finds they are seizing the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier, more developed nations.

A combination of surging electricity demand, declining technology costs, and a surge in innovative policy-making have resulted in developing nations stepping up to seize the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier nations, according to a comprehensive new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) as part of its annual Climatescope project.

7 Incoming Governors Strongly Support Renewable Energy Goals


Two-thirds of voters in Arizona fell prey to one of the most vicious disinformation campaigns in the annals of US politics last month. Bombarded by more than $25 million worth of lies bought and paid for by local utility company Arizona Public Service, they turned thumbs down on a proposal that would have required the state to obtain 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources — not including nuclear — by 2030.

Arizona’s loss is several other states’ gain, however. Incoming governors in Connecticut, Maine, Colorado, Illinois,  Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon have all pledged to beef up their state’s renewable energy goals, according to a report by PV Magazine.

December 2, 2018

New Govt Policies to Boost Affordable Solar Energy in Malaysia


The government intends to provide sustainable, reliable and affordable solar energy for Malaysians through new policies beginning Jan 1, 2019, such as the New Net Energy Metering (NEM) Scheme and Supply Agreement for Renewable Energy (SARE), says Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

November 30, 2018

Washington D.C. On Course To Pass Historic Climate Bill

As the federal government doubles down on denying climate change, the nation’s capital is moving toward using 100 percent renewable energy.


The nation’s capital just took a major step toward passing the most ambitious climate bill in the country—at a time when the federal government denies the need for such laws.

Tuesday (November 27), the Council of the District of Columbia voted unanimously for the Clean Energy D.C. Omnibus Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the Clean Energy D.C. Act. The law would move the city’s power grid entirely to renewable energy sources by 2032, making it the first municipality to do so.

November 29, 2018

Poland Awards Nearly 1 Gigawatt Of Wind Energy In Latest Renewable Energy Auction


  Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office announced last week that it has awarded nearly 1 gigawatt (GW) of wind energy in a mixed renewable energy auction held on November 5 at prices so low experts believe the country could award a further 850 megawatts (MW) of capacity.

The Polish Energy Regulatory Office revealed the results of five separate renewable energy auctions held over the first two weeks of November. Two auctions yielded no awarded generation due to lack of offers, while a third auction awarded only one contract to what appears to be a biomass project. A fourth auction yielded contracts for what appears to be 29 biogas projects ranging in price from PLN 538.86/MWh to PLN 569.69/MWh and totaling around 3.490 terawatt-hours to be sold over 15 years.

November 28, 2018

Fayetteville, Arkansas Moves Toward 100% Renewable Energy, Saves $6 Million In Future Energy Costs


The Fayetteville City Council unanimously voted Tuesday (Nov. 20) to approve a trilateral agreement among the city, Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) for the development, construction and operation of Arkansas’s largest solar power system on municipal land.


City officials in a news release said it will be the only solar power system in Arkansas with onsite utility-scale storage.

November 27, 2018

New Caribbean Alliance Drives Clean Energy Funds Into Region To Replace Diesel


Caribbean countries facing increasing fuel costs, inescapable transportation constraints and relatively high electricity prices are looking to the sun for answers.

They hope a new Caribbean coalition, led by some of the world’s clean energy heavyweights and bankrolled, in part, by international lending institutions will channel $6 billion to transition the region to renewable energy.

Former Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S., Neil Parsan, founder of advisory firm Parsan Cross, is one of those driving the new Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator a collection of 27 countries and 40 global companies launched in August 2018 to help fund renewable energy projects in the Caribbean. Parsan is the director of public sector engagement for the organization.

November 26, 2018

Australian Opposition Unveils “Clean Energy Powerhouse” Policies For 2019 Election Campaign


Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten announced the party’s ‘all of the above’ plan for Australia’s energy sector. A ramped-up National Energy Guarantee, project auctions under a CfD structure, grid infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and a boost to battery storage all feature.

In a plan to make Australia a destination for “new investment, new jobs and new energy” the Labor party will make renewables and the energy transition a major pillar of its election strategy next year. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten outlined the plan today in a much anticipated speech, arguing that there is not “another minute to waste” on climate and energy policy in the country.

November 25, 2018

Five Things to Know About Ocasio-Cortez’s 'Green New Deal'


Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) made waves on her first day in Washington after being elected by participating in a protest to demand a “Green New Deal.”

Ocasio-Cortez has garnered support from progressive groups and a handful of Democrats for her proposal that sets a goal of getting 100 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewable energy sources.

While the plan is mostly a draft resolution for the House to create a special committee to work out the specifics, it’s already generating significant discussions among policymakers.

Here are five things to know about the Green New Deal.

November 22, 2018

Queensland Battery Grants and Loans Scheme to Push Use of Renewable Energy

Queenslanders are being urged to switch to renewable energy options following the introduction of a grants and loans scheme for people to apply for them to install batteries to store solar power.


Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said 1500 Queensland households and small businesses would be able to cut their power bills by storing solar power and using it after sunset.

November 21, 2018

Across the U.S., 2018 Midterms were a Mixed Bag for Clean Energy


From U.S. Energy News daily email digest, here is a rundown of key races and energy-related ballot measures around the country.

MIDTERMS: 

• Voters in several Western states reject ballot measures that would have moved them away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. (Washington Post)

• The outcome of several gubernatorial races could have implications for clean energy development. (E&E News, subscription)

• Nearly one fourth of the Republican members of the House Climate Solutions caucus were defeated, but the impact is unclear. (Greentech Media)

November 20, 2018

Can California Really Meet its 100% Clean Energy Target?


California is a global leader in climate policy, and its goal of 100% clean energy by 2045 is now law in the 5th largest economy after China, the US, Japan and Germany.

While the state has had a cap and trade program in place since 2013, it has been the simplicity and directness of a mandate that has most certainly reduced its carbon emissions as the percentage of renewable energy has risen from almost nothing eight years ago to 40% in 2018, more than beating its 2020 target of 33% by two years.