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Battery Storage Revolution Could ‘Sound the ...

If we want to accelerate the world’s renewable energy transition, we’ll have to modernize the electric grid and we’ll need much better batteries. Just look at Germany, which generates so much clean energy on particularly windy and sunny days that electricity prices are often negative. Sure this is good news for a German person’s wallet, but as the New York Times noted, “Germany’s power...

The Next Five Years in Energy Storage According to...

  Experts weigh in on the top themes in energy storage. Photo Credit: Shutterstock Broad optimism among the industry on utility engagement   Only 1 percent of attendees feel that natural-gas plants will always out-compete storage, a perspective that may have been shaped by Shayle Kann’s earlier presentation indicating that 4-hour storage begins to compete with peaker plants within four years, and always wins financially...

Regulators urged to reverse ‘net metering’ decisio...

Ohio officials made a serious mistake with a recent ruling that will discourage the use of renewable energy systems at homes and businesses, said environmental advocates Wednesday during a rare hearing before state regulators. Utility companies supported the recent policy shift that reduces some of the financial incentives of using the systems, which include solar panels and wind turbines. The Public Utilities Commission of...

Coal’s death spiral, in 3 charts

The latest reports suggest that coal has the equivalent of black-lung disease: the condition is chronic, and the long-term prognosis is dire. Power companies plan to shutter more than 10 big coal plants in 2018, extinguishing a major portion of coal burning in the United States (see the map below). According to projections released by the Energy Information Administration this week, coal-fired plants will produce less than...

GOP voters support green energy, oppose coal, nucl...

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Conservative Ohio voters, whether Independent or Republican, are tired of utilities asking for special charges for coal and nuclear power plants, support mandatory energy-efficiency programs, favor home solar systems and are willing to pay higher monthly bills for renewable energy. These are findings in a poll commissioned by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum reveal grassroot attitudes are at odds...

The ITC’s New Solar Report Could Bolster Trump’s B...

A supplemental report delivered to Trump’s trade rep could be used to defend new solar tariffs at the WTO. The U.S. International Trade Commission released a new report on the Section 201 trade case this week that the Trump administration could use to defend new solar tariffs, if challenged at the World Trade Organization. Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, head of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, requested the...

A Coal Executive Switched to Building Solar Plants...

Jim Lamon is the kind of businessman that Donald Trump would like. And Lamon is the kind of businessman who likes Trump. The CEO of Depcom Power grew up in Alabama, served in the Air Force for six years and spent decades constructing the kinds of coal-fired power plants Trump likes to tout. He’s contributed thousands of dollars to Republican causes, including Trump’s victory fund. But a few years ago, Lamon saw that coal’s...

How to Halve the Cost of Residential Solar in the ...

To highlight the opportunity, let’s look at Australia, where nearly 2 million solar systems have been successfully and safely installed. As of early December, installed costs in the main Australian markets were at $1.34 per watt, compared to $3.25 per watt in the U.S. What does that difference stem from? The Cost of Solar to a Homeowner in Australia vs. the U.S. In Australia, there is no permitting process. You simply lodge...

Industry Leaders Make Last-Ditch Effort to Steer T...

“Obviously, there’s only one person who knows the answer to this, and trying to get inside his head is bananas.” President Trump has two weeks left to decide whether to impose trade remedies on imported solar equipment. If he follows the guidance of his advisers, big changes could be coming to the solar industry. E&E News reported that Trump is expected to receive a formal recommendation to move forward with trade...

Iowa County (Johnson) embarking on Solarize progra...

Solarize Johnson County will be the second of its kind in Iowa IOWA CITY — On the heels of Iowa’s first Solarize program in Linn County last year, officials in Johnson County plan to embark on their own program — which incentivizes private solar development through volume purchasing prices. Becky Soglin, Johnson County sustainability coordinator, said Wednesday. Solarize Johnson County will help residents get involved in the...

Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Survives, but G.M. and...

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan called electric vehicle tax credits “money wasted on losers.” The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, said he’d “do away” with renewable energy subsidies. During the presidential election campaign, Donald J. Trump disparaged renewable energy as “very, very expensive” and “not working on a large scale.” He said a wind farm in California looked like a “junk yard” and claimed...

Norway’s PM makes business case of ‘green economy’...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Norway’s prime minister told President Donald Trump on Wednesday that her country remains committed to the Paris climate agreement, making the business case of the “green economy” to the real estate developer-turned president. Prime Minister Erna Solberg noted that many Norwegians drive U.S.-made Tesla electric cars and said her country saw “tremendous economic and business opportunities” as nations around...

First Solar shows off production line under develo...

First Solar Inc. gave a glimpse into the company’s future Tuesday at an unveiling of a new production line and its new Series 6 solar panel that will be made at its North American factory complex in Perrysburg Township. Unfortunately, as things now stand, the new production line is so efficient and flexible that First Solar expects to maintain its current staffing levels of 750 workers, yet produce enough panels annually to...

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to ...

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard. The proposal lifts a ban on such drilling imposed by President Barack Obama near the end of his term and would...

Belize Ends Oil Operations in Its Ocean Waters

Belize, home of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, has permanently suspended oil operations in its ocean waters. The legislation marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its oceans—and all the life within—from oil exploration and extraction. The new suspension of oil activity marks an enormous win for the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, the...

10 Predictions for Rooftop Solar and Storage in 20...

It’s getting harder to separate solar from storage. Barry Cinnamon shares his predictions on the future of these technologies. Solar and storage trends to watch in 2018. I’m back with my yearly list of predictions for the rooftop solar industry. I did OK on last year’s predictions, only completely whiffing on two. This year, I’m combining my solar predictions with storage, since battery storage is rapidly...

Climate Advisory Panel Disbanded by Trump Is Reviv...

Columbia University, New York State, Will Host Previous Federal Effort In August 2017, the Trump administration dissolved an advisory committee charged with translating the findings of the periodic National Climate Assessment down to practical local and regional levels. The dismissal drew protests from around the country. Now, a private and public coalition has counterattacked, reconstituting the committee with support from...

How Corporations ‘Bypassed the Politics’ to Lead o...

From mega wind purchases to rooftop solar arrays to electric truck orders, companies of all sizes are stepping up to act on climate.  Some 1,700 American companies have committed to delivering on the Paris Agreement despite the U.S. government withdrawal, from big corporate players like Amazon and Walmart to a coffee shop in Montana. When President Trump announced plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord attention...

Climate Change Challenges the Human Imagination

At times of crisis, we turn to art and myth, the realms where hope resides We live in strange times. It’s clear that our politicians have been remarkably inept at addressing the climate change crisis. Scientists tell us that we have already injected so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that, especially in light of the ineptitude of political leadership, it is almost certainly too late for the human race to avoid...

Commentary: To fight climate change, we must chang...

Each fall, Chicago throws a Humanities Festival to promote “the lifelong exploration of what it means to be human,” attracting thoughtful authors and expressive performers. Two lectures on a recent Saturday afternoon provided fresh perspectives on how environmentalists combat pollution and envision a healthier planet. For me, those discussions revealed how we can tap different threads — specifically faith and literature — to...