Energy in the News

Each week, C2ES provides a roundup of top energy news. Each headline below links to the full story at the original news outlet, which is solely responsible for its content.  Additional links to relevant C2ES resources are also provided.

Week of August 15, 2016

  • EPA strengthens greenhouse-gas efficiency goals for big rigs (Bloomberg)
    The EPA and the U.S. Transportation Department issued regulations that require trucks become more efficient through 2027. The final rules achieve 10 percent more carbon emission and fuel-consumption reductions than last year’s proposed rules, likely raising the price tag for such vehicles but cutting operating costs.
    More from C2ES on medium and heavy duty trucks
  • Energy-related CO2 emissions from natural gas surpass coal as fuel use patterns change (EIA)
    Energy-associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from natural gas are expected to surpass those from coal for the first time since 1972. Even though natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal, increases in natural gas consumption and decreases in coal consumption in the past decade have resulted in natural gas-related CO2 emissions surpassing those from coal.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • It's the dawn of the community solar farm (Bloomberg)
    A growing number of consumers are buying into community solar farms that allow renters and apartment dwellers to access renewable energy produced on neighborhood plots that can be small enough to host a little league baseball game. Some are so modest they’re referred to as “solar gardens.”
  • A landmark settlement in Colorado over solar grid fees: ‘This could be a model’ (Greentech Media)
    Colorado stakeholders have filed a major settlement agreement that avoids the introduction of a new grid-use fee, which solar advocates feared would stall rooftop solar development in the state.
    More from C2ES on solar

Week of August 8, 2016

  • Exelon to take over Entergy’s James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant (Bloomberg)
    Exelon Corp. agreed to take over ownership and management of Entergy Corp.’s James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant after New York proposed subsidies for the industry earlier this month. Entergy had planned to close the 838 MW plant in January 2017.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Hot summer fuels gas surge — EIA (Energywire - subscription)
    Natural-gas-fired power demand hit a record high last month as hot weather and low prices collided, according to the latest federal energy data. Natural gas is expected to account for 34 percent of the country's electric generation this year, surpassing coal's 30 percent share. In 2015, coal slightly exceeded natural gas as an electric generating fuel with both accounting for about 33 percent of electricity generation.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • California has more solar power than you think—a lot more (Greentech Media)
    California Independent System Operator (CAISO) only tracks solar power systems that sell into the wholesale market, missing all the solar that is installed behind the meter -- all the customer-owned solar that doesn’t sell power into the market.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Do oil companies really need $4 Billion per year of taxpayers’ money? (New York Times)
    In a new report for the Council on Foreign Relations, Gilbert Metcalf, a professor of economics at Tufts University, concluded that eliminating the three major federal subsidies for the production of oil and gas would have a very limited impact on the production and consumption of these fossil fuels.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Stem secures $100M in financing to fuel battery deployment (Utility Dive)
    The financing gives Stem a pool totaling $350 million that it plans to use for building out its energy storage projects and providing customers with no-money-down financing options. The customers tend to be large corporations looking to control the energy costs of their buildings, such as hotels, corporate headquarters or corporate operations centers.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage

 

Week of August 1, 2016

Week of July 25, 2016

  • U.S. shale gas shaking up global markets as LNG trading surges (Bloomberg)
    The U.S. began shale gas exports by sea this year and is projected by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to become the world’s third-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier in five years. Gas will challenge coal at European power plants and become affordable in emerging markets, where prices have been high and supplies limited, according to the IEA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • DOE blueprint doubles down on dams, pumped storage (E&E News - subscription)
    The Obama administration released a road map for boosting U.S. hydropower by a third and unveiled almost $10 million to spur pumped storage and electrification of existing dams.
    More from C2ES on hydropower
  • Wolf sees Shell plant sparking a manufacturing boom (Energywire - subscription)
    Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced in June that it will build a multibillion-dollar ethylene cracker plant in southwest Pennsylvania that will employ 6,000 construction workers and 600 full-time workers. The plant is an offshoot of the fracking boom in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale gas field and could be a win both for Shell and for gas producers in the region.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • NextEra agrees to buy Oncor from Energy Future Holdings for $18.4B (Utility Dive)
    Oncor, a transmission and distribution utility, provides power to more than 10 million consumers in Northeast and West Texas.
  • Alliant to spend $1B on new wind farm (The Des Moines Register)
    Alliant Energy says it will invest $1 billion over the next five years to add 500 megawatts of wind energy to an existing farm in north central Iowa, adding enough energy to power about 215,000 Iowa homes.
    More from C2ES on wind
  • China's coal peak hailed as turning point in climate change battle (Guardian)
    A team of climate economists at the London School of Economics and Tsinghua University in Beijing has concluded that China’s 2014 coal peak “may well be an important milestone in the Anthropocene and a turning point in international efforts to [cut] the emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases.”
    More from C2ES on key country policies

