U.S. Energy News

U.S. residential solar installations hit record pace

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SOLAR: U.S. residential solar installations during the third quarter hit an all-time record, with California accounting for about 40% of all installations. (Greentech Media) 

ALSO:
A new advisory board in Virginia is tasked with creating a pilot program to finance solar projects for low-income residents. (Energy News Network)
• New York regulators consider a new monthly charge for solar installations to help pay for grid upgrades, as well as new ways to compensate customers for the energy they produce. (Newsday, Utility Dive)

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CLEAN ENERGY: Though sitting in disrepair along the Indiana shoreline, the House of Tomorrow unveiled in the early 1930s still provides design lessons for solar and energy efficiency. (Energy News Network)

TRANSPORTATION:
• Despite escalating warnings about climate change, General Motors rolls out a new line of SUVs that are heavier and not significantly more fuel efficient. (Associated Press)
• A poll finds broad support for lower-emissions transportation options in the Northeast. (MassLive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A New York University professor warns that electric vehicles could make the grid vulnerable to cyberattacks with potential to disrupt U.S. elections. (Quartz) 

BUILDINGS: Wood buildings are rising up, replacing carbon-intensive steel and cement, though some question the climate benefits. (Washington Post)

CLIMATE: A lawyer for the city of Baltimore argues its case against BP is about “lying,” not emissions, which means it should be heard in state court. (E&E News, subscription) 

OIL & GAS:
• The natural gas industry is slowing down, with once-booming gas fields in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas quiet and energy companies like Chevron reducing investments in Appalachia. (New York Times)
A governor-appointed energy task force in Michigan makes progress on a plan for propane alternatives in the Upper Peninsula, but larger questions remain about the region’s energy future. (Energy News Network)
• Baker Hughes, one of the world’s largest oil-services companies, says it will power all its Texas operations with wind and solar. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• Analysts find self-committing coal plants in the Southwest Power Pool cause market distortions and allow less-economic coal plants to operate, similar to findings in grid operator MISO’s region. (Utility Dive)
• West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin pledges to block all legislation until pensions and health benefits are secured for coal miners. (Ohio Valley Resource)

BIOGAS: Dominion Energy launches a $200 million national effort to convert methane from cow manure into natural gas. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIFICATION: Following the lead of Brookline, other Massachusetts cities are also considering a ban on new natural gas connections. (Boston Globe)

TRANSMISSION:
Transmission congestion in the Upper Midwest is “getting to a crisis point” and jeopardizing a large buildout of wind and solar, clean energy advocates say. (E&E News, subscription)
A new study indicates PG&E’s planned power outages in Northern California could double or quadruple in coming years if aging power lines are not replaced. (Wall Street Journal)
Experts say California’s smart grid could become a technology foundation for future wildfire defense. (E&E News)

STORAGE: After a long evolution, GE now sees integrating batteries with renewables or gas turbines as its best place to add value. (Greentech Media)

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UTILITIES: New England-based Eversource Energy pledges to make its operations carbon neutral by 2030, but it won’t affect the emissions from energy sold to customers. (Hartford Courant, New Hampshire Public Radio)

POLITICS: A Colorado congressman wants to make it harder for political appointees to scrub scientific information from government reports. (Colorado Independent)

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