Lawmakers urge FERC to oppose plan to subsidize coal, nuclear

POLICY: Several House lawmakers urge FERC to oppose Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: With the backing of an environmental group, two children are suing President Trump to stop the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• The Department of Energy is working on a report about the costs and benefits of net metering, which “could be consequential for the solar industry.” (E&E News)
• Local assessors in a Minnesota county say a major solar installation has not negatively impacted nearby property values. (Chisago County Press)
• Researchers from the University of California-Santa Cruz may have discovered a way to power greenhouses using solar panels made of pink glass. (Quartz)

WIND: The North Carolina General Assembly moves a step closer to a controversial suite of maps that could determine the future of wind energy in the state, though the process won’t be open to the public. (Southeast Energy News)

RENEWABLES:
• Ohio-based American Electric Power plans a $1.8 billion investment in renewable energy, which includes 1.37 gigawatts of solar. (pv magazine)
• Energy analysts differ on the implications of a recent report showing the cost of renewables relative to other energy sources.

Hurricanes cost utilities up to $2.5 billion in damages in 2017

UTILITIES: U.S. utility companies estimate hurricanes caused as much as $2.5 billion in damages this year. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: Illinois regulators approve new rules to rein in alternative energy suppliers using deceptive marketing tactics and variable rates, though clean energy and consumer groups oppose removal of some draft provisions. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID:
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $2.5 billion investment in rural electric infrastructure improvements in 27 states. (Utility Dive)
• Duke Energy announces a plan to strengthen South Carolina’s energy grid by investing $3 billion over the next 10 years. (Greenville News)

CLIMATE:
• A U.N. climate conference kicks off in Germany this week, with the U.S. largely on the sidelines after moving to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Republican tax plan would cut credits for wind, electric vehicles

POLICY:
• House Republicans unveil a tax plan that would end a $7,500 credit for electric vehicles, cut wind energy credits and extend a $6 billion lifeline to the nuclear industry. (Reuters, Bloomberg)
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry says a proposed rule to prop up coal and nuclear plants is “rebalancing the market” to correct for the Obama administration’s support of renewable energy. (Greentech Media)

REGULATION: The Senate confirms two new members to FERC, re-establishing a full five-member commission. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The EPA will hold a public hearing this month in West Virginia on its plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

SOLAR:
• More utilities are proposing to put solar customers into a “separate Distributed Generation customer class,” starting new debates between utilities and solar advocates.

First Solar shares drop after tariff recommendation

SOLAR: Federal trade officials recommend tariffs and quotas on imported solar equipment, but fail to meet Suniva and SolarWorld’s demands for relief. (Greentech Media, Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Shares for thin-film panel developer First Solar plunge 10 percent after federal trade officials recommend moderate trade remedies. (Motley Fool)
• Entergy Arkansas files plans with state regulators to build what would be the state’s largest solar farm. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• A collaborative project among leaders in Chicago-area communities looks to make it easier for residents and developers to create new markets for rooftop solar. (Midwest Energy News)

STORAGE:
• An inquiry underway in Massachusetts will force the state Department of Public Utilities to rule on the eligibility of energy storage systems to qualify for net metering.

Recommendation on solar tariffs expected today

SOLAR: The U.S. International Trade Commission will make its recommendation on whether to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment today. (Reuters, NPR)

ALSO:
• NRG Energy will build a 3 MW solar facility for the pharmaceutical company McKesson at its distribution center in New Jersey. (Utility Dive)
• Thin-film panel manufacturer First Solar is booking a staggering number of shipments, as buyers anticipate it will be the only major U.S. supplier unaffected by an upcoming tariff decision. (Motley Fool)
• A gradual decoupling of PV monitoring software and hardware is paving the way for a new model of hardware-independent data aggregation. (Greentech Media)
• A Chicago-based company wants to build a 37-acre solar-plus-storage facility that could provide over 40 percent of energy for the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