Week of July 18, 2016

  • How Renewable Energy Is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course (New York Times)
    Renewable sources are producing temporary power gluts from Australia to California, driving out other energy sources that are still necessary to maintain a stable supply of power.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard (ACEEE)
    The United States moved up to the number 8 position in the rankings of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2016 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard. ACEEE evaluated each country using 35 policy and performance metrics spread over four categories: buildings, industry, transportation, and overall national energy efficiency efforts.
    More from C2ES on residential end-use efficiency
  • Rooftop, community solar see big jumps in 2015 -- report (E&E News - subscription)
    Rooftop solar jumped 50 percent last year, the number of active community solar programs spiked 80 percent, and 27 state legislatures or utility commissions took up net-metering reform in 2015 as debates raged about how much to compensate homeowners for excess power sent to the grid.
  • India doubles down on solar parks after SunEdison setback (Reuters)
    India wants renewable energy, excluding hydro-electricity, to contribute 8 percent of the energy mix by 2022, up from 5.7 percent early this year.
    More from C2ES on solar

Week of July 11, 2016

  • Natural gas-fired electricity generation expected to reach record level in 2016 (Energy Information Administration)
    Natural gas, which had long been the second-most prevalent fuel for electricity generation behind coal is expected to surpass coal in 2016, according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. Natural gas-fired generation is expected to provide 34 percent of the United States' electricity this year. Coal's share of the 2016 U.S. electricity generating mix is expected to be 30 percent, nuclear 19 percent, and renewables 15 percent.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Global energy intensity continues to decline (Energy Information Administration)
    Worldwide energy intensity, measured as energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), decreased by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2015. Energy intensity has decreased in nearly all regions of the world, with reductions in energy intensity occurring both in the more developed economies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and in the emerging nations of the non-OECD.
  • Key Chinese researchers say GHGs will peak sooner than promised (Climatewire - subscription)
    The experts the Chinese government relies upon to advise on energy planning say the world's largest emitter is on track to stop growing its greenhouse gas output as much as a decade earlier than promised.
    More from C2ES on international emissions
  • N.Y. offers financial lifeline for nuclear plants (Greenwire - subscription)
    New York regulators proposed plans that would channel millions of dollars in subsidies to struggling Empire State reactors as part of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push for a greener electric grid. But the New York state Public Service Commission staff didn't offer aid for the Indian Point nuclear plant, which Cuomo wants to see closed.
  • Reprieve for FitzPatrick? Entergy in talks to sell, not shutter, New York nuclear plant (Utility Dive)
    Entergy Corp. announced Wednesday it is in talks with Exelon over the possible sale of its James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in upstate New York, throwing a potential lifeline to the struggling facility which Entergy had planned to close.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • New York utility turns to DERs to avoid $11.8M substation upgrade (Utility Dive)
    New York utility Rochester Gas and Electric issued a request for proposals, seeking to defer $11.8 million in substation investment by adding distributed energy resources in its territory to address growing demand.

Week of July 4, 2016

  • Record heat wiping out U.S. gas glut; Fuels best rally since ’08 (Bloomberg)
    A blistering start to summer is helping put U.S. natural gas futures on course for the biggest gain in eight years. Natural gas has surged 19 percent this year, rebounding from a 17-year low.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • EIA electricity generator data show power industry response to EPA mercury limits (Energy Information Administration)
    Coal-fired generating capacity in the United States dropped from 299 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2014 to 276 GW as of April 2016. Coal-fired generation's share of total electricity generation fell from 39 percent in 2014 to 28 percent in the first four months of 2016. These changes can be attributed to a mix of competitive pressure from low natural gas prices and the costs and technical challenges of environmental compliance measures.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Utilities give a first peek at N.Y.'s distributed energy future (Energywire - subscription)
    Six investor-owned utilities submitted to New York regulators their five-year plans to add distributed energy resources (DERs) to their grids. The tome-like documents, called Distributed System Implementation Plans (DSIPs), also discuss what will be needed to add DERs in the decades ahead. It's a crucial plank in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) platform.
  • A trillion dollar renewable energy market might have just opened up in North America (The Motley Fool)
    Leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to increase their renewable energy consumption in an effort to get half of North America's energy from [clean] sources by 2025. It's a lofty goal, despite assertions that 37 percent of the region's energy already comes from [clean sources]. But it highlights just how much of a coordinated effort the countries are taking. And it may open a trillion-dollar energy market for renewable energy companies.
    More from C2ES on renewables

Week of June 27, 2016

 

