September 25 -- A study by a group that advocates curbing U.S. reliance on oil said changing the kinds of cars and trucks on the road in the U.S. could improve economic growth over the long term and reduce the budget deficit. The study, “Oil and the Debt,” was commissioned by Securing America’s Future Energy, a group that includes business and military leaders seeking reduced oil dependence. It was prepared by Keybridge Research LLC, whose prior work on federal budget issues highlighted some of the same issues. >>View Article
September 25 -- BrightSource Energy’s massive solar farm in a remote corner of California delivered its first flow of power to the grid, an important step for demonstrating that the project is on the final path to become a fully operating power plant, the company said Tuesday. >>View Article
September 25 -- Coal-fired power plants and wind farms can find happiness together in the West — that is the finding of a new National Renewable Energy Laboratory study. The impact that renewables have on coal and natural-gas base-load generation has been one of the concerns about adding more renewable generation to the power grid. Some studies have indicated that ramping up and down fossil-fuel plants to accommodate wind and solar ends up creating expense and pollution. The NREL study, however, concluded that with the offsets in operation and fuel savings from renewable energy, the benefits outweigh the costs. >>View Article
September 24 -- Electric vehicles are a must have segment for automakers looking to compete in the long term, although traditional engine types will continue to be important, Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen Group of America CEO, told CNBC on Monday. Browning said that the German automaker's strategy is to roll out a 10-year growth plan, which includes a ramp-up in electric vehicle production. >>View Article
September 24 -- Over the past 30 years, Pittsburgh has been creating a healthier city. Pittsburgh has worked hard to clean up its air. Unfortunately, the people of Pittsburgh still must breathe too much air pollution, pollution that threatens their health and even risks their lives. The American Lung Association published in April our latest "State of the Air" report with local grades on air quality. "State of the Air 2013" showed that the Pittsburgh region ranked eighth in the nation in year-round particle pollution and 24th for ozone, from data gathered between 2009 and 2011. >>View Article
September 24 -- The Wall Street Journal debunked several of what it labeled "myths" about renewable energy on Monday. But the paper itself has promoted several of these myths in the past, obscuring the promising growth of renewable energy as prices rapidly decline. According to Wall Street Journal reporter Keith Johnson, "[o]ld ideas die hard" when it comes to renewable energy. He went on to debunk "six myths about renewable energy" that he said stemmed from "outdated facts and assumptions." >>View Article
September 24 -- Scientists and drillers are searching for hot water -- and lots of it -- at Pilgrim Hot Springs, 60 miles northeast of Nome on Alaska’s western coast. A drill rig is currently chewing away at the earth, and has passed 750 feet in depth. Once it reaches 1,000 feet, groups interested in a geothermal power plant there may have their answer: can the hot springs supply enough geothermal energy to make it a worthwhile endeavor? >>View Article
ACORE and member law firm Wilson Sonsini hosted in the firm’s Silicon Valley office a meeting with Jonathan Powers, the Federal Environmental Executive at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Peter Davidson, Executive Director of the DOE’s Loan Programs Office; and Ken Alston, DOE Special Assistant for Finance. ACORE west coast members met with these officials to exchange information and views on important renewable energy federal policy issues.
Mr. Powers highlighted the Administration’s plan to address climate change and double renewable energy generation again by 2020, including efforts of the federal government and the military to invest in renewable energy generation for their own use. Messrs. Davidson and Alston provided updates on the DOE’s loan guarantee program. This program has a total loan guarantee portfolio of $34.4 billion with $18.5 billion disbursed so far. DOE just recently issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative and advanced fossil energy projects and facilities that substantially reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution, making available up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority. DOE plans another solicitation focused on renewable energy in the next few months. Please see the White House and DOE websites for more.
September 23 -- The state’s biggest utilities, in a milestone for New England’s wind power industry, have signed long-term contracts to buy wind-generated electricity at prices below the costs of most conventional sources, such as coal and nuclear plants. The contracts, filed jointly Friday with the Department of Public Utilities, represent the largest renewable energy purchase to be considered by state regulators at one time. If approved, the contracts would eventually save customers between 75 cents and $1 a month, utilities estimated. >>View Article
September 23 -- In the next few days, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled the first of four reports on renewable energy that could potentially reshape Michigan’s energy economy. Conservatives have a real opportunity to lead in the area of renewable energy and we should applaud Governor Snyder for his leadership in the energy sector. >>View Article