U.S. Energy News

Report: Declining tax support threatens U.S. wind industry growth

WIND: A federal report found that U.S. wind energy almost doubled from 2011 to 2016, but weakening federal incentives could impact the industry’s growth going forward. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• A new, two-part proposal could supersede Rocky Mountain Power’s controversial plan to increase fees for residential solar customers in Utah. (Salt Lake Tribune, ThinkProgress)
• Solar groups are demanding an explanation for why California regulators would accept a proposal by utilities to shift their peak time-of-use periods, saying it goes against established methodology. (Greentech Media)
• Plans are underway for a 20-megawatt solar project that would be the largest installation on a capped landfill in Maine. (Portland Press Herald)
• The two companies petitioning for a tariff on imported solar panels say it would create nearly 150,000 solar-related jobs in the U.S. — a claim opponents call “preposterous.” (Greentech Media)

STORAGE:
• A demand response provider and behind-the-meter battery startup launch an effort to combine their technologies into an “integrated solution for managing electricity demand.” (Greentech Media)
• How Tesla has helped the Hawaiian island of Kauai by installing a combined solar-and-storage plant that provides enough energy to power 4,500 homes for four hours. (Grist)
• A closer look at Tucson Electric’s solar-plus-storage power purchase agreement for an “all-in cost significantly less than $0.045/kWh over 20 years.” (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: New Mexico residents tell regulators that a local utility should be investing more in renewable energy — not seeking rate increases to pay for coal-burning plants and out-of-state nuclear power. (The New Mexican)

CLIMATE:
• A federal appeals court scraps an Obama-era regulation to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide when released into the atmosphere. (Bloomberg)
• The release of a government report that affirms the existence of climate change will force President Trump to choose between science and his climate-denying supporters. (New York Times)
• A draft of a federal climate report concludes that burning fossil fuels is increasing heat waves, droughts and floods in the U.S. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: Public health advocates say Minnesota utility regulators’ decision last month to increase the social cost of carbon will be important for dealing with the negative health impacts of climate change. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s plan to boost the regional coal industry includes paying utilities $15 for each ton of coal they burn from fields in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. (West Virginia MetroNews)

OIL & GAS: Roughly 175 people attend a state-hosted public hearing about drilling off North Carolina’s coast, with the majority opposing a proposed federal offshore leasing program. (Coastal Review Online)

FRACKING: A Houston-based gas driller files a $5 million lawsuit against a Pennsylvania resident and his lawyers for allegedly harassing and extorting the company over “stale, settled claims” that they polluted water. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Tribes opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline — while still hoping to close the flow of oil during an environmental review — propose an alternative that requires more public reporting and spill response planning. (Associated Press)
• The future of the Keystone XL pipeline could come down to three votes in Nebraska. (Washington Post)

NUCLEAR:
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission votes to begin “information gathering activities” on a controversial plan to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. (The Hill)
• South Carolina files a lawsuit against the federal government to force the Department of Energy to remove plutonium used to process weapons-grade materials into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Switching from coal to natural gas may not help the climate due to a high percentage of leaked gas, says the founder of the global climate campaign 350.org. (Seattle Times)

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