U.S. Energy News

Study: Infrastructure need to reach 80 percent solar and wind energy

RENEWABLES: The U.S. could run on 80 percent solar and wind energy, but it would require hundreds of billions in infrastructure investments, according to a recent study. (Motherboard)

SOLAR:
• President Trump’s recent claims that new import tariffs have prompted “at least five” solar plants to open aren’t true. (Greentech Media)
• Global solar tracker shipments reached a record 14.5 gigawatts last year, with California-based NEXTracker accounting for a third of all solar PV trackers sold, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Tesla starts construction on what is being billed as the world’s largest solar rooftop array at its Gigafactory in Nevada. (Electrek)
• North Carolina leads the Southeast in solar energy growth, with South Carolina, Florida and Georgia emerging as significant markets, according to a new report by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. (pv magazine)

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WIND: The CEO of Avangrid Renewables, which won the initial leading rights for North Carolina’s first offshore wind farm, says a lack of land and aggressive renewables goals mean offshore wind energy is the “next frontier.”  (Triangle Business Journal)

BIOFUELS: Four Republican senators met with President Trump to discuss potential changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard on Tuesday, but the group failed to reach an agreement. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Millions of dollars in new funding for electric vehicle infrastructure could soon be available as Florida lawmakers and regulators consider multiple transportation proposals. (Southeast Energy News)

OIL & GAS:
• Vancouver Energy abandons plans to build a massive oil-by-rail terminal in Washington state after Gov. Jay Inslee rejected a permit for the project. (Associated Press)
• Shale growth will help the U.S. become the world’s top oil producer by 2019, surpassing Russia, says the head of the International Energy Agency. (The Hill)

PIPELINES: An Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary appeals a federal judge’s ruling that stopped construction on part of its Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana. (Reuters)

COAL: A Nevada utility is seeking permission from regulators to continue operating the state’s last coal-fired power plant through 2025, despite a pledge to use more renewable energy (Nevada Independent)

POLLUTION: A study by a Washington, D.C. nonprofit says Pennsylvania’s poor outdoor air quality could improve if electricity consumption was reduced. (TribLive.com)

NUCLEAR: Energy Secretary Rick Perry meets with officials from Saudi Arabia to consider a deal that would allow Saudi Arabia to enrich and reprocess uranium while U.S. companies build nuclear reactors in the Middle East. (The Hill)

UTILITIES:
• A Southern California utility used ratepayer funds to hire private investigators to conduct “opposition research” on a local solar company that had criticized its policies. (Desert Sun)
• Virginia-based AES is cutting emissions by burning less coal as the sun rises and wind kicks up, which makes room for more wind and solar power on the grid. (Bloomberg)
• Clean energy advocates say American Electric Power will remain dependent on large coal plants for too long to have meaningful climate impacts. (InsideClimate News)

GRID:
• Power companies hired by the federal government to restore power in Puerto Rico are removing workers from the island, despite many residents still living without power five months after Hurricane Maria. (The Hill)
• The PJM Interconnection says adjustments made in the wake of the 2014 Polar Vortex helped system performance during the “bomb cyclone” last month, but reforms are still needed to minimize uplift charges. (Utility Dive)

EPA: The EPA wants to merge three of its offices in an effort to make the agency more efficient, but some worry the proposal will drive out more scientists. (BuzzFeed News)

CLIMATE:
• A group of high school students is planning a series of nationwide climate marches on July 21, which is emblematic of a new wave of environmental activism among young people. (Grist)
• Republican members of a new Climate Solutions Caucus appear supportive of climate action, but they averaged a 16 percent positive rating on environmental votes. (InsideClimate News)

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POLITICS: Democrats and Republicans in Congress have never been further apart on environmental issues, according to an analysis of their voting records. (Mother Jones)

COMMENTARY: Demand for utility power in the U.S. has been flat for 10 years, and the shift is continuing to wreak havoc on the industry, writes David Roberts. (Vox)

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