By - Jim Vess

Trump administration disputes claim solar tariffs led to slower job growth and investment

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 The Trump administration’s tariffs on solar cells has blunted the growth in jobs, investment and generating capacity, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The analysis calculated that the industry has forgone 62,000 jobs, $19 billion in lost investment and missed building 10.5 gigawatts of new capacity. The SEIA report was

By - Jim Vess

NV Energy gets the green light for 1.2 GW of new solar with storage in Nevada

Energize Weekly, December 11,2019 NV Energy has received the go-ahead from Nevada state regulators for 1,190 megawatts (MW) of new solar renewable energy twinned with 590 MW of energy storage. The new capacity – solar and storage – will be in three projects located in southern Nevada and are set to be in operation by 2024, the company said. The

By - Jim Vess

Most costly coal-fired plants to run are prime targets for closure, EIA study finds

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 The U.S. has seen more than a fifth of its coal-fired generating capacity closed since 2011, and plants with higher operating costs were more vulnerable to closures, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Between 2011 and the end of 2017, the total coal-fired generating capacity in the U.S. dropped to 257 gigwatts (GW)

By - Jim Vess

Companies join global effort to set science-based emission targets for their operations

Energize Weekly, December 11, 2019 Nearly 700 companies around the world are moving to adopt “science-based targets” for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions with 40 percent already having plans in place, according to the non-profit and governmental groups sponsoring the initiative. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a collaboration among the charity CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the

By - Jim Vess

Clean energy investment in the developing world dropped in 2018, led by China downturn

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 Clean energy investment in developing countries dropped by more than 20 percent in 2018 to $133 billion, while coal-fired generation surged, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) survey. “Both suggest that despite considerable recent progress, developing countries’ power sector CO2 emissions are rising rapidly,” BNEF’s annual Climatescope report said. A total of 107

By - Jim Vess

Boulder seeking to create a municipal utility offers Xcel $94 million for its wires and poles

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 In an effort to avoid a court condemnation proceeding, Boulder, Colo., which wants to create its own municipal utility, upped its offer for the purchase of Xcel Energy’s infrastructure to $94 million. It is the third offer the city has made to Xcel, which currently serves Boulder, and it is a 15 percent increase over

By - Jim Vess

Energy-related CO2 emissions in U.S. rise in 2018 for the first time in five years

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy-related activities in 2018 rose in the U.S. for the first time in five years, posting a 2.7 percent annual increase to 5.27 billion metric tons, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Driving the increase were higher emissions from natural gas-fired power generation, which was up as extreme

By - Jim Vess

International action has been insufficient to curb GHG, drastic action needed, the UN says

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 The gap between international efforts to curb greenhouse gases (GHG) and the growing emissions has grown so large that dramatic reductions over the next decade are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to a United Nations (UN) report. Under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, countries set their own emission GHG reductions

By - Jim Vess

New York City’s largest solar array will be built at JFK airport by SunPower

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 New York City’s biggest solar array will be built at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) – a 13-megawatt (MW) array with 7.5 MW of battery storage, the New York Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Nov. 18. The project will also have a community solar component – making it the

By - Jim Vess

West’s biggest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station, is shuttered

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 The biggest coal-fired power plant in the West – the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) – beset by uncompetitive economics, closed permanently on Nov. 18 after 45 years of operation. The 2,250-megawatt (MW) plant located on the Navajo Nation, east of Paige, Ariz., was once a prime source of electricity for the Southwest, including Phoenix and

By - Jim Vess

Bonds and credit instruments for green and sustainable projects reach $1 trillion in 2019

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 Debt instruments fostering sustainable projects and development reached $1 trillion in 2019 – with more than 30 percent of those loans coming this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). “Reaching the trillion dollar milestone is a key moment for the sustainable debt market – if this market wasn’t already on the radar of

By - Jim Vess

Wind speeds increased 7 percent in the last decade giving a boost to wind power, study says

Energize Weekly, November 27, 2019 Wind speeds in the mid-latitudes have increased 7 percent since 2010, a welcomed boost for the wind power business, according to an international team of researchers. Based on the increase in wind speed, the researchers calculated that a typical wind turbine receiving the global average increased winds would produce 17 percent more energy in 2017

By - Jim Vess

Cost for wind and solar generation continues to fall, but more slowly in 2019, Lazard says

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 The cost of wind and solar generation continues to fall, though at a slower rate, and they are becoming competitive even without subsidies under “certain circumstances,” according to the financial consultant Lazard’s annual costs analysis. The Lazard “levelized cost of energy” (LCOE) analysis covers eight types of renewable generation, as well as coal, natural gas

