Lawmakers push California energy storage bill to 2018

STORAGE: A California bill that would have funded a 10-year energy storage rebate program is taken off the legislative agenda for 2017. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR: Financially troubled SolarWorld Americas receives a $6 million loan as it continues “to fight for fair trade in the U.S. market” alongside bankrupt solar manufacturer Suniva. (Greentech Media)

CLIMATE:
• Greenhouse gas emissions rose faster in 2016 than they have in nearly three decades, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, which ceased to mention a direct link between human activity and emissions. (New York Times)
• Some Republican lawmakers are taking aim at the Defense Department’s work on climate change, sparking worry among former military officials. (Washington Post, ThinkProgress)
• The House defeats an effort to strike a climate change amendment from the National Defense Authorization Act.

DOE awards $46 million in solar research grants

SOLAR: The Energy Department awards over $46 million in research grants to 48 projects working to improve solar energy technologies. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: The Department of Energy says it will start including output from residential solar systems in its monthly energy forecasts. (Houston Chronicle)

WIND: Appalachian Power says acquiring two wind farms should benefit the company thanks to tax credits and a reduced reliance on outside energy purchases. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

STORAGE: A new study by the University of Minnesota says adding more storage to the state’s grid would reduce the need for building new natural gas plants and accelerate the development of renewables. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle advocates are trying to convince Georgia lawmakers to reinstate a tax credit for the purchase of EVs.

Coalition of states, cities and businesses taking next step on Paris goals

CLIMATE: A coalition that includes 227 cities and counties, nine states and about 1,650 businesses and investors is expected to announce next steps today in upholding the Paris climate accord. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Democratic leaders’ latest proposal to extend California’s cap-and-trade system is causing angst on both sides of the political aisle. (Los Angeles Times)
• A debate over the merits of established climate science is in its “formative stages” at the EPA, and the agency will consider airing the event on television, according to EPA chief Scott Pruitt. (Reuters)
• “Maps will need to be redrawn” as one of the largest icebergs in recorded history breaks away from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. (New York Times) 

SOLAR: Duke Energy Kentucky receives approval from state officials to build three new solar facilities.

Maine governor vetoes net-metering bill, again

SOLAR: In a blow to environmental groups and solar installers, Maine’s governor vetoes a bill for the second time that would have kept net-metering incentives in place. (Portland Press Herald)

ALSO:
• The governor of Washington signs a bill extending financial incentives for solar. (Seattle Times)
• Environmental groups launch a crowdfunding campaign to build solar panels along the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Wisconsin Gazette)

STORAGE: Virginia-based AES is teaming up with Siemens to create a utility-scale energy storage company that will operate worldwide. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Dominion Energy says it will partner with a Danish company to build two wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach, which would be the second offshore wind farm in the U.S. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Troubled electric car start-up Faraday Future is abandoning plans to construct a $1 billion manufacturing plant in Nevada.

Utilities remain main roadblock to rooftop solar

SOLAR: How a lobbying campaign by utilities to kill residential solar incentives has held the industry back. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• A new online platform that seeks to be the Amazon.com of home solar will let customers design their own solar installations based on their rooftop and then project cost and energy savings. (Greentech Media)
• A 52-megawatt solar installation in Mississippi — the largest in the state — is now generating electricity. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: California-based Tesla wins a contract to build a record-breaking 100-megawatt energy storage system in South Australia. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Industry analysts say electric vehicle adaption may go mainstream sooner than anticipated.

Oregon lawmakers drop residential solar tax credit

SOLAR: Oregon lawmakers fail to extend a rooftop solar tax credit that’s set to expire at the end of the year. (Portland Business Journal)

ALSO:
• Solar installers are spending more than ever on acquiring new residential customers, with costs totaling about $3,668 per customer. (Greentech Media)
• A Minneapolis community solar developer is focusing its efforts on low-income residents, using faith-based groups and other entities as “backup subscribers.”  (Midwest Energy News)
• A new study commissioned by a clean energy group in Michigan says utility customers with solar panels provide a net benefit to the grid. (Michigan Radio)

GRID:
• Many utilities are skeptical that energy storage can help solve the “duck curve” problem. (Utility Dive)
• Hawaiian Electric submits a new grid modernization plan that calls for spending about $205 million over six years.

Court: EPA must enforce Obama-era methane rule

REGULATION: A federal appeals court says the EPA must enforce Obama-era regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas operations. (New York Times)

POLICY:
• President Trump makes a speech vowing to “unleash American energy,” but his plans exclude renewables. (Washington Post, ThinkProgress)
• A House subcommittee approves a bill that would slash funding for renewable and efficiency programs, while completely eliminating the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). (ThinkProgress)

CAP-AND-TRADE:
• California’s Supreme Court refuses to hear a challenge to the state’s cap-and-trade law, handing a victory to environmentalists. (Reuters, Greentech Media)
• California’s governor is under pressure to reach a deal this week to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program.

Study: Grid remains resilient amid renewable energy growth

GRID:
• A recent report by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation says the power grid is remaining reliable and resilient amid the growth of variable, distributed generation. (Midwest Energy News)
• Colorado regulators will allow Xcel Energy to install over $600 million worth of new smart meters in homes and businesses across the state. (Denver Business Journal)

POLITICS:
• During his first budget hearing, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said keeping coal plants running and building more oil pipelines is key to energy security. (InsideClimate News)
• Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to energy research and science programs at the DOE won’t be passed by Congress. (ThinkProgress)

CLIMATE:
• Officials from more than a dozen states ask California’s insurance commissioner to stop requesting that companies publicly disclose fossil fuel investments and divest from the coal industry.

Project proves electric vehicles can be reliable grid assets

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicles can serve as reliable and flexible grid assets, according to the results of a pilot program conducted by BMW and a California utility. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• Ann Arbor, Michigan is developing a plan to purchase electric vehicles for its city-owned fleet and charge them with solar energy. (MLive)
• Tesla says it is “actively talking” with other auto manufacturers about opening up the company’s Supercharger network to other cars. (BGR News)

GRID: Energy Secretary Rick Perry emphasizes electric grid reliability during his testimony before a House subcommittee, and says the Energy Department’s controversial grid study will be available at the end of the June. (ThinkProgress)

SOLAR:
• An analysis looks at what caused California’s first quarter solar downturn and what it could mean for the rest of the country.

Big oil announces support for Republican-led carbon tax plan

CARBON TAX: Exxon Mobil and other oil industry heavyweights come out in support of a Republican-led plan to tax carbon emissions. (New York Times)

CLIMATE: In a rejection of established science, Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells a CNBC interviewer that man-made carbon dioxide emissions aren’t the leading cause of climate change. (Washington Post)

WIND: Atlantic coast states are competing to become the capital of America’s burgeoning offshore wind industry, as they seek to revive old ports. (E&E News)

SOLAR: New complaints accuse two Duke Energy utilities of stalling grid connections for solar projects. (Triangle Business Journal)

RENEWABLES:
• Academics are pushing back against a leading renewable energy roadmap developed by Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson, which claims the country can wean itself off fossil fuels entirely by 2055.