U.S. Energy News

Analyst: Renewable energy in U.S. has gone ‘mainstream’

RENEWABLES: Speaking at a conference last week, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance explains that renewable energy has gone “mainstream” compared to just three years ago. (ThinkProgress)

CLIMATE:
• A White House official says President Trump’s top advisers will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate agreement. (Politico)
• An architect of the Paris agreement says “the text is very clear” that the U.S. cannot lower its target. (E&E News)
• Scientists say “there was no cause for a wholesale review” of the EPA’s climate change site, which has been taken offline for updates “to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump.” (Washington Post)
• A small group of Republican lawmakers is backing a bipartisan House bill that seeks to establish a commission to search for economically viable solutions to climate change. (InsideClimate News)

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SOLAR:
• Florida’s senate unanimously approves a bill implementing voter-approved tax breaks for solar. (SaintPetersBlog)
• SolarCity installs 40 percent fewer solar systems in its first quarter, compared to the same period last year. (Reuters)
• The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will consider a proposal to use $25 million in federal bonds start powering city-owned buildings with solar energy, which is expected to create 135 jobs and save taxpayers over $20 million. (Albuquerque Business First)
• Clean-energy advocates hold a rally in Maine to support legislation that would maintain and expand financial incentives for rooftop solar, but opponents say the bill would raise electric rates. (Portland Press Herald)

EFFICIENCY: Over 100 million of country’s 117 million households lacked any kind of energy-smart device in 2016, but 40 million households are expected to have a smart thermostat by 2020, according to a recent analysis. (Greentech Media)

CONSERVATION: An alliance of industry groups, environmentalists and government agencies believe habitat restoration along electric transmission line corridors could help decimated pollinator populations and cut maintenance costs. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• Southern Co. says it is receiving “A+” support from the Trump administration and Congress regarding the completion of its nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina. (E&E News)
• Southern Co. says it needs $3.7 billion from Toshiba to complete a nuclear plant in Georgia. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado officials are calling for a rapid inspection of the state’s oil and gas wells after a fatal home explosion was linked to a nearby gas well leak. (Denver Business Journal)
• A Portland, Oregon, electric utility is increasingly optimistic that it can meet its power needs without building a new natural gas plant, drawing praise from environmentalists. (Portland Business Journal)
• A coastal business group explains how it plans to fight efforts to expand offshore drilling. (Southeast Energy News)

COAL:
• A utility tells state regulators that it wants to close Nevada’s last utility-owned, coal-burning power plant 10 years ahead of schedule. (Associated Press)
• Experts say states shouldn’t rely on the federal government for mining inspections. (Bloomberg BNA)

COMMENTARY:
• A petition calling for new tariffs on imported solar cells would double the cost of solar in the U.S. and threaten thousands of jobs, says the founder of SunEdison. (Utility Dive)
• After more than 20 years in the making, an EPA rule to regulate mercury emissions could be overturned by the Trump administration, says a senior attorney at the Institute for Policy Integrity. (Grist)
• Investing in a “clean coal” plant in Mississippi might be worth it if natural gas prices spike again, according to a columnist for Forbes.

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