U.S. Energy News

Solar policy in flux as states go separate ways on net metering

SOLAR: Kentucky lawmakers’ decision to roll back net metering bucks pro-solar legislation passed in several other states. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• Meanwhile, Maine lawmakers approve a bill to restore net metering, while the Iowa Senate passes a bill to add a new fee for most utility customers with solar panels. (Utility Dive, Radio Iowa)
• In response to a lawmaker’s social media post, a developer says snow build-up on solar panels can temporarily reduce production but it is not a major hindrance. (Energy News Network)
• Rural electric cooperatives have sharply increased their solar capacity in recent years as they transition from coal contracts. (E&E News, subscription)
California regulators are reviving efforts to create more community solar opportunities. (Greentech Media)

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WIND:
Oregon State University receives a $2.5 million federal grant to study ways to reduce bird and bat collisions with offshore wind turbines. (KTVZ)
A domestic supply chain will need to develop quickly for the Vineyard offshore wind project to be completed. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: The lack of compliance with Kansas City’s building benchmarking requirements highlights the challenges cities often face when trying to engage building owners on energy efficiency. (Energy News Network)

STORAGE: Experts say Maryland’s tax credit for energy storage is working, but may not be enough for the market to reach full potential. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Korean company breaks ground on a factory in Georgia that will supply batteries for electric vehicles in North America. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Utilities and their trade groups have quietly lobbied to extend federal tax credits for electric vehicles. (E&E News, subscription)

CLEAN ENERGY:
A bill in Pennsylvania would expand the state’s renewable energy standard to 30 percent by 2030. (Pennsylvania Business Report)
Boston officials move forward with a provider to supply cleaner energy to as many as 190,000 residential customers and 31,000 businesses. (Boston Globe)

COAL:
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget would restore $5 million for a coal-mining reclamation fund that had been raided in 2017. (Columbus Dispatch)
• A new report warns of continued hard times for coal mining in Wyoming. (Casper Star Tribune)
• Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of Labor tours a Wyoming coal mine and touts the economic benefits of fossil fuels. (Gillette News Record)

OIL & GAS:
• A Texas natural gas company CEO says he backs a carbon tax. (Axios)
• A fire at a petrochemical storage facility in Houston is still blazing, though schools and businesses are starting to reopen. (CNN)
• Legislation proposing a 10-year ban on hydraulic fracturing clears the Oregon House. (Associated Press)
• A bill proposing a monumental overhaul of oil and gas regulations in Colorado gets its first hearing in the House. (Denver Post)

GRID:
• Texas electricity prices surged 700 percent on a cold morning when power plants were shut down for maintenance and wind energy lagged. (Bloomberg)
Natural gas generation topped coal for the first time last year in grid operator PJM’s territory. (Platts)

UTILITIES: California’s largest utility repeatedly overlooked safety problems that led to some of the most destructive fires in state history, as Gov. Gavin Newsom says the company “cannot be trusted.” (New York Times)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Trump administration wants a judge to allow preparatory work for offshore drilling while a lawsuit challenging it moves through the courts. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Clean energy experts discuss ways that 100 percent renewable energy can be deployed even in harsh weather like the recent polar vortex. (Sierra Magazine)

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