U.S. Energy News

Multiple studies say solar prices will continue to fall

SOLAR: Solar energy prices are at an all-time low and look to fall even further, according to recent studies. (San Francisco Business Times)

ALSO:
• Florida voters approve a constitutional amendment to provide property tax breaks to residents and business owners who install solar panels. (Florida Today)
• Texas could generate more solar power than California in the coming decade. (Greentech Media)
• Across Minnesota there has been an “unprecedented surge” in the number of churches installing rooftop solar panels and encouraging members to do the same. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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HYDRO:
• The U.S. Department of Energy gives $5.3 million to a company in Maine that is pioneering methods to harness river and tidal energy. (Portland Press Herald)
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards a $2.6 million contract for the construction of a lamprey passage system at a hydropower plant on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. (HydroWorld)

CLIMATE:
• A Republican mayor from an Indianapolis suburb has focused on urban design as a way to decrease transportation emissions and mitigate climate change.(Midwest Energy News)
• Carbon dioxide emissions from burning natural gas for electricity are expected to be 10 percent greater than those from coal in 2016. (Climate Central)

NUCLEAR: Sophisticated inspections are necessary to safely extend the life of aging nuclear power plants. (Nature)

GRID:
• Without any storage or grid upgrades, researchers say the eastern U.S. grid could accommodate a yearly average of 30 percent renewable electricity, or an additional 400 gigawatts. (Greentech Media)
• A state land commissioner approves a proposed electric line across southern New Mexico and Arizona, saying it will “improve New Mexico’s electric grid and support the transmission of electricity to key western markets.” (ABQJournal)

UTILITIES: Hawaii’s largest utility will pay $10.8 million to the Secretary of the Army for a 35-year lease on a biofuel-capable power plant in Oahu. (Pacific Business News)

TECHNOLOGY: General Electric is giving $7.5 million to MIT with the aim of advancing research and development in a range of energy initiatives, including solar and storage. (Boston Business Journal)

OIL & GAS:
Oil discoveries are at an all-time low, with just 2.7 billion barrels of new supply discovered in 2015. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Bolts and fasteners are failing at an alarming rate on subsea oil and gas equipment in the Gulf of Mexico, as regulators warn of a looming tragedy. (Greenwire)
• The Bureau of Land Management announces it will start holding online lease sales for oil and gas drilling. (Morning Consult)

COAL:
• U.S. colleges and universities have cut coal consumption by almost two-thirds over the past eight years, according to a new report. (FuelFix)
• How the U.S. compares to other countries in the global challenge to decrease coal consumption. (New York Times)

POLITICS:
• A lawsuit over an Obama administration regulation that limits emissions from new coal- and natural gas-fired power plants will not conclude until next year, placing the fate of the regulations on the next president. (The Hill)
• House Republicans will hold a hearing next month to assert their authority over investigations into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors on climate change risks. (The Hill)

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CARBON TAX: A Hillary Clinton adviser and Nobel prize-winning economist says taxing carbon would be the best way to address climate change and boost the U.S. economy. (CNN Money)

COMMENTARY: In nuclear policy, too little thought is given to the considerable costs of storing radioactive waste on site. (Utility Dive)

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