U.S. Energy News

Report: Wind, solar costs will continue to plummet

RENEWABLES: A new report says the costs of wind and solar power will continue to plummet over the next decade. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE:
• Scientists say carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 ppm, and is unlikely to fall below that level in our lifetimes. (Washington Post)
• The agriculture sector is responsible for a steadily growing amount of greenhouse gas emissions. (Climate Central)

POLICY:
• Describing it as a “floor rather than a ceiling,” some advocates say Nevada’s renewable energy standard may have outlived its usefulness. (KNPR)
• Rhode Island lawmakers are dropping clean-energy legislation, including a plan to expand net metering, over concerns about a provision benefiting a single wind developer. (Associated Press)

GRID:
• Critics say an effort to connect California’s grid with neighboring states is more about profit than clean energy. (Los Angeles Times)
• Utilities are ramping up investments in battery storage startup companies as distributed generation grows. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Utility executives gather in Chicago to embrace distributed generation but also to reaffirm their companies’ role as administrators of the grid. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• The U.S. Department of Energy announces $82 million for nuclear research projects in 28 states. (Associated Press)
• After stopping work on the project in 2013, Duke Energy is poised to secure a federal license for a new plant on Florida’s Gulf coast. (Politico)

OIL AND GAS:
• The EPA finalizes a rule banning disposal of drilling wastewater at public sewage plants. (NPR)
• Colorado researchers find emissions of methane, benzene and other compounds during oil and gas production. (Denver Post)
• Texas ranchers find they have little recourse when drillers spill wastewater on their land. (Houston Chronicle)

BIOFUELS: New research partially funded by the U.S. government says there is “no clear relationship between biofuels and higher prices that threaten access to food.” (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• A Montana utility wants to pay a lower rate to small solar projects. (Billings Gazette)
• Solar panels are installed on the historic Massachusetts home where Henry David Thoreau was born. (Boston Globe)
• Solar arrays on farmland create tax complications in Vermont. (VT Digger)

WIND: Development of a major Wyoming wind project is on hold as the state considers increasing taxes on wind energy. (Wyoming Public Radio)

FINANCE: A new federal program lets homeowners use a long-term mortgage to finance clean energy improvements. (Washington Post)

COAL:
• A Montana congressman pushes to give state and tribal governments more say over federal coal policy. (Billings Gazette)
• About 4,000 rally in Lexington, Kentucky calling on Congress to extend the federal health care benefits of retired miners. (Associated Press)

HYDRO: Energy discussions in Congress include plans to reform hydropower permitting. (E&E Daily)

COMMENTARY:
• Ensuring solar is available to everyone and preventing potential cross-subsidization among customer classes are ways to develop a robust industry. (Midwest Energy News)
• The reality for Texas: Clean energy uses less water. (Breaking Energy)
• While energy transitions have typically been slow, the clean energy movement might be a lot faster. (Vox)

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