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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 19, 2016

U.S. wind executive makes a power push in Africa

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-08-19 06:36:39

Rob Gramlich has spent a 30-year career in Washington, D.C., building a reputation as a resource economist and energy policy expert, including two decades at the American Wind Energy Association, where he is senior vice president for government and public affairs. But for a midcareer AWEA sabbatical, Gramlich passed on the clean energy hubs of Europe and Asia in favor of Tanzania, where for six weeks this summer he sustained himself on chapati and rice, communicated in rudimentary Swahili, and grew a beard better suited to summiting Mount Kilimanjaro than slogging through a hot D.C. summer. [ read more … ]

Grid warnings that halted $2B Texas cleanup draw fire

Sean Reilly, E&E report  •    •  Posted 2016-08-19 06:37:13

When federal judges last month slapped a stay on a U.S. EPA cleanup plan targeting coal-fired power plants in Texas, one factor loomed especially large in their decision: the potential impact to the electric grid. Not only would Texas consumers end up footing the bill, but grid reliability would be imperiled “if plant operators close facilities rather than install or upgrade uneconomical emissions controls,” the three-judge panel on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the unanimous ruling. [ read more … ]

Turbulent road ahead as states navigate energy policy

Emily Holden, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-08-19 06:39:04

As federal climate regulations push state leaders to map out blueprints for cutting carbon emissions, the legislators who may be needed to help implement those plans are split on how they should look. Under pressure from voters who often don’t understand the complexities of the electricity system as well as powerful corporate and advocacy interests, they divide on how quickly to move to cleaner power and how long to keep coal and natural gas plants online. While Democrats mostly cite politics for the division, Republicans say they are being pragmatic about what is possible. [ read more … ]

SolarCity announces layoffs, cuts executive pay to $1

By Allana Akhtar, USA TODAY  •    •  Posted 2016-08-19 06:38:08

SolarCity, the solar panel company that Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors plans to buy, will take up to $5 million in charges to cover planned layoffs, it said late Wednesday. It’s also cutting the salary of its two co-founders to $1.
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Lawmakers investigate if DOE SunShot funding went to lobbying

Christa Marshall, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-08-19 06:38:39

The House’s top watchdog is probing whether funds from a federal solar program were used for unlawful lobbying activities. In letters to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and two organizations yesterday, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) questioned whether money from DOE’s SunShot Initiative was used to lobby for state rooftop solar subsidies and violated the federal anti-lobbying act. Specifically, Chaffetz is examining SunShot funds distributed to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and Clean Energy States Alliance. [ read more … ]

Electric Batteries Seen as Key to Unlocking Power, Auto Markets

By Stephen Stapczynski, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2016-08-19 06:39:37

Batteries that store electricity and offset power required from the grid during peak periods are key to unlocking lucrative power and transport markets, according to BMI Research. Solar capacity has expanded globally due largely to premium subsidies and feed-in-tariffs, and these policies could play a similar role for battery storage, according to the Aug. 17 note. Regulators could provide incentives for self-consumption during peak generation and grid-feed-in when renewable generation is lower.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.