By - Jim Vess

La Plata Electric Association joins contract buyout lawsuit in Adams County

By Patrick Armijo Education, business & real estate reporter, Jan. 24, 2021 1:30 PM La Plata Electric Association has joined a civil lawsuit initially filed by United Power of Brighton claiming Tri-State Generation and Transmission broke Colorado law by adding three nonutility members so it would become federally regulated. Read more

By - Jim Vess

Energized Leadership: 7 Leadership Books That Will Revolutionize Your Office

By Katherine Rundell, January 27, 2021 Leadership is a characteristic surrounded by myths – the best leaders give off an aura of permanence and solidity that can make it seem like they were born that way, designated leaders from birth. In truth, leaders are made, not born and increasingly we’re finding the tools that can help craft your leadership into

By - Jim Vess

U.S. wind and solar generation set to soar in 2021, as coal-fired and nuclear plants close

Energize Weekly, January 27, 2021 The U.S. electricity generation fleet will continue its transformation in 2021 with wind and solar dominating new installations and nuclear and coal-fired plants steadily being retired, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Power plant developers and utilities are planning for 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity in 2021, with wind and solar

By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy Florida proposes plan to revamp energy grid

By Malena Carollo, Published Jan. 16   Duke Energy Florida is asking regulators for permission to begin implementing a sweeping plan centered around renewable energy. Filed late Thursday, its proposal would revamp its energy grid and hasten the retirement of its coal plants.   Read more

By - Jim Vess

Shearwater Energy developing SMR wind-hybrid energy project; selects NuScale Power

18 January 2021 Shearwater Energy Ltd., a United Kingdom-based hybrid clean energy company, is developing a wind-SMR (Small Modular Reactor) and hydrogen production hybrid energy project in North Wales. The project would provide 3 GWe of zero-carbon energy and is also expected to produce more than 3 million kilograms of green hydrogen per year for use by the UK’s transport sector, ensuring

By - Jim Vess

Bipartisan coalition looks to reform Virginia’s system of electric utility regulation

By Sarah Vogelsong/Virginia Mercury January 19, 2021 As the 2021 General Assembly session begins, lawmakers are set to consider a slate of bills that aim to reform Virginia’s system of electric utility regulation with the goal of bringing down customer bills. Read more

By - Jim Vess

The countries leading the way in renewable energy

By Kristin Herman, January 20, 2021 Nowadays, many countries are looking into reducing the amount of fossil fuels that people use to power their homes, towns, cities, and so on. In fact, many people are expecting renewable energy to make fossil fuels a thing of the past, based on the progress being made in various countries today. While most countries

By - Jim Vess

El Paso Electric Files the Transportation Electrification Plan with the NMPRC

January 08, 2021, Business Wire El Paso Electric (EPE) looks to continue its drive toward a greener and more sustainable future as the Company files its Transportation Electrification Plan (TEP) with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) for approval. The overarching goal of this two-year plan is to increase the use of electric vehicles (EVs) by incentivizing the installation

By - Jim Vess

Pritzker admin hires firm to verify Exelon’s nuke hardship claims

Steve Daniels, January 11, 2021 The Pritzker administration has hired an outside firm to scrutinize Exelon’s claims that some of its Illinois nuclear plants are losing money. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency early this month finalized a $215,000 emergency contract with Cambridge, Mass.-based Synapse Energy Economics. The firm, which has done work in the past for consumer advocates like the Illinois

By - Jim Vess

Longmont electric, water utility rate increases take effect in January

By JOHN FRYAR, December 30, 2020 Longmont’s electric and water rates are increasing in January. The 2021 municipal water and electric charges are the second year of rate hikes in a multiple-year rate hikes schedule City Council members approved in a unanimous December 2019 vote. Read more

By - Jim Vess

117th Congress opens to new energy, environment fights

Nick Sobczyk, Geof Koss and Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporters; Monday, January 4, 2021 The 117th Congress opened to an uncertain political landscape yesterday, with a tight vote for the House speakership and with Senate control still up in the air. Lawmakers face fresh fights on energy and environmental issues, particularly climate change, but first they have to get through the political and logistical

By - Jim Vess

Duke Energy installed major rooftop solar system at Keck Observatory in Hawaii

Published on December 31, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski Duke Energy’s REC Solar completed the world’s largest commercial solar system installed at the highest altitude. The rooftop solar project is at the W. M. Keck Observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii, located near the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The installation is at

