U.S. Energy News

Report: U.S. sees lowest number of solar installations in two years

SOLAR: The U.S. solar market saw its lowest number of installations in two years during the third quarter of 2017, partially due to uncertainty over whether President Trump will impose solar tariffs, according to a new report. (Greentech Media, Reuters)

ALSO:
• This year is shaping up to be Oregon’s biggest ever for residential solar installations, with 12 megawatts already installed, according to a new report. (Portland Business Journal)
• BP acquires a 43 percent stake in Europe’s largest solar developer, which has plans to quadruple its capacity to 8 gigawatts through large-scale projects in the U.S. and other countries. (Reuters)

WIND:
• Canada-based TransAlta says it cannot develop a wind project in Montana under “extremely difficult” terms set this week by state regulators. (Billing Gazette)
• Under a new agreement, the developers of two wind farms proposed for the Texas-New Mexico border will have to ensure 30 percent of plant costs involve subcontractors, vendors and labor from New Mexico. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: An Arizona utility that serves the Phoenix area says it will issue a request for proposals for 100 megawatts of renewable energy as part of an effort to expand its green energy portfolio for large commercial and industrial customers. (Phoenix Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The rise of electric vehicles will bring a unique set of pressures to battery suppliers, utilities and oil companies, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Ford announces plans for a site near downtown Detroit that will serve as a base for high-level employees working on electric and autonomous vehicles. (New York Times)

POLICY: A “tentative” fix in the GOP tax bill could save tax equity financing for renewable energy, according to a senator working on the legislation. (Bloomberg)

GRID:
• A 10-year forecast predicts that natural gas and renewables will be able to meet the grid’s reliability needs, despite the closure of coal and nuclear plants. (Greentech Media)
• A California program designed to strengthen the electricity grid has lost consumers nearly $700 million since 2009 due to trading by speculators and other investors. (Los Angeles Times)
• Ohio-based FirstEnergy plans to open a $37 million facility in Akron to test and train employees on new digital grid technologies. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

COAL:
• Pennsylvania is expected to produce more coal this year than it did in 2016, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. (Tribune Review)
• Some U.S. coal plants are especially exposed to credit risks due to local policies to transition to lower carbon forms of energy, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)
• Nine train cars derail in West Virginia, spilling coal into a stream. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS: Researchers have a new understanding of what could be causing drilling-related earthquakes in Kansas and Oklahoma, which may help oil and gas companies predict areas prone to induced earthquakes. (Phys.org)

NUCLEAR:
• A tax credit for new nuclear production that had been included in a U.S. House bill is excluded in Republican’s overhaul. (Bloomberg)
• A formal complaint is filed in Georgia over Westinghouse’s decision not to use licensed engineers to oversee and approve the designs of the Vogtle nuclear plant. (Post and Courier)
• New Jersey’s biggest utility is pushing state lawmakers to enact a subsidy for nuclear energy. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• States have been tackling carbon pollution on their own since President Trump announced the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord. (Associated Press)
• California regulators approve a plan for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels over the next 13 years. (Los Angeles Times)

EMISSIONS: A majority of registered voters support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, according to a national poll released this week(Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• If California Governor Jerry Brown truly cares about climate change, he should take action to reduce the supply of oil produced in the state, says a contributing writer to the Los Angeles Times.
• The Economist explains why the Trump administration’s proposal to subsidize the struggling U.S. coal industry is “a really bad idea.”

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