Week of June 13, 2016

Week of June 6, 2016

  • Quarterly coal production lowest since the early 1980s (Energy Information Administration)
    Coal production in the first three months of 2016 was 173 million short tons, the lowest quarterly level in the United States since a major coal strike in the second quarter of 1981. Electricity generation accounts for more than 90 percent of domestic coal use. In addition to complying with environmental regulations and adapting to slower growth in electricity demand, coal-fired generators also are competing with renewables and with natural gas-fired electricity generation during a time of historically low natural gas prices.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Shell’s go-ahead for Marcellus ‘cracker’ plant anchors strategy shift (Energywire - subscription)
    Shell announced a final investment decision to build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex at the former site of a zinc smelter in Beaver County, Pa., northwest of Pittsburgh.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • German battery maker sonnen GmbH wins backing from GE (Reuters)
    German battery maker sonnen GmbH said it has secured financial backing from GE Ventures, General Electric's venture capital subsidiary, to develop its brand of residential power storage systems.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage
  • Tech giants pressure states on renewable energy (Inside Energy)
    In 2013, statistics compiled by Inside Energy show data centers used 2 percent of all U.S. power—triple what they consumed in 2000. Microsoft is teaming up with dozens of other companies, including Facebook and Google, to push for easier access to renewable energy. Their leverage comes from the fact that they are becoming larger and larger energy consumers.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • A suburban experiment aims for free energy (New York Times)
    With a combination of rooftop solar panels, smart thermostats, advanced water heaters and other high-efficiency features, an experimental cluster of homes in Fontana, California were built with a similar goal: to make at least as much energy as they use over a year – a concept known as zero net energy.
    More from C2ES on residential end-use efficiency

Week of May 30, 2016

  • The world is about to install 700 million air conditioners. Here’s what that means for the climate (Washington Post)
    As summer temperatures finally settle in, many in the United States take it for granted that they can dial down the thermostat: Americans use 5 percent of all of their electricity cooling homes and buildings. In many other countries, however — including countries in much hotter climates — air conditioning is still a relative rarity. But as these countries boom in wealth and population, and extend electricity to more people even as the climate warms, the projections are clear: They are going to install mind-boggling amounts of air conditioning, not just for comfort but as a health necessity.
    More from C2ES on residential end-use efficiency
  • Exelon to close Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants (Chicago Tribune)
    Exelon said Thursday it will move ahead with plans to shutter the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants, blaming the lack of progress on Illinois energy legislation.
  • Nuclear plants, despite safety concerns, gain support as clean energy sources (New York Times)
    As the Paris agreement on climate change has put pressure on the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, some state and federal officials have deemed nuclear energy part of the solution. They are now scrambling to save existing plants that can no longer compete economically in a market flooded with cheap natural gas.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Great Plains Energy to buy rival Kansas utility Westar for $8.6B (Utility Dive)
    As electric utilities across the country feel the squeeze of low commodity prices, stagnating electricity demand and regulatory pressures, an increasing number are turning to consolidation to shore up revenues and ensure financial stability.
    More from C2ES on electricity

Week of May 23, 2016

Week of May 16, 2016

  • Emissions from electricity would drop under plan -- EIA (Greenwire - Subscription)
    The nation would emit fewer electricity-related carbon dioxide emissions between now and 2040 if U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan is put in place, according to new federal projections.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Many natural gas-fired power plants under construction are near major shale plays (Energy Information Administration)
    Natural gas-fired power generation increased 19 percent in 2015, because of low natural gas prices, increased gas-fired generation capacity, and coal power plant retirements. EIA's May 2016 Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts that this year, natural gas-fired generation will exceed coal generation in the United States on an annual basis.
  • Ex-Cheniere CEO Souki files for massive new LNG terminal (Energywire - Subscription)
    Developers are proposing to build a giant new liquefied natural gas export terminal in Calcasieu Parish, La., adding to a crush of proposals aiming to take advantage of the region's robust gas infrastructure.

    The project, called Driftwood LNG, would produce up to 26 million metric tons per year of LNG, or 4 billion cubic feet per day, and includes construction of a 96-mile pipeline segment to link the project to the gas grid.
  • Big oil’s big plans for new gas markets (Wall Street Journal)
    Natural gas transported across the world’s oceans by ship has helped to displace coal burned in European power plants and Chinese household cookers. Now, producers want it to become a fuel for cruise liners, container ships and road trucks. In doing so, Big Oil hopes to boost demand by enough to drag prices of liquefied natural gas out of the doldrums.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • DOE pulls funding for Texas clean coal project (Utility Dive)
    The Department of Energy has effectively ended a Texas clean coal project, pulling some $240 million in funding following years of delay and concerns over the project's inability to secure commercial debt and equity project financing.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • DOE says solar growth demands a different kind of grid (Energywire - Subscription)
    A flurry of reports issued by the Department of Energy charted a road map for solar power for the next five-plus years. One of its main takeaways: If solar is to continue its march toward being a cheap, ubiquitous power source, the electric grid will have to adapt in fundamental ways.
    More from C2ES on solar

