U.S. Energy News

2015 was another record year for U.S. solar installations

SOLAR: A new report finds 2015 was another record-breaking year for U.S. solar, with nearly 7.3 GW of new capacity installed. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• A Nevada lawmaker says the state’s net metering changes have led to “almost the entire eradication” of the state’s solar industry. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• A new 110 MW solar + storage plant, capable of pushing out electricity 24 hours a day, goes online in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Florida’s Daytona International Speedway is now home to a 2.1 MW solar array. (Orlando Business Journal)
• Market shifts hit Oregon’s solar manufacturing industry. (Portland Business Journal)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
All but five states have made official statements on whether they’ll continue work on the Clean Power Plan. (SNL Energy)
• The death of Justice Antonin Scalia “puts all the action” on the D.C. Circuit. (Greenwire)

WIND:
• “Wind energy remains quite strong” in Kansas despite the state’s efforts to fight carbon regulation. (McClatchy)
• Texas set a new wind power record Thursday night, powering more than 45 percent of the state’s grid. (Houston Chronicle)

OIL AND GAS:
• U.S. rig counts are at their lowest levels in 17 years. (Dallas Business Journal)
• Energy expert Daniel Yergin says a “day of reckoning” is coming soon for the industry. (Houston Chronicle)
• Industry groups are questioning a federal agency’s authority to cancel oil and gas leases based on a lack of environmental review. (EnergyWire)
• Ceramic particles are beginning to replace sand in some fracking operations. (Pittsburgh Tribune)
A new multi-year study shows that coal beds are most likely to blame for methane found in water wells in an Ohio county, though fracked wells could cause contamination in the future. (Midwest Energy News)
• Oklahoma’s earthquake mitigation plan may not go far enough. (InsideClimate News)
• A study examines whether treated wastewater from drilling should be used to irrigate parched California crops. (Civil Eats)

PIPELINES:
• The shale production downturn is “a hellacious problem” for pipeline operators and other midstream companies. (Reuters)
• Enbridge is turning its focus away from Canada’s oil sands. (Bloomberg)

OIL BY RAIL: New rules in Washington state require railroads to prove they can clean up oil spills. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

COAL: Coal’s decline will hit four Montana companies especially hard. (Billings Gazette)

TRANSMISSION: Experts dispute a paper’s recommendation for a national grid to promote clean energy. (Utility Dive)

HYDROPOWER: A report finds California’s drought has led to an additional $2 billion in electricity costs over the past four years because of low hydropower output. (Huffington Post)

ELECTRIC CARS: The U.S. EPA has reportedly asked Volkswagen to manufacture its electric cars in the U.S. as well as help build a charging infrastructure network. (Reuters)

BIOMASS:
Wood pellets from the southern U.S. are helping Britain meet its renewable energy targets, but environmentalists warn it’s not sustainable. (Science 2.0)
Low natural gas prices jeopardize Maine’s wood-to-energy industry. (Portland Press Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• A natural gas price increase may be coming next year. (Forbes)
• Is Warren Buffet waging a war on solar? (DeSmogBlog)

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