U.S. Energy News

PURPA reined? Feds adopt changes to independent power law

SOLAR: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission places new limits on what projects qualify for PURPA, the 1978 federal law that has helped with development of about one-third of all U.S. solar projects. (Greentech Media, Bloomberg)

ALSO: FERC unanimously rejects a petition from a dark-money group that would have nullified state net metering rules. (Greentech Media)

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OVERSIGHT: Some experts say the Trump administration’s rollback of NEPA could make energy projects more vulnerable to legal challenges, while advocates note the change makes it even harder to plan for climate change. (E&E News, subscription, The Hill)

CLIMATE:
A coalition of researchers have developed a way to track global carbon emissions in real time. (Vox)
An examination of climate pledges from major oil companies finds that most do not actually involve cutting production and place hopes on unproven technology. (InsideClimate News)
A climate working group in Maine makes five recommendations on meeting the state’s goals that would require a “power sector transformation.” (Energy News Network)
Sacramento’s municipal utility board votes to adopt a climate emergency declaration that could make it the first independent utility to commit to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. (PV Magazine)

GRID: An EIA report finds grid-scale battery storage grew from 59 MW in 2010 to 869 MW by the end of 2018. (Energy + Environment Leader)

PIPELINES:
• A Louisiana appeals court rules that the Bayou Bridge Pipeline “trampled” the rights of landowners when the company cut down trees, dug trenches and laid pipeline across properties without permission. (Courthouse News Service)
A coalition of environmental and landowner groups filed suit this week to block the Trump administration’s approval of Keystone XL pipeline construction on federal lands in Montana. (UPI)

COAL: Analysts expect 2020 U.S. coal consumption to drop by more than 30% after a “very weak” second quarter due to lower demand during the pandemic. (S&P Global)

CALIFORNIA: An investigation by the State of California finds that PG&E transmission lines ignited the Kincade Fire in October 2019. (San Francisco Chronicle)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• New York regulators approve a $700 million electric vehicle incentive program to encourage utilities to build charging station infrastructure that also includes $206 million dedicated to low-income areas. (E&E News, subscription)
Registrations of Tesla electric vehicles in California dropped 48% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. (Reuters)

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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Advocates discuss the environmental justice challenges in Indiana as well as policy solutions that include a just transition for workers and community solar. (Indiana Public Media)

COMMENTARY:
• Advocates say FERC is “undercutting the ability of solar and wind power to get a fair chance to compete.” (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• Former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg praises Joe Biden’s climate plan. (Bloomberg)

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