By - Jim Vess

Report Calls for Electricity Sector to Rethink Approach to Climate Change Risks

January 5, 2021 – Homeland Security Today A new report from the Columbia Law School and Environmental Defense Fund highlights climate change risks in the electricity sector. The authors – Romany M. Webb, Michael Panfil, and Sarah Ladin – say electric system operators must rethink their approach to infrastructure protection and recovery. Read more

By - Jim Vess

SolarWinds Hack Infected Critical Infrastructure, Including Power Industry

Kim Zetter, December 24 2020   The hacking campaign that infected numerous government agencies and tech companies with malicious SolarWinds software has also infected more than a dozen critical infrastructure companies in the electric, oil, and manufacturing industries who were also running the software, according to a security firm conducting investigations of some of the breaches.   Read more

By - Jim Vess

Ohio Supreme Court stops collection of nuclear plant subsidy

Associated Press, December 28, 2020   The Ohio Supreme Court on Monday issued a temporary stay to stop collection of a fee from nearly every electric customer in the state starting Jan. 1 to subsidize two nuclear power plants, a provision included in a scandal-tainted bill approved by the state Legislature in July 2019. The order signed by Chief Justice

By - Jim Vess

5 Reasons Why Solar Energy is the Way Forward

By Michael Dehoyos, December 29, 2020 There’s been a lot of talk over the last few years about global warming and trying to find sustainable energy sources that don’t impact the planet in a negative way like the fossil fuel industry has been doing for years. We have wind and water technology, but by far, the greatest source of energy

By - Jim Vess

After two bad years, global coal demand is set for a 2021 rebound, IEA says

Energize Weekly, December 30, 2020 Coal demand slipped an estimated 5 percent in 2020 – the largest annual decline since the Second World War – but the fuel is projected to rebound in 2021 on demand from China and Asia, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The 2020 decline follows a 1.8 percent drop in coal demand in 2019,

By - Jim Vess

Solar site to power Arkansas water utility OK’d

by Joseph Flaherty | December 17, 2020 at 3:43 a.m. Arkansas utility regulators Wednesday approved a plan to develop a 4.8-megawatt net-metering solar facility near Cabot to provide renewable energy to the regional water utility Central Arkansas Water. The solar facility is expected to go online in mid-2021 and will be able to satisfy approximately 20% of Central Arkansas Water’s current energy

By - Jim Vess

Judge Blocks Fees Set by Tainted Ohio Nuclear Bailout Law

By Associated Press, Wire Service Content Dec. 21, 2020, at 5:33 p.m. A central Ohio judge on Monday blocked the subsidies from a $1 billion nuclear bailout law at the center of a $60 million bribery probe, as state lawmakers scrambled to decide the fate of a repeal effort and nominees were chosen to succeed a utility regulator who resigned amid the investigation. Read

By - Jim Vess

U.S solar rebounds from pandemic decline, renewable investment remains strong worldwide

Energize Weekly, December 23, 2020 The U.S. solar industry – led by utility-scale projects – rebounded in the third quarter from its midyear pandemic doldrums, according to an industry market report by consultant Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Solar’s performance is part of a broader trend showing the strong performance of renewable generation in the face

By - Jim Vess

Global energy efficiency gains slow in 2020, hobbled by coronavirus pandemic

Energize Weekly, December 16, 2020 Energy efficiency gains slowed to their lowest level in a decade in 2020, and feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, energy efficiency investment is projected to be down 9 percent year-on-year to $227 billion in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Energy intensity, a measure of efficiency, is projected to improve

By - Jim Vess

Coal continues its decline in the U.S. and Europe and its rise in Southeast Asia and India

Energize Weekly, December 9, 2020 Coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation in the U.S. and Europe continues to decline, but in Asia, coal-fired demand is projected to increase through 2030 thanks to national policies and Chinese financing. In the U.S., coal mine production capacity fell in 2019 to 590 million short tons – a 28 percent decline from the peak

By - Jim Vess

Renewable energy has a strong showing in 2020 despite a pandemic-hobbled economy

Energize Weekly, November 18, 2020 The novel coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the global economy and the energy industry, but renewable energy generation set records in 2020, according to two analyses. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that new, installed renewable generation worldwide set a record, as did the amount of renewable electricity generate and auctioned renewable capacity.

