U.S. Energy News

Report: ‘Mixed bag’ for U.S. efficiency as spending declines

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EFFICIENCY: U.S. investment in energy efficiency fell 18% from 2016-2018 as a new report presents a “mixed bag” showing progress is not moving fast enough. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE: Actress Jane Fonda builds momentum around climate change protests in Washington, D.C.: “This is it, folks. This is the time.” (Energy News Network)

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EMISSIONS: The Sierra Club drops its lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency as 12 states submit emissions plans to the agency. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES: Exelon faces a potential class-action lawsuit for allegedly making false and misleading statements about a federal investigation into its lobbying activities. (Chicago Sun-Times)

BIOFUELS: The White House will stick to a plan released in October over biofuel blending requirements that farmers say does too little for corn growers. (Reuters)

MICROGRIDS: PG&E’s pursuit of the biggest U.S. microgrid portfolio ever could reverse the slowdown of the U.S. microgrid market this year. (Greentech Media)

TRANSMISSION: The dispute between clean energy advocates and landowners over the controversial Grain Belt Express transmission project is poised to resurface in the Missouri legislature next month. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Changes are in store for the U.S. residential solar market as installations become less concentrated in a few states and incentives become more diversified. (Greentech Media)
• As U.S. residential solar installations hit record numbers, just two companies control 80% of the inverter market. (Greentech Media)
• Solar markets in Florida and Texas have risen up the ranks in the last decade, surpassing legacy markets in the Northeast, according to a report from a solar energy group. (Greentech Media)

TRANSPORTATION:
President Trump’s acting Office of Management and Budget director accuses automakers of “trying to have their cake and eat it too” in backing California on auto fuel efficiency standards. (Washington Examiner)
• A small Vancouver-based airline tests short flights using an electrified motor, though significant challenges remain for electric air travel. (Vox)

WIND: U.S. wind development is poised for strong growth in the coming years even as a federal tax credit begins to phase out, analysts say. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: Solar and wind could be used to power magnetic levitation technology in a hyperloop system planned to connect Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

OIL & GAS:
Petrochemical companies are expanding along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, and building a new plastics hub in Appalachia. (Yale 360)
• New York’s decision five years ago to ban fracking was praised by environmentalists but others say it represents a missed economic opportunity. (Times Telegram)
U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette says the Permian oil slowdown is likely a temporary “pause” and that growth will eventually resume. (Houston Chronicle)
Experts are skeptical of the EPA’s rule allowing oil and gas operators to ‘self-audit’ on emissions, citing the failures of Utah’s extraction industry. (Deseret News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A utility proposal to build an electric vehicle charging network in New Jersey raises concerns that it would burden ratepayers as the state pursues other clean energy initiatives. (E&E News, subscription)

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CLEAN ENERGY: A new report finds that the transition to clean energy in the U.S. is driven by cities, states, and corporations. (Solar Energy World)

COMMENTARY:
Arguments questioning electric vehicles’ emissions are “running on empty, given coal’s decline and renewables’ rise,” writes a Forbes contributor.
• A “smart transition” to 100% renewable energy will require investments in firm capacity, including natural gas in some areas, say clean energy consultants. (Utility Dive)

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