Daily digest

‘Boom times are back’ for wind with tax credit extension

RENEWABLE TAX CREDITS:
• One analysis says extending federal tax credits for wind and solar “will do far more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years than lifting the (crude oil) export ban will do to increase them.” (Council on Foreign Relations)
Another analysis suggests extending the solar credit could increase utility efforts to limit net metering and capture the market themselves. (PV Magazine)
The “boom times are back” for the U.S. wind industry. (NPR)

FRACKING: More complete information about the naturally occurring water in shale formations could help operators protect equipment as well as lead to safer disposal options. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Rocky Mountain Institute’s e-Lab Accelerator is calling on America’s most innovative teams at the forefront of the electricity transformation looking to take projects to the next level. See if your project is eligible for this invitation-only event April 24—27. ***

EFFICIENCY: A West Michigan city is in the top five of a national competition that will reward cities for changing their energy use. (MLive)

OIL BY RAIL:
• As trains have gotten longer, heavier and started carrying more crude oil, the number of rail inspectors has stayed the same. (Columbus Dispatch)
Much of the information contained in reports about oil train accidents is kept from the public. (Columbus Dispatch)
An analysis of federal records shows most railway incidents can be blamed on track defects and human error. (Columbus Dispatch)

SECURITY: Cyberattackers have been sneaking into the vulnerable U.S. power grid for years. (Associated Press)

RELIABILITY: A federal regulatory authority says reserve margins for utilities will be sufficient over the next five years, but they are trending downward. (Utility Dive)

FRAC SAND: Advocates in one Minnesota Wisconsin county continue to campaign for a ban on frac sand mining. (Winona Daily News)

NUCLEAR: A Navy officer and industry expert says nuclear has a future in North Dakota. (Grand Forks Herald)

OIL AND GAS: A new report says oil and gas companies rarely disclose detailed information on emissions to investors. (ClimateWire)

SOLAR:
• AEP’s proposed settlement agreement in Ohio could turn the state into a solar manufacturing hub. (Athens News)
• A Nebraska utility revises the structure for reimbursing customers who put solar energy back on the grid. (Lincoln Journal Star)
The “soft costs” of permitting, financing and installing solar projects is an ongoing challenge for the industry’s growth. (ClimateWire)

SUSTAINABILITY: A 30-story building in Milwaukee becomes the region’s largest facility to earn a gold LEED certification. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Grid Modernization Forum, January 19-20 in Chicago, is a focused industry conference examining the integration of renewables, energy storage, microgrids, engaging the customer, and key regulatory issues.  Enter “ME-News” when registering for 10% off.  ***

COMMENTARY:
• While it is thriving, “the threat remains” against Minnesota’s energy efficiency program. (MinnPost)
• In Ohio, there is an uneven playing field between millions of utility customers and utility lobbyists. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CORRECTION: An item in Friday’s digest incorrectly stated where a plant will continue burning coal indefinitely despite protests. It is in Illinois, not Wisconsin.

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