By - Jim Vess

Voters weigh in on local and state energy issues from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes

Energize Weekly, November 11, 2020 Election returns on state and local energy issues were both literally and figuratively all over the map last week on issues ranging from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes. Voters in Alaska rejected a tax on oil operations while the industry was denied a tax break in Louisiana. Columbus, Ohio, voters backed a plan

By - Jim Vess

A Biden plan would speed a clean energy transition, but have limited impact on oil

Energize Weekly, October 28, 2020 As Election Day nears, analysts are starting to focus on what the administration of front-running Joe Biden will mean for energy and find it could accelerate the decline of coal, stabilize near-term oil markets, as well as boost renewables and new jobs. A Biden administration, despite its avowed aim of banning new oil development on

By - Jim Vess

Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Energize Weekly, October 21, 2020 The global pandemic will cut worldwide energy demand 5 percent in 2020 and result in an 18 percent decline in energy investment, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. If the novel coronavirus is brought under control in 2021, energy demand will return to its pre-crisis level by the end of the year – if

By - Jim Vess

Corporate solar had another banner year in 2019 with 1.2 GW of new installations

Energize Weekly, October 14, 2020 Corporate solar generating capacity continued its rapid growth in 2019 with nearly 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity – a 10 percent year-on-year increase, according to a survey by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). There is now a total of 8.3 GW of corporate solar capacity at 38,000 sites in 43 states, with 50

By - Jim Vess

Utilities are pledging zero-carbon emissions, but “the math doesn’t yet add up”

Energize Weekly, September 30, 2020 A growing number of investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have pledged to sharply reduce their carbon emissions or even cut them to zero, but two studies have found a gap between the pledges and those utilities’ performance. Forty-three of the country’s 55 IOUs have emission-reduction targets, and 22 have net-zero or carbon-free electricity goals, according to a

By - Jim Vess

Two FERC decisions pose problems for renewable energy generation

Energize Weekly, September 16, 2020 In a pair of September rulings, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has undercut the development of clean energy projects, according to environmentalists and a dissenting commissioner. A Sept. 1, FERC decision limited the flexibility of small, renewable energy projects to get certification that assures their electricity will be bought at favorable rates under the

By - Jim Vess

Could a Biden presidency be a boost to both the power sector and the oil and gas industry?

Energize Weekly, September 9, 2020 Joe Biden becoming president of the U.S. could be a boost for clean energy and perhaps somewhat ironically, for oil and gas – at least in the short run. That was the conclusion of energy industry consultants Wood Mackenzie and Rystad Energy in separate analyses. While Wood Mackenzie looked at Biden’s clean power plans and

By - Jim Vess

U.S. wind investment hits $13 billion in 2019, generating capacity grows across the country

Energize Weekly, September 2, 2020 More than nine gigawatts (GW) of wind generating capacity – a $13 billion investment – was installed in the U.S. in 2019 as wind power output rose to 7 percent of the nation’s total electricity supply, according to a market report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Renewable energy investment globally – led by a

By - Jim Vess

Rural communities to get $865 million in infrastructure aid from USDA programs

Energize Weekly, August 26, 2020 The Trump administration, in the last three weeks, has announced $865 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural infrastructure – electric grids, water systems and broadband internet. The two largest programs are for water and wastewater systems – $462 million – and rural electrification – $371 million. The largest loans are in the rural

By - Jim Vess

The ongoing pandemic and weak economy led to across-the-board energy production cuts

Energize Weekly, August 19, 2020 Projections for U.S. energy production in 2020 – from oil to natural gas to coal – continued to fall as the novel coronavirus pandemic and global recession depress economies. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has lowered its estimate for domestic crude oil production by another 370,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 11.3 million b/d

By - Jim Vess

Technologies to bring economies to zero carbon emissions still lacking, IEA says

Energize Weekly, August 12, 2020 Many countries have announced ambitious climate goals to bring their economies to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but the technologies needed to cut emissions in areas like shipping and steelmaking don’t exist and may take decades to bring to market, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA report on clean energy innovation found

By - Jim Vess

Nearly all U.S. coal-fired power plants will be more expensive than wind and solar by 2025

