U.S. Energy News

Report: Wind now top source of renewable electricity capacity

WIND: Wind power has become the largest source of renewable electricity capacity in the country, exceeding the generating capacity of hydroelectric power for the first time, according to a new report. (The Hill, New York Times)

ALSO:
• The first large-scale wind farm in North Carolina is fully operational, despite efforts by 10 legislators to shut the project down. (Associated Press)
• A Maine lawmaker submits a bill to stop an experimental floating wind farm from being built within 10 miles of a lobster conservation area. (Portland Press Herald)
• Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems tops the U.S. wind market, supplying 43 percent of wind power capacity. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) at the Energy Storage Conference, February 15 in Milwaukee. This conference will explore recent advances in energy storage technologies, as well as the applications and in-field examples of the role of energy storage. ***

SOLAR:
• Ten policy debates over rooftop solar to watch this year. (Utility Dive)
• The Navy is planning to build a 200-acre solar farm and energy storage system on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. (Pacific Business News)
• Indiana lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate net metering in the state – a move that critics say would tilt the market in favor of utilities and make it difficult to break even on solar installations. (Associated Press)
• A China-based solar cell and module manufacturer is expected to bring more than 200 jobs to a new factory in Sacramento, California. (Sacramento Business Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Minnesota could create 15,000 jobs and save more than $3.1 billion by reducing energy use in municipal buildings, universities, schools and hospitals, according to a new report. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION:
• The Trump administration may shutter the enforcement division of the EPA. (Huffington Post)
• Over 6o percent of Americans oppose removing regulations that combat climate change, while only 40 percent support the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, according to a new survey. (TIME)

EMISSIONS: As Congress works to scrap a federal methane rule, California moves ahead with its own methane rule, which seeks to cut emissions from oil and gas extraction by nearly half. (KPCC)

COAL:
• West Virginia’s governor promises to stop the state Department of Environmental Protection from saying “no” to the coal industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The White House press secretary says rolling back regulations on coal plants will be done in an “environmentally friendly” way. (Independent)

OIL & GAS:
• A Colorado county is refusing to rescind a moratorium on oil and gas drilling despite a state Supreme Court ruling that only the state can regulate the industry. (Associated Press)
• About 8,700 megawatts of new natural gas capacity was added in 2016, compared to 6,400 megawatts in 2015, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES:
• Crews restart construction on the final segment of the Dakota Access Pipeline, as a local tribe files a legal challenge to block the project. (Associated Press)
• The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says he “was disrespected” by the Trump administration and opponents are now running out of options to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Washington Post, Reuters)
• Workers are injured during a pipeline explosion and fire in southern Louisiana, which has led to the evacuation of about 60 homes. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: The Cherokee Nation and the state of Oklahoma are fighting to stop approximately 11,000 tons of radioactive waste from being stored in a rural town near the Arkansas and Illinois rivers. (Tulsa World)

COMMENTARY: California’s solar incentive program contains valuable lessons for states looking to accelerate clean energy adoption, according to a state energy commissioner and clean energy trade group leader. (Utility Dive)

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