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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 18, 2018

Trump Says Solar Tariff Decision Coming Soon, Stakes Huge for Industry

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:42:17

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would announce a decision soon on whether to slap tariffs on imported solar panels, and quipped that when countries dump subsidized panels in the United States, “Everybody goes out of business.” The solar industry is anxiously awaiting the decision, which will have wide-reaching implications for the sector. Domestic panel producers opposed to cheap imports would benefit from a tariff. But installers that have relied on the lower-cost hardware for their recent breakneck growth would suffer. [ read more … ]

Solar decision isn’t imminent — official

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:42:34

The White House is downplaying reports that a decision in a highly watched solar trade case is imminent.

In an emailed statement yesterday, an administration official said the “White House is coordinating an exhaustive process, alongside [the U.S. Trade Representative], that ensures any and all consequences of recommendations sent to the president — be they economic, national security or otherwise — are fully considered and researched.” “We don’t have a specific date set but will meet the statutory deadline,” the official added. [ read more … ]

China’s Solar Boom Boosts Clean Energy Funding Near Record

By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:44:20

China’s insatiable appetite for solar power led to a surprise increase in global clean-energy investment last year even as U.S. President Donald Trump pushed to undermine pollution rules and curbs on coal. About $333.5 billion poured into renewable energy and cutting-edge power technologies, up 3 percent from 2016 and 7 percent short of the record set in 2015, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Almost half went to solar projects, and China’s investment accounted for 40 percent of the total. [ read more … ]

GM’s Expansion, Energy Goals Hinge on Renewables’ Power Lines

By Bobby Magill, BNA Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:43:16

Access to renewables is a factor in the company’s decisions about where to expand or build new facilities, Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy, told Bloomberg Environment. Electric power lines delivering wind and solar power are not a constraint on growth today, but, between 2018 and 2050, new transmission connecting wind and solar farms to both GM factories and its customers—particularly those driving electric vehicles—will be critical for the company’s success, he said. [ read more … ]

Energy regulators: Perry’s coal plan wasn’t legally defensible

By Timothy Cama, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:43:38

Two of the five energy regulators who voted to reject Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to prop up coal and nuclear power plants said Tuesday that it didn’t pass legal muster. Republican Neil Chatterjee and Democrat Cheryl LaFleur, both commissioners in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said at a Bipartisan Policy Center event that Perry and other supporters of the plan never showed that it would withstand court challenges or otherwise fit into the laws that govern FERC. [ read more … ]

Lower corporate tax rates no boon for renewables, analysts find

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:43:59

Renewable energy financing could get a little tougher this year, after firms fully take into account the lower corporate tax rate. But the renewables industry is also cognizant that it could have been worse. Among the provisions of the tax bill that were important for the renewable energy industry was the Base Erosion Anti-abuse Tax (BEAT), which attempts to ensure that corporations cannot use cross-border payments to lower their tax bill. But it also lowered the value of the production tax credits and investment tax credits that are used to finance wind and solar projects. [ read more … ]

‘Husker Power Plan’ aims to cut greenhouse emissions while keeping electric costs low, creating jobs

By Paul Hammel, Omaha Wold Herald  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:44:43

A coalition of environmental groups unveiled a “Husker Power Plan” on Wednesday that they say will cut greenhouse emissions by 58 percent over five years while keeping electric costs low and creating jobs. Duane Hovorka of the Izaak Walton League said during a press conference at the State Capitol that the Lincoln Electric System and the Omaha Public Power District have taken good “first steps” toward using more renewable energy. [ read more … ]

Inventors search for ‘missing link’ in renewable energy

John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-01-18 06:45:25

What may become one of the most disruptive renewable energy experiments in recent history is taking shape behind a building here in an assemblage of girders, pipes and tanks. It’s called a bioreactor, but has the look of an unfinished project built with pieces from a giant erector set. It’s the apparatus of an ambitious goal: to make a renewable form of natural gas, which chemists also call methane. Instead of being produced from underground fossil fuel deposits, the methane from this machine will come from a two-step process. First, supplies of cheap solar and wind-powered electricity will be used to split hydrogen from water. Then the hydrogen will be combined with carbon dioxide, the otherwise troublesome greenhouse gas. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.