New EPA air boss outlines next steps for doomed climate rule

Source: Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The Trump administration will “very soon” ask for public comment on how it could replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, U.S. EPA’s new air office chief said yesterday. In one of his first public appearances since taking the air job, Bill Wehrum told reporters that he hopes Administrator Scott Pruitt will sign a so-called advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on a replacement for the Obama-era climate regulation within a “few days.”

U.S. solar installations to fall more than expected in 2017

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

U.S. solar installations will fall more than expected this year, according to an industry report released on Thursday, due to weakened demand for residential systems and delays on large projects over concerns that President Donald Trump will impose tariffs on imported panels, increasing costs.

4 solar fights roiling Capitol Hill

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The Department of Energy’s solar office is a waste of money. The Trump administration acted improperly in putting together its budget. The Obama administration screwed up solar loans. Those were some of the arguments made at a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing yesterday on solar technology.

Op-Ed: Gov-elect NJ governor Murphy will finish what Christie wouldn’t to combat climate change – wind farms

Source: By Jeanne M. Fox, Newark Star-Ledger • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

New Jersey offers some of the best offshore wind resources along the east coast with approximately 344,000 acres under federal lease and available for development. It’s able to support more than 3,000 Megawatts of installed capacity, and feeds into the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland (PJM) power pool as the largest and most competitive energy market in North America serving all or parts of 14 states.

Perry pumps millions into offshore wind research

Source: By David Foxwell, Offshore Wind Journal • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has announced US$18.5M in new Department of Energy funding for research and development that will focus on a US-specific cost reduction in offshore wind energy. The consortium will be a co-operative private-public ‘innovation hub’ addressing topics including wind technology advancement, resource and physical site characterisation, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions.

Some Republicans are reconsidering the tax bill’s attack on renewable energy

Source: By Umair Irfan, Vox • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Both the House and Senate versions of the Republican tax bill now include provisions that would serioulsy threaten the wind and solar industries. The hemming and hawing over them is meanwhile also stalling more than $20 billion in investment in clean energy, according to Democratic lawmakers who oppose the cuts. But here’s the catch: wind and solar are booming not just in deep blue states like California, but also in red states like Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, and Iowa. Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado have become leaders in renewable energy and also benefit from federal incentives for electric cars and home efficiency upgrades that could be cut under the bill.

Tax Compromise Keeps Wind and Electric-Car Credits, Source Says

Source: By Ari Natter, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to spare the electric-vehicle tax credit and wind production tax credit in their compromise package, according to a Republican familiar with the process. Still undecided is a provision in the Senate bill that imposes a minimum tax on foreign transactions for JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and other large multinational companies that threatens to erode the value of solar and wind tax credits. “We’re working on it.”

Disputed House PTC ITC provisions said to be dropped

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Senator Murkowski and Senator Thune both indicated that efforts continue to fix the base erosion anti-abuse tax provisions in the Senate bill — which renewable sectors say will stifle foreign investment. “They’re still in flux,” Murkowski said.

U.S. transit agencies cautious on electric buses despite bold forecasts

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Communities across the United States are looking to replace their dirty diesel buses, ushering in what some analysts predict will be a boom in electric fleets. But transit agencies doing the buying are moving cautiously, an analysis by Reuters shows. Out of more than 65,000 public buses plying U.S. roads today, just 300 are electric. Among the challenges: EVs are expensive, have limited range and are unproven on a mass scale.

California Energy Storage Companies Wade Into Japan Market

Source: By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Two California energy storage providers say they are deploying networks of systems in Japan to help the country use more renewable energy. Stem Inc., a California firm that provides energy storage solutions, said it’s deploying a network of systems with Mitsui & Co. Ltd., marking its first foray into Asian markets. The companies, which gained an endorsement from Japan’s Ministry of Energy, Trade and Infrastructure, will install a “virtual power plant” made up initially of aggregated storage systems that will supply 750 kilowatt-hours of capacity to the grid.