U.S. Energy News

Why it’s ‘a very weird time’ for the U.S. solar industry

SOLAR: Residential solar firms are operating under “the wrong business model,” according to finance executives. (PV-Tech)

ALSO:
• An audio recording reveals utilities’ strategy behind Florida’s Amendment 1 is “political jiu-jitsu” to undermine solar. (Miami Herald)
• As farmers become more interested in leasing their fields for solar installations, Maryland’s Baltimore County calls for a four-month halt on the practice while it considers new rules. (Baltimore Sun)
• After a Texas company’s recent announcement that it’s closing its solar cell production facilities, there are only 12 remaining solar cell manufacturers left in the U.S., and only two are capable of commercial-scale production. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• SolarCity is partnering with the home-renting service Airbnb to give $1,000 cash back to hosts who install solar panels on their rentals in 19 states. (Huffington Post)
• New rules in Illinois that aim to prevent solar installations from causing problems on the grid are being praised for streamlining the interconnection process and setting a precedent for other states. (Midwest Energy News)
• Why a conservative California town led the trend of requiring solar panels on new buildings. (ClimateWire)

GRID: Hurricane Matthew caused 2.5 million power outages at its peak, but the grid largely withstood the storm. (Utility Dive)

TRANSMISSION: New York regulators are calling for transmission expansion to help bring more Canadian hydropower into the state. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The U.S. is expected to have 11.4 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025, creating questions about impacts to the grid. (Greentech Media)
• The Los Angeles Police Department is testing all-electric Tesla Model S cars on patrol. (Clean Technica)
Ten electric car charging stations are installed in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: Voters in one North Carolina county will decide whether to fund a $2.4 billion transit initiative for better bus service and a 37-mile commuter rail. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES:
• Charlotte-based Duke Energy is looking to build several combined heat-and-power projects, including one at Duke University in North Carolina. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Based on promising market research, some electric companies are using peer pressure to promote energy conservation. (Quartz)

EMISSIONS: Colorado could receive $61 million in a settlement with Volkswagen over its emissions cheating scandal – money it may use for projects like vehicle charging stations and electric buses. (Denver Post)

OIL & GAS:
• If oil remains at a stable price above $40 a barrel, experts say the biggest U.S. energy producers are poised to rebound. (New York Times)
• A federal task force releases recommendations to prevent gas leaks at more than 400 underground natural gas storage facilities “to make sure that nothing like Aliso Canyon happens any place else in the country.” (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES: A recent Pennsylvania court ruling on eminent domain could have major implications for pipeline projects in the state. (InsideClimate News)

TECHNOLOGY:
• Researchers in Tennessee stumble upon a chemical reaction that turns CO2 into ethanol. (Popular Mechanics)
• Scientists at MIT set a nuclear fusion record in a potential breakthrough for clean energy technology, breaking the previous record by 16 percent. (The Guardian)

COMMENTARY: If the Dakota Access Pipeline is denied now, after meeting necessary regulations and investing huge sums of money, it will undermine the law and “have deleterious consequence.” (RealClearEnergy)

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