News

The U.S. Solar Industry’s New Growth Region: Trump Country

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

President Donald Trump’s administration has vowed to revive the coal industry, challenged climate-change science and blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies. And yet the solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and those same subsidies, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support.

Wind and Solar’s Future Hangs on Taxes, Not Clean Power Plan

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

The Trump administration’s decision to end the Clean Power Plan may be deeply symbolic, but the battle that matters most for renewable energy will be over taxes. Wind and solar have been the fastest growing sources of electricity in the U.S. since 2014 as utilities closed a record number of aging coal-fired generators. That’s largely because it’s become cheaper to build renewable plants than keep coal plants open.

Carbon rule or not, wind energy continues to squeeze coal

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

Even as President Trump repeals his predecessor’s landmark climate rule, a collision of policy and market forces is putting the squeeze on aging coal and nuclear plants. Those forces, as noted in the Department of Energy’s recent grid study, include cheap shale gas, slack electricity demand and increasing penetration of renewable energy. In the Midwest, especially, falling wind energy costs are putting increasing pressure on King Coal.

Editorial: Tariffs on Solar Panels Would Kill U.S. Jobs

Source: By David Shipley, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

By next month, the U.S. International Trade Commission, having unanimously ruledthat American solar-panel makers are harmed by competition from Asian and other rivals, will recommend what tariffs or other import penalties the president should impose. The commission and the president need to understand that punishing Asian panel makers would do more than damage trade relations: It would also cripple the thriving U.S. solar-energy business.

U.S. Energy Head: Nuclear Power Rescue Helps National Security

Source: By Timothy Gardner, Reuters • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

The U.S. energy secretary defended his plan to reward nuclear plants with incentives against criticism it would manipulate markets by telling a congressional hearing on Thursday that a strong domestic nuclear industry boosted national security. Rick Perry pushed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 29 to issue a rule within 60 days that would reward aging nuclear and coal-fired power plants that store 90 days of fuel on site. He has said those plants should be supported for their ability to boost the reliability of the U.S. power grid.

Hot topics from Perry hearing, from ‘poo-poo’ to Drudge

Source: Christa Marshall and Sam Mintz, E&E News reporters • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

Much of the talk centered around DOE’s proposal to boost coal and nuclear by altering energy market rules. A central question was whether there is or could be such a thing as a “free market” in energy regulation. Perry has said past federal and some state regulations have unfairly put a finger on the scales of the energy market and that his plan, which would change market rules to compensate nuclear and coal plants, is simply an act of tipping those scales back.

Lawmakers grill Perry on travel, grid proposal

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

Lawmakers were keen on getting more information from Perry on his proposal to boost coal and nuclear by directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change rules in the markets it oversees. “I asked FERC to change the market rules to make sure that fuel-secure generation is valued for what it is worth to our nation — not forced into early retirement leaving the grid at risk during the next disaster,” Perry said in written testimony.

Energy Secretary, Dems Clash Over Plan to Help Coal, Nuclear

Source: By Alan Fram, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, October 13th, 2017

Congressional Democrats accused the Trump administration Thursday of falsely suggesting the nation’s electricity grid faces severe problems to justify an unnecessary bolstering of the coal and nuclear energy industries. Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended his department’s proposal, telling a House energy subcommittee that the country must strengthen its systems for delivering power. The plan would reward nuclear and coal-fired power plants for adding what it calls reliability to the nation’s power grid.

Clean Power Plan is doomed. What about its sister rule?

Source: Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 12th, 2017

U.S. EPA has announced with great fanfare that it plans to kill the Clean Power Plan, but another major climate rule for power plants is still on the books. The Obama administration’s rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified coal and natural-gas-fired power plants has largely remained unnoticed as attention has focused on the Clean Power Plan regulations aimed at controlling emissions from existing power plants.

Massachusetts committed to Obama-era Clean Power Plan

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says his administration is committed to an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Republican’s comments come a day after Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he’ll issue new rules overriding the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s drive to curb global climate change.