By - Jim Vess

Coal-fired generation set to grow over the next 10 years despite the rise in renewables

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 Coal – despite the rapid growth in renewable and natural gas generation – still accounts for the majority of the world’s electricity and is projected to increase at a compounded annual rate of 1.1 percent through 2030 to 2,345 gigawatts (GW), according to analytics consultant GlobalData. Even with strong opposition to coal-fired power, a prime

By - Jim Vess

A third of U.S. population lives in jurisdictions with 100 percent clean energy laws or goals

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 While federal clean energy policy has stalled, local governments are pushing forward, and more than a third of the U.S. population lives in jurisdictions – states, districts, territories, counties and cities – with 100 percent clean electricity goals. “A growing number of cities are choosing to transition to 100 percent clean energy – and dozens have

By - Jim Vess

Climate and energy policies around the world are falling short in meeting goals, IEA says

Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019 Even if all the commitments made by countries to cut carbon emissions and provide dependable energy were enacted, the world would still fall far short of having clean, reliable energy in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA placed all those emission and energy plans into a “Stated Policies Scenario” in its 2019 World

By - Jim Vess

Calif. community power providers aim to add 30 MW of battery storage after blackouts

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Local power providers in the San Francisco Bay area are looking to install 30 megawatts (MW) of residential and commercial battery storage in the wake of the widespread power outages made by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). The three community choice aggregators (CCA), local organizations created to buy cleaner and cheaper wholesale power, and the

By - Jim Vess

U.S. uranium production dives in Q3 as Trump administration punts on quotas

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 U.S. production of uranium concentrate plummeted 27 percent in the third quarter of 2019 to 32,211 pounds after the Trump administration balked at setting quotas for uranium imports. Production was down 94 percent when compared with the third quarter of 2018, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Domestic Uranium Production Report. Since 2014,

By - Jim Vess

Invenergy’s planned Rhode Island natural gas plant lost out to renewables and energy efficiency

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Invenergy’s proposed, large-scale, natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island was undone by delays that enabled renewable power and market efficiencies to overtake the project, according to state regulators. In August, the Rhode Island Energy Siting Board voted to deny Invenergy a permit for the proposed 850-megawatt (MW) to 1,000-MW natural gas-fired plant. On Nov.

By - Jim Vess

Two of Tri-State’s biggest co-ops file complaints with the Colorado PUC seeking to leave

Energize Weekly, November 13, 2019 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association continues to face pressure from some of its members as two of its largest electric cooperatives last week filed complaints with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) seeking reasonable exit fees from the association. Brighton, Colo.-based United Power, the largest of Tri-State members, and Durango-based La Plata Electric Association (LPEA),

By - Jim Vess

Lithium chemical glut may turn into a pinched market by 2025, Bloomberg analysis says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 The battery demand for lithium chemicals – now in the doldrums – could reach 700,000 metric tons by 2025 and along with 300,000 metric tons for non-battery uses, making for a tight market, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis. Lithium prices have been cut in half since the last quarter of 2017

By - Jim Vess

Global energy efficiency drops to lowest rate since the start of the decade in 2018, IEA says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 Primary energy intensity, a key indicator of how much energy is being used by the global economy, was down 1.2 percent in 2018 – the slowest improvement since 2010, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It marked the third year in a row of declining rates, with 2017 posting a 1.7 percent improvement. The

By - Jim Vess

Coal mine prospects in the Powder River Basin are on a poor trajectory, Moody’s says

Energize Weekly, November 6, 2019 A string of coal mining company bankruptcies in the Powder River Basin (PRB), straddling Wyoming and Montana, has changed the basin’s competitive landscape, but not its “poor overall long-term trajectory,” according to an analysis by Moody’s Investor Services. “All of the rated coal companies that produce PRB coal are now focusing on metallurgical coal production

By - Jim Vess

Global renewable energy set to increase 50 percent in next five years led by solar

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 The world’s total renewable generation is set to grow by 50 percent or 1,200 gigawatts (GW) between 2019 and 2024 driven by solar installations, according to an International Energy Agency (IEA) market report. Photovoltaic (PV) solar is projected to account for 60 percent of the new capacity as a result of declining costs and government

By - Jim Vess

Indiana electric customers could save $12 billion with a ‘fast transition’ to renewables

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 Indiana electric customers could save $12 billion if the state’s utilities moved directly to renewable generation and skipped the strategy of using natural gas-fired plants as a bridge, according to a report to the task force developing a statewide energy plan. The report, done for the Indiana Citizens Action Coalition, was submitted to the bipartisan

By - Jim Vess

Utilities running inefficient coal plants in wholesale power markets cost ratepayers

Energize Weekly, October 30, 2019 Electric customers of regulated utilities in four of the biggest U.S. wholesale electric markets shouldered a $3.8 billion burden for inefficient coal plants between 2015 and 2017, according to a Sierra Club analysis. The Sierra Club report focused on the “shelf-scheduling” of coal plants by regulated utilities in markets run by the Midcontinent Independent System

By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy wins approvals for first offshore wind project on the Virginia coast

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 Dominion Energy has received approvals from federal regulators for the design and installation of its 12-megawatt (MW) Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) development, making it the first U.S. project to receive these permits. The project is being developed in cooperation with Ørsted, Denmark’s largest energy company. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is building the project’s turbines.