Week of May 9, 2016

Week of May 2, 2016

  • Longtime solar skeptic now sees the light (Bloomberg)
    David Keith, a Harvard University scientist, has long doubted solar energy’s potential to compete on cost with conventional power sources. Now he sees the light.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • TVA prepares to start Americas first new nuclear power reactor in 20 years (Energy Central)
    The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to start a nuclear chain reaction within its newest reactor this month as it moves toward adding the first new atomic unit to America's power grid in two decades by this summer. The startup of the Unit 2 reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant near Spring City, Tennessee, will add 1,411 megawatts of carbon-free electricity generation, or enough power to supply two cities the size of Chattanooga.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Ohio River states plug into a new source of hydropower (Energywire - Subscription)
    Along the Ohio River, a quartet of shipping dams are being repurposed to bring 313 MW of renewable power to states that have relatively little of it.
    More from C2ES on hydroelectric power
  • Wind industry marks strongest Q1 for installations since 2012 (Utility Dive)
    The U.S. wind industry marked its biggest first quarter since 2012 with 520 MW of new capacity, as developers rush to take advantage of the newly-extended production tax credit.
  • GE wants become big player in offshore wind (Reuters)
    General Electric wants to become a major player in the offshore wind industry and is interested in buying the Areva-Gamesa offshore joint venture Adwen.
    More from C2ES on wind

Week of April 25, 2016

  • Power sector coal demand has fallen in nearly every state since 2007 (Energy Information Administration)
    Consumption of steam coal used for electricity generation in the U.S. electric power sector fell 29 percent from its peak of 1,045 million short tons in 2007 to an estimated 739 million short tons in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period.
  • China curbs plans for more coal-fired power plants (New York Times)
    Coal-fired power plants have propelled much of China’s economic rise for decades, helping make the nation the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Even with economic growth slackening, and other energy sources taking hold, new coal plants have been added. Now Beijing is trying to slow things down.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Unfavorable weather, commodities expected to weigh on Q1 power sector results (SNL Energy)
    Wall Street anticipates a drop in first-quarter 2016 earnings for electric utilities and power producers based on mild winter weather carried over from the end of 2015. In addition, earnings calls are expected to largely focus on low power and natural gas prices, the upcoming PJM Interconnection capacity auction and ramifications of the approved generation subsidies in Ohio.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Cuomo considers how to help New York state's ailing nuclear plants (Associated Press)
    New York's four nuclear plants, which generate more than a quarter of the state's electricity, are going through turbulent times amid slumping power prices. And depending on how things play out, one or more could shut down entirely, affecting jobs, power reliability, electricity bills and carbon emissions.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • Lockheed Martin joins energy storage fray with lithium-ion and flow batteries (Greentech Media)
    Compelled by dynamic, rapid growth across utility, commercial and industrial, and residential segments, large companies like Lockheed Martin's are entering the energy storage market.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage

Week of April 18, 2016

  • Total U.S. energy production increases for sixth consecutive year (Energy Information Administration)
    Total U.S. energy production increased for the sixth consecutive year. Energy production reached a record 89 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), equivalent to 91 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. Liquid fuels production drove the increase, with an 8 percent increase for crude oil and a 9 percent increase for natural gas plant liquids. Natural gas production also increased 5 percent. These gains more than offset a 10 percent decline in coal production.
    More from C2ES on energy
  • SunEdison files for bankruptcy after buying spree sours (Bloomberg)
    Clean-power giant SunEdison Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection after a two-year, $3.1 billion acquisition binge that drove its debt to unmanageable levels and sent investors running for the exits.  
  • How cheap does solar power need to get before it takes over the world? (Vox)
    It's easy to get ridiculously excited about solar power these days. The panels keep getting cheaper as technology improves. Large photovoltaic arrays are sprouting up around the globe. Sure, solar still produces only 1 percent of the world's electricity, but it's growing at double-digit rates each year. So with all this momentum, you'd think the solar industry could kick back and celebrate, right? Domination is only a matter of time!  Well … not so fast..
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Midwest utilities retire more than 2,000 MW of coal-fired generation (Platts)
    More than 2,000 MW of older coal-fired generation in Indiana and Michigan was retired recently. Though not unexpected, the retirements continued a trend in a region that for decades has relied heavily on coal to produce electricity. Coal still comprises a sizable share of the generation portfolio, but it is slowly being replaced by renewables, particularly wind, and natural gas.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • FERC seeks input from ISOs on possible market barriers to energy storage (Utility Dive)
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given operators of wholesale power markets until May 2 to document any possible barriers to energy storage’s participation in capacity, energy and ancillary services markets. FERC’s assessment will include the impact that distributed solar + storage could have a wholesale markets.
    More from C2ES on electric energy storage

