U.S. Energy News

Pope urges oil companies not to destroy civilization

CLIMATE: In a two-day conference at the Vatican, Pope Francis warns oil companies that expanding energy access “must not destroy civilization” in the process. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• First Solar breaks ground on a $400 million thin-film solar panel production facility in Ohio that will be the largest solar factory by capacity in the Western Hemisphere. (Toledo Blade)
• As independent solar developers look to build utility-scale projects in Michigan, the approval of a 1,100 MW natural gas plant may limit their opportunities. (Midwest Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Host, Puget Sound Energy, for the West Coast Energy Management conference and expo, June 20-21 in Seattle. Use code EMC18CO at checkout for $200 reduced conference registration.***

POWER PLANTS:
• Critics of President Trump’s plan to bail out uneconomic coal and nuclear plants call it a form of “Trump socialism” that is about “favors and political paybacks.” (Toledo Blade)
• One legal expert calls the plan “a mystery and a mess” as a string of lawsuits are anticipated if it moves forward. (E&E News)
• A natural gas pipeline group says the plan to help coal and nuclear plants is an attempt to “punish” the gas industry. (Utility Dive)
• The plan could lead to higher electricity prices in West Virginia, warn consumer advocates and regional electric grid representatives. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A Wyoming economist says the plan would have minimal impact on the state’s coal industry. (Gillette News Record)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Massachusetts lawmakers will take up a bill this week that would accelerate clean energy requirements, including a 2,000 MW storage requirement and authorizing 5,000 MW of offshore wind. (CommonWealth Magazine)
• More than 200 city mayors endorse a 100-percent renewable energy goal at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston. (Huffington Post)
• Only 1 in 5 Southeastern cities recently surveyed have emissions reduction goals, but half expect to install more renewable energy, according to a nonprofit group. (InsideClimate News)

NATURAL GAS: Pipeline outages along with restrictions on storage could lead to natural gas shortages in Southern California this winter. (Ars Technica)

CARBON CAPTURE: Experts remain divided on the potential of carbon capture. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: A state investigation into the cause of last year’s wildfires in California could pave the way for victims to sue a utility for damages and prevent it from passing on the cost to customers. (San Francisco Chronicle)

***SPONSORED LINK: Registration is now open for the TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium on July 26, in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.***

POLITICS: The top three donors in the current Nevada election cycle are funneling money toward an energy choice ballot measure. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• A clean energy advocate says President Trump’s “unprecedented intervention in electricity markets” will result in higher prices for consumers. (The Hill)
• Why economic models may be drastically underestimating the costs of climate change. (Vox)

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