Report: DOE plan to help coal and nuclear would cost $10.6 billion a year

POLICY:
• A Department of Energy plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants will cost U.S. taxpayers $10.6 billion a year, according to a new analysis. (Guardian)
• A look at how Ohio went from encouraging the clean energy sector to policies that support fossil fuels. (InsideClimate News)

POLITICS: Utah Senator Orrin Hatch says President Trump confirmed his administration would shrink two national monuments in the state, potentially opening the lands to fossil fuel developers. (New York Times, Reuters)

REGULATION: In an interview that aired Sunday, EPA chief Scott Pruitt said President Obama’s environmental regulations were a declaration of “war” on coal and other industries. (The Hill)

SOLAR:
• Las Vegas is “a terrifically exciting place to be” to witness the growth of solar energy.

Report: Number of solar installers and wind technicians to double by 2026

RENEWABLES: The number of solar installers and wind technicians is predicted to roughly double by 2026, with many new positions expected in red states. (CBS)

WIND:
• A legislative panel in Vermont votes in favor of a proposal to cap nighttime sound levels from wind turbines. (Associated Press)
• The Trump administration makes a deal with Denmark to expand cooperation on offshore wind power. (Reuters)
• An industry group says the federal production tax credit and corporate demand are continuing to drive wind development. (Platts, Huffington Post)
• Researchers say wind farms pose little threat to Nebraska’s prairie chickens and could actually create safer habitats by deterring predators.

Pro-drilling Interior Department plan fails to mention climate change

CLIMATE: A leaked draft of a five-year plan for the Interior Department includes auctioning off millions of acres of public lands for oil and gas development, while failing to mention climate change or climate science. (The Nation)

EPA:
• EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he will get tough on corporate polluters, despite leading efforts to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations. (Bloomberg)
• The EPA says it will review how laws like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act impact job growth in the energy sector. (Reuters)
• Pruitt also seeks to weaken independent scientific review at the EPA in what critics say is part of a broader effort to undermine climate science. (The Economist)

POLICY:
• Coal industry groups object to the Energy Department’s proposed requirement for power plants to store 90 days of fuel on site.

Grid operators line up to oppose Energy Dept. plan to boost coal, nuclear

POLICY: Grid operators around the country say the Department of Energy’s plan to support coal and nuclear plants is expensive, inefficient and counterproductive. (RTO Insider)

ALSO:
• Supporters of an Energy Department plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants are justifying the rule by using a broad interpretation of the Federal Power Act. (Utility Dive)
• FERC’s comment period for the Trump administration’s proposal to boost coal and nuclear power ends with an onslaught of opposition.  (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration will offer nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to fossil fuel developers, in what will be the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES: A Native American activist accused of inciting a riot during Dakota Access pipeline protests plans to use a “necessity defense” in court, saying he was preventing the greater harm of climate change. (Associated Press)

COAL: A company with plans to build a coal export terminal in Washington is suing the state, saying regulators denied a key permit based on “biased and prejudiced decision-making.” (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Hawaii energy regulators approve two new solar programs in an effort to expand rooftop solar and storage options for residential customers.

Federal report urges Trump to respond to climate change threats

CLIMATE: A federal report by the Government Accountability Office is urging the Trump administration to begin formulating a response to climate change, saying rising temperatures could cost the country tens of billions in damages. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Rising sea levels and human activities, including oil and gas extraction from the Gulf Coast, are creating a worst-case scenario for Native Americans of the Mississippi Delta, scientists say. (Science Daily)
• Nicaragua is moving to join the Paris climate agreement, leaving the U.S. and Syria as the only countries not participating in the pact. (Reuters)
• Lawmakers and protestors speak out against a Trump administration decision to prevent government scientists from presenting climate change research at a conference in Rhode Island this week. (Washington Post)

EMISSIONS: The EPA submits a proposal to repeal an Obama-era rule that created tougher emissions standards for truck components.