Week of April 11, 2016

  • Oil and gas sector No. 1 methane emitter -- EPA (E&E News - subscription)
    U.S. EPA published its greenhouse gas inventory showing total U.S. emissions rose about 1 percent between 2013 and 2014. Revising previous estimates of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, EPA found natural gas (and petroleum) systems were the country's largest source of methane in 2014, accounting for a third of total (methane) emissions.
    More from C2ES on U.S. emissions
  • U.S. natural gas production reaches record high in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    U.S. natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015, an increase of 5 percent from the previous year, even as natural gas prices remained relatively low. Production from five states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota—was responsible for most of this growth, offsetting declines in much of the rest of the United States.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Coal titan Peabody Energy files for bankruptcy (Washington Post)
    In the starkest sign yet of shifting fortunes in the coal industry, St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal company, announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company cited an “unprecedented industry downturn,” which it attributed to a range of factors including an economic slowdown in China, low coal prices and “overproduction of domestic shale gas.” In the United States, cheap natural gas, driven by the shale-gas boom, has been steadily eating into coal’s share of electricity generation.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Moody's: Fall in natural gas prices may lead to large-scale plant retirements (SNL)
    Moody's warns that "persistently low natural gas prices" have placed several coal and nuclear power plants at risk of closure, with merchant generators scrambling to cut costs.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • MidAmerican Energy makes big bet on Iowa wind (Wall Street Journal)
    Iowa, which already gets more of its power from wind than any other U.S. state, will become more reliant on the electricity source under a $3.6 billion plan to build up to 2,000 additional megawatts of wind turbines. The plan would boost the share of electricity Iowa generates from wind to 40 percent from 31 percent.
    More from C2ES on wind

Week of April 4, 2016

Week of March 28, 2016

  • Largest new U.S. refinery since 1976 planned for N.D. (Fuel Fix) 
    Plans are moving forward to build the biggest new oil refinery in 40 years in the United States at a time when gasoline consumption is expected to break an all-time record in 2016.
  • The U.S. is a big oil importer again (Bloomberg)
    Imports into the U.S. jumped to a three-year high in what looks to be a reversal of a yearslong decline in the amount of foreign crude brought into the American market.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Non-hydro renewable power generation widened gap over conventional hydroelectricity in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    Non-hydro renewable generation (279,213 GWh) first exceeded hydro generation (259,367GWh) in 2014. The difference between the two sources of electricity generation expanded further in 2015 when non-hydro generation increased to 298,358 GWh, while hydro generation decreased to 251,168 GWh. Over the past decade, non-hydro renewable generation increased by 242 percent.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Utilities May Waste $981 Billion on Coal Plants, Study Finds (Bloomberg)
    Since 2010, 473 gigawatts of coal power capacity gas been added, with China building 298 gigawatts and India 101 gigawatts. The industry has 338 gigawatts of new coal capacity under construction and 1,086 gigawatts in various stages of planning, according to the Global Coal Plant Tracker database. For reference, the United States has about 285 gigawatts of coal power capacity.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Technology to make clean energy from coal is stumbling in practice (New York Times)
    SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3, the first large-scale carbon capture and storage project of its kind, has been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen short of its emissions targets, and rising costs.
    More from C2ES on carbon capture and storage
  • EPA proposes use of climate-friendly alternatives to HFCs (Environmental Protection Agency)
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to expand the list of acceptable substitutes for and prohibit the use of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of greenhouse gases that can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere and are used in air-conditioning, refrigeration, and other equipment. The emissions avoided from this proposed rule are estimated to be up to 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030.
    More from C2ES on short-lived climate pollutants

Week of March 21, 2016

  • Exelon-Pepco merger approved (Utility Dive)
    In a 2-1 vote, the D.C. Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the proposed $6.8 billion merger between Exelon and Pepco. The approval comes as a major blow to opposition parties, but it's a big win for Exelon, which will now become the largest electric utility in the U.S. by customer base.
  • Wind adds the most electric generation capacity in 2015, followed by natural gas and solar (Energy Information Administration)
    Wind, natural gas, and solar made up almost all new electric generation capacity in 2015, accounting for 41 percent, 30 percent, and 26 percent of total additions, respectively, according to preliminary data.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Developing countries now lead in clean energy investment (Climatewire - subscription)
    For the first time, developing countries invested more in renewable energy capacity in 2015 than their wealthier counterparts, helping drive global spending on clean energy generation to $266 billion, according to data from the United Nations Environment Program.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Natural gas producers face painful Spring (Wall Street Journal)
    U.S. natural gas production hit its highest level ever over the winter even in the face of low prices, a conundrum at the heart of one of the year’s worst-suffering markets.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • China plans 22 percent boost for wind power capacity after record 2015 (Bloomberg)
    China plans to develop 30.83 gigawatts of wind power this year (an increase of 22 percent in total wind power capacity). It added 33 gigawatts in 2015, according to data from NEA.
    More from C2ES on wind    

