By - Jim Vess

Majority of nation’s coal plants are undercut on costs by wind and solar, study says

Energize Weekly, April 3, 2019 Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s coal-fired electric generation could be matched or undercut on cost by local wind and solar installations, according to analysis by Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy. The report projects that the portion of the coal-fired fleet economically challenged by renewable generation will grow from 211 gigawatts (GW) in 2018 to

By - Jim Vess

Facing costly coal plant closures more states are looking to using securitized bonds

Energize Weekly, March 20, 2019 Faced with a growing number of coal plant closures, some states are looking at the use of securitized bonds to soften the financial impact. New Mexico and Colorado already have legislation to create such bonds. “Securitized bonds are a way to avoid a rate shock and benefit from lower rates from cheaper generation,” said by

By - Jim Vess

Utility and power sector investments reach a record $180 billion in first half of 2018

Energize Weekly, September 12, 2018 Utility and power sector deals globally hit a record $180 billion in the first half of 2018, spurred by industry consolidation and renewable energy investments, according to a report by Ernst & Young (EY). The accounting and consulting firm’s second quarter “Power Transactions and Trends” report shows record investment even as deals cooled in the

By - Jim Vess

Community banks and credit unions are playing a large role in residential solar financing

Energize Weekly, August 8, 2018 Community banks and regional financial institutions are becoming a bigger force in the financing of residential and small commercial solar installations, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). These community banks and credit unions represent a new source of capital for small-scale photovoltaic (PV) projects, and they are “experiencing positive early

By - Jim Vess

Blockchain could help manage rooftop solar, electric vehicle and energy trades, study says

Energize Weekly, July 25, 2018 Blockchain—the decentralized digital ledger most often linked to cryptocurrencies—could have a major impact in managing rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging and energy trading, according to an analysis by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI). The EFI study estimates there has already been $100 million to $300 million invested in more than 100 energy sector blockchain applications.

By - Jim Vess

Global energy investment dropped in 2017 and isn’t keeping pace with needs, IEA says

Energize Weekly, July 25, 2018 Global energy investment dropped 2 percent in 2017 to $1.8 trillion in 2017—a sign it is “failing to keep up with energy security and sustainability goals,” according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It was the third consecutive year of declines in global investment with the power sector accounting for most of the drop, as

By - Jim Vess

World’s biggest reinsurer will no longer deal with companies with high exposure to coal

Energize Weekly, July 11, 2018 Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, said that it will no longer provide services to companies with a more than 30 percent exposure to thermal coal. The thermal coal policy applies to existing and new thermal coal mines and power plants, and will be implemented across all lines of business, the insurer said. These companies

By - Jim Vess

Moody’s downgrades U.S. regulated utility sector as cash flow is reduced by tax cuts

Energize Weekly, June 27, 2018 Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the U.S. regulated utility sector to negative from stable due to lower cash flows and the highest debt leverage since 2008 as a result of changes to the federal tax laws. While steps are being taken by some regulators and companies to deal with the challenge, Moody’s said it could

By - Jim Vess

Nuclear needs financial support to survive, and some states are already heeding the call

Energize Weekly, May 16, 2018 Nuclear power plants under pressure from market forces are facing closures, but states with high concentrations of nuclear power are stepping in to bolster these generators, and there may be additional policy initiatives that can be taken, according to new studies. “Nuclear power is responsible for around 20 percent of U.S. electricity generation and more

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