U.S. Energy News

Report: Solar market breaks records, over 14,600 MW installed in 2016

SOLAR: U.S. solar developers installed 14,626 megawatts of solar PV last year – a 95 percent increase over the previous record of 7,493 megawatts installed in 2015, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• A 14-state power grid in the Southwest says it broke a wind energy record on Sunday, with turbines providing over 50 percent of electricity demand. (Reuters)
• With California conservationists increasingly opposing wind farms, developers are pushing farms to other states and creating new opportunities for wind power and transmission firms to import the electricity to California. (Reuters)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Financial analysts say Republican plans to upend the tax code would present both benefits and challenges for wind and solar. (Utility Dive)
• U.S. renewable energy capacity has more than tripled since 2008, but the country still lags behind Europe and China. (Nature)

STORAGE: A Germany-based home battery startup is opening a new factory in Atlanta, Georgia. (Greentech Media)

POLICY: Seventy percent of Trump voters support tax rebates for consumers who buy solar panels and fuel-efficient cars, and more than half want to end subsidies for fossil fuels, according to a recent study. (ThinkProgress)

CARBON TAX: A coalition of conservative groups are asking for a meeting with White House officials to argue against a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, saying “such a policy would place undue economic burdens on American families and businesses.” (The Hill)

GRID:
• Developers working on a transmission hub to link the nation’s three major electricity grids say they are scaling down their budget from $1.5 billion to about $200 million. (Associated Press)
• The board behind the PJM Interconnection power grid voted to invest $1.5 billion to upgrade aging energy infrastructure and rebuild transmission lines. (Philadelphia Business Journal)

NUCLEAR:
• Energy companies file a federal lawsuit to oppose legislation that provides up to $235 million in annual subsidies to their competitor, Chicago-based Exelon Corp., so it can keep unprofitable nuclear plants running. (Associated Press)
• The Department of Energy will transport 6,000 gallons of highly toxic nuclear waste from Canada to South Carolina by truck over a three-year period. (Mother Jones)

COAL:
• By 2019 coal could again become the nation’s top energy source if the Clean Power Plan is not implemented, according to a Department of Energy analysis. (FuelFix)
• Tribes in Arizona say the closure of the region’s largest coal-fired power plant is “really going to hurt.” (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• A proposed pipeline in the Northeast will cost $6.6 billion to construct and regional demand will decline shortly after it’s completed, according to a firm that insists the project is not needed. (Utility Dive)
• Dakota Access Pipeline opponents are continuing to file court cases in a race to block the project before construction is completed. (Washington Post, The Hill)
• A natural gas pipeline explodes near a rural community in South Texas. (Associated Press)

POLLUTION:
• Texas regulators fine an oil and gas wastewater management company for releasing toxic water without a permit over several months. (FuelFix)
• A researcher at the Colorado School of Public Health says young people diagnosed with leukemia in rural Colorado were 4.3 times more likely to live near active oil and gas wells than those with other cancers, but the state’s chief medical officer says the findings aren’t substantiated. (Denver Business Journal)

UTILITIES: After changes to protect ratepayers, two groups are dropping their opposition to a bill to allow Xcel Energy to construct a $1 billion natural gas plant in Minnesota without going through a Public Utilities Commission process required by law. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: The Renewable Fuel Standard alleviates national dependence on petroleum imports and increases energy security, according to a former U.S. senator from Missouri. (Investor’s Business Daily)

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