Week of March 14, 2016

  • Natural gas expected to surpass coal in mix of fuel used for U.S. power generation in 2016 (Energy Information Administration)
    For decades, coal has been the dominant energy source for generating electricity in the United States. EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) is now forecasting that 2016 will be the first year that natural gas-fired generation exceeds coal generation in the United States on an annual basis. Natural gas generation first surpassed coal generation on a monthly basis in April 2015, and the generation shares for coal and natural gas were nearly identical in 2015, each providing about one-third of all electricity generation.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • $2 billion loss for generators as a million U.S. roofs get solar (Bloomberg)
    With more than a million U.S. houses set to have solar panels by the end of next month, grid managers serving the eastern U.S. plan to cut the amount of electricity they buy from conventional plants by about 1,400 megawatts, starting in 2019, according to industry consultant ICF International. That’s enough juice to power about 780,000 households.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • U.S. bars Atlantic drilling (U.S. News & World Report)
    In a major reversal, the Obama administration said it will bar oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, a move cheered by environmentalists and consistent with the president's aggressive steps to deal with climate change.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Electricity data point to a permanent foothold for efficiency (Energywire - Subscription)
    Retail electricity data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggest that recent declines in sales represents a trend that will continue -- regardless of electricity prices -- as the residential, commercial and industrial sectors of the economy embrace energy efficiency.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • N.Y. chases clean energy goals by shoring up reactors (Energywire - Subscription)
    The NY state Public Service Commission is searching for ways to channel financial support to as many as three existing nuclear plants on Lake Ontario to keep them from closing in the face of competition from cheap gas-fired generation. The proposal is due in June.
    More from C2ES on nuclear    

Week of March 7, 2016

  • Coal made up about 80 percent of retired electricity generating capacity in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    Nearly 18 gigawatts (GW) of U.S. electric generating capacity was retired in 2015, a relatively high amount compared with recent years. More than 80 percent of the retired capacity was conventional steam coal (nearly 14 GW) or around 4.6 percent of the coal fleet. The coal-fired generating units retired in 2015 tended to be older and smaller in capacity than the coal generation fleet that continues to operate.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • The real war on coal is happening in China right now (VOX)
    The future doesn't look terribly bright for Chinese coal. "It's entirely plausible that 2013 was the peak in Chinese coal consumption," Trevor Houser of the Rhodium Group says. The International Energy Agency has reached similar conclusions.
  • JPMorgan won't back new coal mines to combat climate change (Bloomberg)
    JPMorgan Chase & Co. became the latest big bank to pull back from coal. The New York bank will no longer finance new coal mines around the world and will end support for new coal-fired power plants being developed in “high income” countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), JPMorgan said in a policy statement on its website.
    More from C2ES on coal
  • Power generation is fuel's most climate-friendly use -- study (Energywire - Subscription)
    Natural gas would be more effectively used in the replacement of coal-burning power plants than as a fuel for cars and buses, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Global Warming from Houston's Rice University.
  • Project called possible 'game changer' for gas breaks ground (Greenwire - Subscription)
    North Carolina-based NET Power, funded by Exelon and CB&I announced it has broken ground on a 50 MWth “zero-emissions” demonstration plant in La Porte, Texas. The technology combusts natural gas in oxygen (rather than air) to create electric power. The only byproducts would be water and carbon dioxide, which could be used for enhanced oil recovery or sequestered underground.
  • U.S. rejects multibillion-dollar Jordan Cove gas export plan (Bloomberg)
    U.S. regulators rejected Veresen Inc.’s multibillion-dollar proposal to build a terminal in Oregon that would export as many as two tankers of natural gas a week. They also denied its plan to build a pipeline with Williams Partners LP to supply gas to the terminal.
  • Falling prices test Chevron’s multibillion-dollar Gorgon gas bet (Wall Street Journal)
    Chevron has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its $54 billion Gorgon project off the coast of Western Australia and expects to send its first cargo to customers in Asia next week.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • Biomass goes from golden age to the brink of demise (Greenwire – Subscription)
    Once hailed as a renewable alternative to oil, energy from trees faces a dismal future. Low oil and gas prices are threatening plants that make energy from wood chips and similar biomass. From California to New York, companies are on the verge of shutting down facilities that can't compete with historically low gas prices.
    More from C2ES on biomass

