U.S. Energy News

Forecast: Wind power will surpass hydro as top clean energy source

WIND: Wind is on track to become the nation’s top source of renewable electricity within the next year, surpassing hydroelectricity for the first time. (Huffington Post)

• Maine Gov. Paul Le Page places a moratorium on permits for new wind energy projects in the state’s western and coastal areas. (Portland Press Herald)
• Turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa plans to lay off 195 workers at a plant in Iowa due to low short-term business volume. (KWQC)

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• Several solar manufacturers announce expansion plans following the adoption of a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels, but most experts say a manufacturing renaissance is unlikely. (Greentech Media)
• Texas-based Mission Solar Energy plans to ramp up solar panel production in light of the new import tariff. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• Federal trade officials will allow companies to apply for specific solar products to be exempted from the tariff. (Greentech Media)
• The Trump administration announce a new competition to “re-energize innovation” in the U.S. solar manufacturing market. (The Hill)
• The solar tariffs could delay a clean energy transition in coal country. (InsideClimate News)

• By springtime, every bottle of Budweiser beer brewed in the U.S. will be made with 100 percent renewable electricity and include a new clean energy symbol. (Fast Company)
• Cypress Creek Renewables sues Montana’s Public Service Commission for violating federal laws intended to promote small alternative energy projects. (Billings Gazette)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Colorado’s governor unveils a plan to grow the state’s electric vehicle market that includes ramping up EV charging infrastructure and updating road signage so drivers know where fast-charging stations are located. (Denver Post)

• California sues the Trump administration for repealing Obama-era rules that tightened environmental standards for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. (Washington Post)
• Saudi oil giant Aramco is looking at new business opportunities in the U.S., citing favorable tax cuts and President Trump’s support for the oil industry. (Reuters)
• Natural gas will stay the top U.S. power source for the next two years, while coal is expected to drop to 28 percent, the U.S. Department of Energy projects. (Houston Chronicle)

• Nationally, coal-fired power plants continue to shutter as the consumption of coal decreases. (New York Times)
• Coal giant Murray Energy spent $1 million last year to support the Trump campaign, according to new reports. (New York Times)

• New Jersey’s largest utility worked with the Christie administration to craft a nuclear subsidy bill that would benefit it while shielding financial information from the public. (Associated Press)
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) grants two insurance exemptions to the company overseeing California’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, saying the risk of an accident is smaller because the plant no longer produces electricity. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Dominion Energy’s plan to buy South Carolina’s SCANA Corp. is still on the table, but the biggest impediment may be South Carolina lawmakers lack of trust in the utilities following the failure of the Summer nuclear project. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Post and Courier)

POLITICS: Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the U.S. is “exporting freedom” by giving European countries more choice for where to buy their fossil fuels. (The Hill)

• NuScale Power is building a small modular nuclear reactor that won’t melt down, and it’s “a big deal,” says a contributor to Forbes.
• A new tariff on solar imports won’t be enough to spur investment in U.S. manufacturing, but it may cost taxpayers more than $400 million, Quartz writes.
• Online price quote aggregators can lower the cost of a new solar energy system by much more than President Trump’s new tariff raises it, ThinkProgress reports.

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