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Hawaii Moves Closer to Its Goal of Carbon Neutrality

Forbes | Posted on May 1, 2019

In March 2019, just two months after utility Hawaii Electric (HECO) submitted seven large solar plus battery storage projects for review, the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission (HPUC) approved six projects priced at $0.10/kWh or lower, making it the largest and lowest cost portfolio of renewables developed at one time in the state. The projects will contribute 247 MW of solar energy and 998 MWh of energy storage. The entire capacity of all six projects will be in 4-hour duration batteries. Unlike projects in most US states, the bulk of solar projects deployed in Hawaii are rooftop solar, not utility-scale. These projects will greatly increase the capacity of utility-scale solar on the archipelago, more than tripling the current output and moving the island closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.

EPA stalls biofuel waiver transparency plan after White House blowback: sources

Reuters | Posted on May 1, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has suspended work on its plan to publish the names of refineries securing exemptions from federal biofuels law after receiving blowback from the White House and parts of the oil industry, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

America's renewable energy set to surpass coal for the first month ever

CNN | Posted on May 1, 2019

America's clean energy revolution is on the verge of a tipping point.The renewable energy sector is projected to generate more electricity than coal during the month of April, according to a recent report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That's never happened before.Coal, long the king of the power sector, has already been dethroned by natural gas, a much cleaner burning fossil fuel. Now, coal is facing intensifying pressure from wind and solar power."Five years ago this never would have been close to happening," Dennis Wamstead, research analyst at IEEFA, said in an interview. "The transition that's going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal."

Oil and renewable industries locked in tug of war over Trump's ethanol plan

Washington Examiner | Posted on May 1, 2019

The deadline for comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan to allow year-round sales of 15% ethanol fuel closes at midnight, but neither side in the fight — that is, the oil and renewable fuel industries — wants the plan to move ahead as drafted. E15 fuel is restricted for use during the summer months because of its high vapor pressure, which can exacerbate smog levels. But the summer months are the largest season for fuel sales, and a prime opportunity for corn farmers to sell more of their product into the gasoline supply.

Pennsylvania commits to Paris Agreement climate goals; state’s plan calls for 80 percent carbon cuts by 2050

NPR | Posted on May 1, 2019

Pennsylvania joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan group of two dozen states committed to goals outlined in the 2015 U.N. Paris Climate Agreement. Gov. Tom Wolf announced the move at an event in Harrisburg while releasing the state’s latest Climate Action Plan, which includes 100 ways to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. The cuts are based on 2005 emissions levels. The Paris Agreement committed countries to reduce carbon emissions in order to prevent global average temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. President Trump has said he will withdraw the U.S. from the accord.“In the absence of leadership from the federal government and the wholesale dismantling of national climate and environmental policies,” Wolf said, “I am proud to join with states that are leading the way toward new climate solutions.”Pennsylvania becomes the 24th state to join the bipartisan group.

Trump’s Offshore Oil-Drilling Plan Sidelined Indefinitely

Wall Street Journal | Posted on May 1, 2019

The Trump administration’s proposal to vastly expand offshore oil and gas drilling has been sidelined indefinitely as the Interior Department grapples with a recent court decision that blocks Arctic drilling, according to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The ruling by a federal judge in Alaska last month may force Interior Department officials to wait until the case goes through potentially lengthy appeals before they can make a final decision on what offshore areas to open up for the oil and gas industry,




Trump Administration Puts Offshore Drilling Plan On Hold After Setback In Court

npr | Posted on May 1, 2019

The Trump administration is postponing controversial plans to greatly expand oil and gas drilling off of the nation's coasts, following a recent setback in court and months of pushback from coastal communities. Last month, a federal judge in Alaska ruled that President Trump exceeded his authority when he signed an executive order to lift an Obama-era ban on oil and gas drilling in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.The decision immediately reinstated those protections, and was a major blow to the administration's efforts to boost oil and gas development across the country.While the Trump administration is expected to appeal the decision, a resolution could be a long ways off. That makes it uncertain where new oil leases may eventually be allowed.

Kansas, Missouri among latest states to debate refinancing for aging coal plants

Energy News Network | Posted on May 1, 2019

Bills surfaced in both states that would let utilities refinance uneconomic power plants using ratepayer-backed bonds.

Nberaska Solar Schools Project

Kearney Hub | Posted on April 25, 2019

Nebraska Solar Schools has been awarded $31,250 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a pilot project within its Solar Energy Education and Development Program: 100 Solar Energy Kits for 100 Nebraska Schools.The focus of the new pilot project is on K-12 schools in Nebraska towns and cities that have developed or plan to develop solar projects, including rooftop solar, solar farms or other installations.The cities and towns in the pilot project’s focus group include but are not limited to: Kearney, Lexington, Loup City, Ainsworth, Aurora, Central City, Chadron, Fremont, Gothenburg, Grand Island, Hastings, Hemingford, Lincoln, Norfolk, Omaha/Fort Calhoun, O’Neill, Pawnee City, Schuyler, Scottsbluff, South Sioux City, Superior, Venango/Grant and York.The purpose of Nebraska Solar Schools’ Solar Energy Education & Development Program is to provide resources for K-12 teachers to facilitate integration of more solar energy education into their classrooms or after-school programs.

Ohio nuclear subsidy bill designed to undermine wind and solar, experts say

Energy News Network | Posted on April 25, 2019

Analysts say legislation to subsidize Ohio’s nuclear plants through the creation of a statewide “Clean Air Program” would discourage development of wind and solar energy because it would undermine renewable energy requirements set in place a decade ago. The bill would eliminate a surcharge allowing utilities to pass along their costs for complying with the state’s renewable portfolio standard, replacing a competitive renewable energy market with subsidies that appear aimed toward existing nuclear and coal power plants.