Week of February 29, 2016

Week of February 22, 2016

Week of February 15, 2016

Week of February 8, 2016

  • Supreme Court deals blow to Obama’s efforts to regulate coal emissions (New York Times)
    In a major setback for President Obama’s climate change agenda, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the administration’s effort to combat global warming by regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants.
    More from C2ES on Clean Power Plan
  • Residential solar reaches grid parity in 19 states (ClimateWire - Subscription)
    Falling installation costs and favorable government policies have helped rooftop solar power become cost-competitive with other forms of electricity in 19 states and the District of Columbia, according to data released by GTM Research.
  • California has nearly half of the nation’s solar electricity generating capacity (Energy Information Administration)
    At the end of November 2015, the United States had slightly more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, which includes utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal installations, as well as distributed generation solar PV systems, also known as rooftop solar.
    More from C2ES on solar
  • Two-thirds of new U.S. electric capacity are renewables (FERC)
    According to data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), two-thirds of all new U.S. generation capacity added in 2015 were from renewable sources, primarily wind (48 percent), and solar power (13 percent).
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Shifting energy markets end crude by rail's reign (Energywire - Subscription)
    Crude by rail is no longer king in the Bakken Shale play. Thousands of miles of new pipelines, evaporating price advantages for buying inland crude, and continued protests over rail tank car safety have all taken their toll on the North American crude-by-rail industry. Additionally, the global crash in crude prices has slowly but surely spread from oil majors' balance sheets to their actual production forecasts, which could cause rail volumes to fall further in 2016.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of February 1, 2016

  • One statistic shows just how dramatically our energy system is changing (Washington Post)
    In detailing just how transformative the year 2015 was for the U.S. electricity system, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Sustainable Energy in America factbook notes that coal only accounted for 34 percent of U.S. electricity last year — versus 39 percent just a year earlier, in 2014, and 50 percent in 2005.
    More from C2ES on electricity
  • Electricity generation from renewable sources expected to grow 9 percent this year (Energy Information Administration)
    Much of the growth comes from new installations of wind and solar plants and increases in hydroelectric generation after a relatively dry 2015. In 2016, electricity from utility-scale renewable sources is expected to account for 14 percent of the total electricity generated in the United States, with wind and solar contributing 5.2 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • New report points the way to a leap in electricity savings (Regulatory Assistance Project)
    According to a new report from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), the United States could achieve 30 percent electricity savings in the next decade by promoting the innovative thinking and approaches of leading states with regard to energy efficiency.
    More from C2ES on residential end-use efficiency
  •  New York regulators propose nuclear power mandate in new clean energy plan (Utility Dive)
    Staff of the New York Public Service Commission issued a white paper on a new Clean Energy Standard proposed for the state, calling for utilities to purchase power from several struggling upstate nuclear facilities while also boosting renewables and energy efficiency.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • World's largest offshore windfarm to be built off Yorkshire coast (Guardian)
    Danish company, Dong Energy said it is moving ahead with its multi-billion pound Hornsea offshore wind project, which will occupy more than 400 square kilometers, situated about 120km off the Yorkshire, United Kingdom coast. The 1.2GW project will be made up of 7MW wind turbines, the largest generally available, each more than 190m high. It is expected to power as many as one million homes in the region.
    More from C2ES on wind power
  • Morocco unveils a massive solar power plant In the Sahara (NPR)
    Morocco has officially turned on a massive concentrating solar power plant in the Sahara Desert, kicking off the first phase of a planned project to provide renewable energy to more than a million Moroccans. When the next two phases are finished, the plant (580 MW) will be the single largest solar power production facility in the world.
    More from C2ES on solar

Week of January 25, 2016

  • Canada’s carbon cap may crimp oil giants’ new reserves (Wall Street Journal)
    Alberta’s plan to curb the oil sands industry’s emissions to 100 million metric tons a year may prevent oil majors from tapping growing reserves. The industry currently emits 70 million metric tons of greenhouse gas a year—about a quarter of the province’s overall emissions.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Natural gas prices expected to rise over next two years (Energy Information Administration)
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects natural gas prices to rise, averaging $2.65/MMBtu in 2016 and $3.22/MMBtu in 2017. Expected price increases reflect consumption growth, mainly from the industrial sector, that outpaces near-term production growth.
  • America's using the least coal ever to keep the lights on (Bloomberg)
    The U.S. is using the least amount of coal ever to make electricity as cheap natural gas establishes itself as the nation’s favorite power-plant fuel. Coal’s share of total electricity generation fell in November to a record 29 percent. Natural gas was the dominant fuel for a fifth straight month, making up 34 percent of the U.S. power mix, according to the EIA.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • U.S. wind industry posts huge gains for Q4 2015: more to come (Forbes)
    According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which just released its fourth quarter report, the U.S. wind industry had its second best quarter ever, with 5,001 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. This brings the 2015 annual total to 8,598 MW and the cumulative installed total to 74,472 MW (with over 52,000 operating turbines).
    More from C2ES on wind power