By - Jim Vess

Using EV batteries as a power source can shift peak load, save utilities money, study says

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 Turning electric vehicle (EV) batteries into a source of electricity during peak demand hours – making them “virtual power plants” – can shave load and save money, according to an analysis by energy consultant Jackson Associates. The study took customer data – hourly loads, commuting and household data – and used that to model the

By - Jim Vess

IMF calls for $75-a-ton carbon tax, says current carbon-cutting measures are inadequate

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 An International Monetary Fund (IMF) analysis says that a $75-a-ton tax on carbon emissions or a comparable fiscal policy needs to be in place by 2030 to limit global warming to 2 degrees centigrade, though it will lead to sharp increases in electricity and gasoline prices. “Policy makers need to act urgently to mitigate climate

By - Jim Vess

Midwest U.S. could see a surge in solar installation in the next 10 years, Fitch says

Energize Weekly, October 23, 2019 The Midwest could see a surge in solar installations with 100 gigwatts (GW) of capacity being added in the next 10 years, according to management consultant Fitch Solutions Macro Research. Fitch noted that there are already 546 proposed utility-scale projects with a total capacity of nearly 79 GW in the interconnection queues of the three

By - Jim Vess

Retail sales of renewable energy through green power markets up 20 percent in 2018

Energize Weekly, October 16, 2019 Retail electricity purchases of renewable energy through green power markets rose 20 percent in 2018 to 134 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy compared to 2017, according a federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) market trends report. The number of customers participating in these markets also grew 15 percent to 6.3 million. The purchases equaled just

By - Jim Vess

Five states with open electricity retail markets now have financial aid programs for nuclear plants

Energize Weekly, October 16, 2019 Five states have now moved to provide financial aid to their economically challenged nuclear power plants, according to a federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. In July, Ohio joined Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Illinois in offering financial relief or other assistance to their nuclear units, which have seen a growing gap in the

By - Jim Vess

Coal production in the fourth quarter drops 17 percent, hitting a 42-year low, EIA says

Energize Weekly, October 16, 2019 Coal production in the U.S. is projected to fall 159 million short tons in the fourth quarter of 2019, a 17 percent drop when compared to the same period in 2018, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the year, the EIA is forecasting a 10 percent drop in coal production, about 76

By - Jim Vess

New England must increase renewables deployment almost eightfold to meet 2050 target

Energize Weekly, October 16, 2019 New England will have to increase the pace of renewable energy generation installations by four to eight times to meet 2050 goals to cut carbon emissions, according to a study by the Brattle Group, an economic and regulatory consultant. The region has a goal, as do several states, of reducing greenhouse gas carbon emissions 80

By - Jim Vess

Municipal power agency to buy electricity from $80 million solar farm in rural Utah

Energize Weekly, October 9, 2019 Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA) has entered into an agreement with Salt Lake City-based sPower for the development of an $80 million solar facility in rural Juab County. The 80-megawatt (MW) Clover Creek Solar project will be located on a 560-acre site on the west side of Mona Reservoir about 70 miles south of Salt

By - Jim Vess

Renewable generation to provide 50 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050, EIA says

Energize Weekly, October 9, 2019 The total share of electricity provided worldwide by renewable generation is projected to grow to nearly 50 percent in 2050, compared to a 28 percent share in 2018, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The bulk of that energy will be provided by hydropower, wind and solar with solar’s share growing the fastest

By - Jim Vess

PacifiCorp to close 20 of 24 coal plants by 2038 and invest in wind, solar and storage

Energize Weekly, October 9, 2019 PacifiCorp unveiled a new resource plan that takes a sharp turn away from coal-fired plants toward renewable generation – closing 20 of its 24 coal units by 2038 and adding 8,300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar. Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp, which serves 1.6 million people in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies, has been working

By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy plans a $7.8 billion wind farm, largest in the U.S., on the Virginia coast

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 Dominion Energy is proposing to build the largest offshore wind farm in the U.S. – a $7.8 billion, 2,600-megawatt (MW) project – off the Virginia coast. The utility has already filed an application with PJM Interconnection, the regional grid that covers all or parts of 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, for a link to the

