U.S. Energy News

Report: Energy storage deployments surge in 2016, led by California

STORAGE: U.S. energy storage deployments grew 100 percent in terms of megawatt-hours last year, with California making up 88 percent of all installed capacity in the fourth quarter. (Greentech Media, Bloomberg)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Advanced energy revenue grew by only 1 percent in 2016, but that’s largely due to a $7 billion decline in revenue from ethanol. (Greentech Media)
• Economics are driving renewable energy development in remote communities in Alaska. (Ensia)

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WIND: Surfers on the Hawaiian island of Oahu say an onshore wind farm may impact the waves at a famous surf spot. (Pacific Business News)

SOLAR:
• California produced enough solar power on Friday to meet roughly half of its electricity needs, peaking at nearly 14 GW of generation, according to the largest grid operator in the state. (ThinkProgress)
• New Mexico’s House of Representatives votes to reinstate a tax credit aimed at boosting roof-top solar installations for another eight years. (Associated Press)
• A food bank in Hawaii installs a rooftop solar system that is expected to save about $41,000 in energy costs during the first year – enough to purchase 102,000 meals. (Pacific Business News)

CLIMATE: The CEO of oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips speaks out in support of the Paris climate agreement, saying “it would be good for the U.S.”  (The Hill)

BIOFUEL: The owners of the largest oil refinery in Hawaii are speaking with biofuel developers about using the fuel as a replacement for oil. (Pacific Business News)

UTILITIES: Southern California Edison is asking for distributed energy resources to help prevent power outages in the Santa Barbara region, including up to 55 megawatts of storage. (Greentech Media)

NUCLEAR: Without legislation to promote nuclear energy, an 1,800-megawatt nuclear plant in Pennsylvania will be shut down two decades ahead of schedule. (Associated Press)

COAL: Killing environmental regulation will have little effect on Appalachia’s coal industry, but an Obama-era plan to issue economic development grants to the states with the most abandoned mines could help to revive the region. (Politico Magazine)

OIL & GAS:
• An Austin-based company says it plans to build a $450 million refinery in Texas that would ship oil products across the border by rail to meet growing demand in Mexico. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• Despite an increase of rigs and drilling permits in Texas, the state’s oil and gas industry still employs 32 percent fewer people than it did in 2014, according to an analysis by an industry trade group. (FuelFix)
• Commissioners vote in favor of a proposed oil-by-rail terminal on Oregon’s Columbia River, giving the project at least three more months to gain state approval. (Portland Business Journal)

PIPELINES: A federal judge denies a Native American tribe’s request to halt construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying he found insufficient evidence that the project would infringe on the tribe’s religious freedom. (The Hill)

POLLUTION: A leak from an underwater natural gas pipeline that was discovered in Alaska last month may have started in December. (Associated Press)

EPA: EPA chief Scott Pruitt is loading the agency’s top offices with like-minded conservatives and climate change skeptics who want to roll back environmental regulations. (New York Times)

REGULATION: Environmental activists say they’re likely to sue the Trump administration for rolling back vehicle emissions standards, the Clean Power Plan and rules regulating methane emissions – but legal action could take years. (Morning Consult)

COMMENTARY: Former EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus says a strong and credible EPA helps the economy, and the public will not tolerate changes that threaten their health and the environment. (New York Times)

 

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