Week of January 18, 2016

  • China's coal-burning in significant decline, figures show (The Guardian)
    China’s coal use has fallen in 2015 across a wide range of measures and its national carbon emissions are likely to have fallen by about 3 percent as a result. There was a 3.5 percent drop in coal production, coal-fired electricity generation fell 2.8 percent and overall power generation dropped 0.2 percent, the first fall in 50 years. There were similar decreases in coal-intensive heavy industry such as iron, steel and cement.
    More from C2ES on coal
  •  Solar surges past wind, hydro as California’s no. 1 renewable energy source (KQED News)
    In 2015, solar became the No. 1 source of renewable energy in California, producing 6.7 percent of the state’s total electricity (doesn’t include smaller, privately-owned distributed (rooftop) solar). Not only did solar beat wind power for the first time, but it also topped drought-depleted hydropower, the long-standing leader in California electricity generation outside fossil fuels and nuclear.
  • China now the largest installer of clean energy, report says (The Globe and Mail)
    China was the largest developer of renewable energy projects in 2015, accounting for almost 40 percent of all the wind, solar, biopower and small hydro installations around the world.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • DOE Funds Advanced Pebble-Bed and Molten-Salt Nuclear Reactor Development (Green Tech Media)
    The Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of two companies, X-energy and Southern Company, "to further develop advanced nuclear reactor designs." These awards originate from the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) program.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • PSC issues permit for Dakota Access Pipeline (Bismarck Tribune)
    North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) members approved the siting permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would transport as many as 450,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude with a future capacity of 570,000 barrels per day. The 1,168-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline begins in western North Dakota near Stanley and would end near Patoka, Illinois.
    More from C2ES on oil

Week of January 11, 2016

  • Shell-led gas export project in Canada granted 40-year export license (Wall Street Journal)
    The Canadian National Energy Board approved a 40-year export license for a liquefied-natural-gas plant proposed for Canada’s Pacific coast by a consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The permit allows for annual export (to Asian markets) of up to 1.34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is the equivalent of 3.7 billion cubic feet a day, and requires LNG Canada to start exports by 2022.
  • Wholesale power prices decrease across the country in 2015 (Energy Information Administration)
    Wholesale electricity prices at major trading hubs on a monthly average basis for on-peak (daytime) hours were down 27 -37 percent across the nation in 2015 compared with 2014, driven largely by lower natural gas prices. Because natural gas-fired generation sets the marginal price in many markets, wholesale electricity prices are sensitive to changes in natural gas prices.
  • Australia LNG Exports First LNG Cargo (Rigzone)
    Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd. Announced Monday that it had commenced operations with its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo departing from its LNG facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone, Australia.
    More from C2ES on natural gas
  • As oil crashed, renewables attracted record $329 Billion (Bloomberg)
    The slump in oil prices that’s brought upheaval and cost-cutting to the traditional energy industry spared renewables such as solar and wind, which raked in a record $329.3 billion of global investment last year (up 4 percent from 2014). Wind and solar added about 121 GW of worldwide capacity in 2015.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • Crude oil prices to remain relatively low through 2016 and 2017 (Energy Information Administration)
    The Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released on January 12, which is the first STEO to include projections for 2017, forecasts Brent crude oil (the global benchmark) prices will average $40 per barrel in 2016 and $50 barrel in 2017.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • NY governor aims to phase out coal by 2020 (The Hill)
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday he aims to phase out coal-fired power plants in the state by 2020. New York only gets about 1.3 percent of its electricity from coal, according to the Energy Information Administration. Greens and Democrats welcomed his Wednesday pledge to zero that figure out.
    More from C2ES on coal

Week of January 4, 2016

  • Oil prices hover near multi-decade lows (Wall Street Journal)
    Oil prices slid to levels not seen in more than a decade Thursday, hammered by continuing market turmoil in China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer.
    More from C2ES on oil
  • Tax credit extensions can be a big opportunity (Utility Dive)
    The federal investment tax credit (ITC) extension will add an additional 25 GW of solar installed capacity by 2020, a 54 percent increase over what would have been deployed without the extension, according to GTM Research. The production tax credit (PTC) extension will result in as much as 19 GW of additional wind, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) estimates.
    More from C2ES on renewables
  • India closing in on Westinghouse deal to build six nuclear reactors (Reuters)
    India expects to seal a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to build six nuclear reactors in the first half of 2016, a senior government official said, in a sign its $150 billion dollar nuclear power program is getting off the ground.
  • China to build 40 nuclear power plants over the next five years (Independent)
    The People’s Republic of China is set to build around 40 domestic nuclear power plants over the next five years, the country’s Government has said. The country’s 13th five year plan period, running from 2016 to 2020, includes provisions for building six to eight new nuclear power plants a year. If all goes according to plan, the country will aim to increase its output to ten plants a year past 2020.
    More from C2ES on nuclear
  • China to halt new coal mine approvals amid pollution fight (Bloomberg)
    China will stop approving new coal mines for the next three years and continue to trim production capacity as the world’s biggest energy consumer tries to shift away from the fuel as it grapples with pollution.
  • Alberta's quitting coal, for better and worse (CBC News)
    Alberta's new climate change plan calls for the province to shutter its fleet of coal-fired power plants (around 6,300 MW) by 2030.
    More from C2ES on coal

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