By - Jim Vess

Facing a demand crunch, California regulators look to extend the lives of four gas-fired plants

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 Facing the prospect of electricity shortages as soon as 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff has proposed extending the life of four natural gas-fired power plants that use ocean water for cooling. On Oct. 24, the CPUC is set to rule on the recommendation to keep the four, once-through-cooling (OTC) plants – scheduled

By - Jim Vess

Worldwide nuclear generation rose 2.4 percent in 2018 with nine new reactors coming online

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 Nuclear power generation was up 2.4 percent worldwide in 2018 to 2,563 terawatt-hours (TWh) from 449 operable reactors, according to the World Nuclear Association, an industry trade group. There were 55 reactors under construction in 2018, with five new construction starts and nine new reactors connected to the grid, adding a total generating capacity of

By - Jim Vess

The longevity of wind projects is growing and with it, the economic competitivity of wind power

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 The operating life span for U.S. wind farms has increased by more than a third to 30 years in the last two decades, according to a survey and analysis by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The increasing lifetime of the wind projects is improving the economics of wind energy and is being driven by technological

By - Jim Vess

EIA forecasts a 50 percent increase in energy demand by 2050 driven by Asian economies

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 World energy consumption is projected to grow by 50 percent by 2050, with most of that demand coming from growing Asian economies, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook. “Energy consumption was greater in Asia than in any other region in 2018, and we project that consumption will almost double between

By - Jim Vess

U.S. market for ‘smart home’ devices to triple to $75 billion by 2025

Energize Weekly, September 25, 2019 The U.S. market for “smart home” devices will more than triple by 2025, reaching $75 billion, according to data analytics company GlobalData. The growth will be driven by the increased use of smart thermostats, which consumers see as an energy-saving device and utilities as one that can help manage load. GlobalData is projecting an 18

By - Jim Vess

U.S. wind industry manufacturing and supply chain will face challenges in the 2020s, DOE says

Energize Weekly, September 25, 2019 The U.S. wind industry has a strong supply chain, a solid investment pipeline and growing employment, but could face a downturn in the 2020s from natural gas, low growth in electricity demand and the loss of federal tax incentives, according to a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) assessment. A key element for lowering wind generation

By - Jim Vess

Rooftop solar could meet a quarter of the European Union’s electricity demand, study says

Energize Weekly, September 18, 2019 Rooftop solar arrays could economically provide a quarter of the electricity currently being consumed by European Union (EU) countries, according to a study by the EU’s Joint Research Centre. The researchers used satellite-based geospatial data to calculate the available roof space in the EU – it came out to about 3,000 square miles – and

By - Jim Vess

Seattle’s grid could be overwhelmed by ambitious plans for electric trucks and buses

Energize Weekly, September 18, 2019 Seattle’s ambitious plans for electrifying the city’s transportation sector could destabilize the metropolitan area’s electric grid by the addition of large numbers of electric trucks and buses, a study finds. The study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in collaboration with Seattle City Light offers a series of steps to deal with the potentially high

By - Jim Vess

Global wind turbine orders set a record in Q2 2019 led by U.S. and Chinese markets

Energize Weekly, September 11, 2019 Global wind turbine orders in the second quarter of 2019 were 111 percent year-over-year to 31 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and set a new quarterly record, according to industry analyst Wood Mackenzie. The 31 GW of orders easily outstripped the previous record of 13.2 GW set in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Wood

By - Jim Vess

July EV sales plunge as China cuts subsidies, but rebound is likely in Q4

Energize Weekly, September 11, 2019 After a sharp decline in electric vehicle (EV) sales in July – the first drop in 30 months – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) cut its sales forecast for the year by 6 percent to 1.5 million vehicles. EV sales in July were down nearly 7 percent compared with July 2018 and 51 percent from

By - Jim Vess

Tri-State adds new member, natural gas broker MIECO, in bid to qualify for FERC regulation

Energize Weekly, September 11, 2019 Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has added energy services company MIECO Inc. as its first non-rural electric cooperative member, clearing the way for the association to be regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In July, Tri-State, which serves 43 electric cooperatives in four states – Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and New Mexico – filed

By - Jim Vess

Hawaiian Electric seeks 900 MW of renewable energy projects

Energize Weekly, September 4, 2019 The Hawaiian Electric Company has issued a call for more than 900 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation projects­­ – one of the largest procurements ever undertaken by a U.S. utility, the company said. The bid proposal calls for 594 MW of solar for Oahu, 135 MW for Maui and up to 203 MW for Hawaii

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