Energize Weekly, August 5, 2020 The economic pressure on coal-fired power plants in the U.S. continues to grow with virtually the entire fleet out of the money compared to wind and solar generation by 2025, according to an analysis by Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank. The study, done in conjunction with Vibrant Clean Energy, found that by 2018,

By - Jim Vess

New York State moves forward with big programs on renewable energy and EVs

Energize Weekly, July 29, 2020 New York State announced two big clean energy initiatives in July – the largest in the nation solicitation for 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable generation and a plan to build 110,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The New York Public Service Commission approved a plan on July 16 to allow six electric utilities in the

By - Jim Vess

Transition costs to a zero-emissions transport system drop with falling battery prices

Energize Weekly, July 22, 2020 The cost of a transitioning to zero-carbon transportation is plummeting – thanks to a drop in battery prices – and may not need much in the way of direct government investment to speed the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, according to an analysis by University of California, Davis researchers. In 2016, the UC Davis Institute of

By - Jim Vess

Will Renewable Energy Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic?

By Jennifer Bell The question; will renewable energy survive the COVID-19 pandemic? is a valid question to ask. In the midst of all of the chaos and uncertainty that the world has found itself in during recent months, renewable energy hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of people’s minds. An expert from Blue Sky Solar in Cherry Hill, NJ pointed

By - Jim Vess

U.S. coal production drops to a 57-year low, renewables overtake coal-fired generation

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2020 U.S. coal production is projected to plummet to its lowest level in more than half a century in 2020 as coal-fired electricity generation slips behind renewable generation, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its July short-term energy outlook, the EIA cut its previous 2020 coal production estimate by 5.4 percent to 501.3

By - Jim Vess

Coronavirus continues to twist and warp energy demand in the U.S., studies find

Energize Weekly, July 8, 2020 The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to torque and warp energy demand and markets in the U.S. from shifts in electricity demand to filling commercial oil storage to record levels. Electricity demand is projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to be the lowest since 2009 – 998 billion kilowatt-hours – and 5 percent below

By - Jim Vess

Coronavirus pandemic leads to massive job loss in energy, from oil and gas to renewables

Energize Weekly, June 24, 2020 Energy jobs – from oil and gas rigs to rooftop solar installations – continue to plummet under the weight of low oil prices and the novel coronavirus pandemic. In May, 27,000 additional clean energy workers filed unemployment claims, bringing the total job loss in the sector to 621,000 since March, according to an analysis done

By - Jim Vess

Wind and solar deployment continue apace in 2020, could supply 90 percent of the grid by 2035

Energize Weekly, June 17, 2020 Renewable power’s continuing decline in prices is spurring near-term expansion, even in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic and, according to a new report, could power 90 percent of the U.S. electric grid by 2035 while reducing wholesale electricity prices. The analysis by the University of California, Berkeley and GridLab, a non-profit promoting clean

By - Jim Vess

Global prices for renewables fell across the board in 2018, IRENA says

Energize Weekly, June 10, 2020 Global prices for new renewable energy fell in 2018 for eight major types of electric generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Costs between 2017 and 2018 dropped from as much as 26 percent for concentrating solar power (CSP) to 1 percent for geothermal and offshore wind. “Cost declines across the board in

By - Jim Vess

Global energy investment plunges, another victim of the coronavirus pandemic, IEA says

Energize Weekly, June 3, 2020 Energy investment across the world has suffered an unparalleled 20 percent decline, equal to $400 billion, in 2020, as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA had projected an increase of 2 percent in global energy investment for the year, which would have been the biggest

By - Jim Vess

Global EV sales hit a coronavirus speed bump, but how big a bump is a question

Energize Weekly, May 27, 2020 Electric vehicle (EV) sales are hitting a pandemic speed bump in 2020, but whether it’s a small bump, a big bump or a huge pothole depends on who is doing the forecasting. The projections for the year range from a modest 4.5 percent increase in sales over last year to a 43 percent drop in

By - Jim Vess

Renewable electricity generation set to surpass coal, which continues to decline, in 2020

Energize Weekly, May 20, 2020 Renewable electricity generation is set to surpass coal-fired generation in 2020, as coal continues to slide, having hit a 42-year low in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA is projecting a 25 percent drop in coal-fired generation in 2020 and an 11 percent increase in renewable generation, leading to renewables

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