U.S. Energy News

Solar companies shift course due to Trump’s import tariffs

SOLAR: President Trump’s solar tariffs have brought “disruption, distortion and uncertainty” to the U.S. solar industry. (New York Times)

ALSO:
The U.S. solar industry took a hit last year, but experts say better times lie ahead thanks to community solar trends and improving economics. (Greentech Media)
A Massachusetts solar company is in a dispute with the Department of Energy over whether it can build a plant in Asia. (E&E News)

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STORAGE: The DOE announces $30 million in funding for energy storage systems that can power the grid for at least 10 hours. (Utility Dive)

WIND:  The Southeast isn’t as windy as other parts of the country, but state policies and a lack of incentives are big factors for why the region lags far behind the rest of the country in wind energy. (Vox)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A clean energy business association gains traction in Minnesota with a simple message: Clean energy means jobs. (Midwest Energy News)
• Kansas City Power & Light partners with the city to achieve ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A company that makes hydrogen-powered semi trucks sues Tesla for allegedly infringing on its design patents. (Reuters)

BIOFUEL: Sources say the Trump administration will meet with a group of U.S. senators next week to discuss biofuels policy. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: Bill Gates’ firm TerraPower wants to build a safe, almost waste-free nuclear reactor to help combat climate change. (Scientific American)

EMISSIONS: Volkswagen customers in Arizona will receive up to $1,000 for every vehicle purchased from the company under a $40 million settlement over vehicle emissions cheating. (The Hill)

OIL AND GAS: The Trump administration proposes relaxing restrictions on oil and gas leasing in a large area of the West that is home to an imperiled bird. (Associated Press)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The offshore oil industry turns to robots and drones instead of skilled technicians to cut costs and improve safety in places like the Gulf of Mexico. (Reuters)

PIPELINES: A Virginia state senator sues the U.S. Forest Service, claiming federal officials are illegally blocking road access in the Jefferson National Forest, where people are protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: The Southern California Gas Company allegedly tried to slow efforts to electrify buildings because the transition would hurt the utility’s bottom line. (Greentech Media)

EPA:
A lobbyist whose wife rented a condo to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt contacted the agency on behalf of a client last year, despite earlier statements to the contrary. (ABC News)
Pruitt has been taking credit for President Obama’s environmental accomplishments. (New Republic)

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CLIMATE: At least 10 climate-friendly executive orders that were issued under President Obama have yet to be repealed by the Trump administration. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:  
Energy efficiency and solar power can help save affordable multifamily housing, says a research analyst at American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy. (ACEEE)
The key problem with the Clean Power Plan is it’s “simply not authorized” under the Clean Air Act, says a representative for the National Mining Association. (The Hill)

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