U.S. renewable generation doubled in last decade

RENEWABLES: The amount of renewable electricity generated in the U.S. doubled over the last decade, with almost all of the growth coming from wind and solar. (Grist)

ALSO:
• An Illinois bill would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard and let utilities raise rates to pay for renewable projects. (Energy News Network)
• A Nevada lawmaker files legislation proposing to raise the state’s renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2030. (Greentech Media)

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Solar policy in flux as states go separate ways on net metering

SOLAR: Kentucky lawmakers’ decision to roll back net metering bucks pro-solar legislation passed in several other states. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• Meanwhile, Maine lawmakers approve a bill to restore net metering, while the Iowa Senate passes a bill to add a new fee for most utility customers with solar panels. (Utility Dive, Radio Iowa)
• In response to a lawmaker’s social media post, a developer says snow build-up on solar panels can temporarily reduce production but it is not a major hindrance. (Energy News Network)
• Rural electric cooperatives have sharply increased their solar capacity in recent years as they transition from coal contracts. (E&E News, subscription)
• California regulators are reviving efforts to create more community solar opportunities.

Oil industry stakes out its role in a changing climate

OIL & GAS: At a major energy conference in Houston, some oil and gas executives talked about climate change and clean energy, but others doubled down on the need for fossil fuels. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: The Trump administration officially scraps protections for the endangered sage grouse, opening nearly 9 million acres to drilling and mining operations. (Washington Post)

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POLICY:
• Virginia lawmakers approve a bill to support research for pumped-storage hydro and renewables in hopes of making the state’s coalfields an energy hotbed again.

Is transmission the answer on grid resilience?

SOLAR: Solar power is growing in areas typically dominated by wind generation as a federal wind tax credit steps down. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• A former Trump economic adviser says he tried to sell the president on the importance of solar jobs, which far exceed coal-mining jobs. (Bloomberg)
• At an event unveiling Tesla’s latest vehicle, Elon Musk says 2019 will be the “the year of the solar roof and power wall.” (Greentech Media)

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TRANSMISSION: FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee suggests transmission investments could play a central role in grid resilience. (Utility Dive)

STORAGE: Microgrids and other standalone energy systems could help deliver electricity to California when utilities shut down power to help prevent wildfires.

‘Jello at the wall’: DOE, states grasp to prop up power plants

POWER PLANTS:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he’s “thrown a lot of jello at the wall” looking for ways to keep coal and nuclear power plants from closing. (Houston Chronicle)
• Without federal help, local governments are also attempting to save coal plants with different results around the country. (Ars Technica)

RENEWABLES: Midwest states are among the world leaders for the percentage of electricity that comes from wind and solar power. (Axios)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit, March 19-21 in San Diego, is recognized as the leading gathering place for senior-level solar and financial executives to network and set their deal-making calendars for the upcoming year. See you at the 2019 summit!***

SOLAR:
• Corporations locking into long-term solar contracts face financial risk if prices continue to decline with the growth of the industry.