Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called on the US to use the natural gas boom as a temporary means of cutting CO2 emissions until renewables can capture a greater share of US energy markets in a video released today on his facebook page. Below is a partial transcript of the video, which can be found here:… Keep reading →
North America has the equivalent of a new lease on life with regard to energy, as decades of declining oil & gas production drastically reversed course in the past 5 years, and petroleum liquids consumption is dropping after a long growth spurt. This has led the US to import fewer barrels of oil from overseas… Keep reading →
BLM issued a regulation to prohibit mining claims in public lands with pending applications for renewable energy projects or those identified as potential sites for renewable energy development. On April 30, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a regulation to the Federal Register to temporarily segregate public lands set aside for renewable energy… Keep reading →
Hawaii, which arguably needs renewable energy more than any other state, is making progress. A new report says that renewable generation for the Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light, grew from 12 percent of energy needs in 2011 to 13.9 percent in 2012. This increase was attributed to more rooftop and… Keep reading →
The wind industry privately worries that MLPs are a bargaining chip for their tax credit.
Master limited partnerships are currently the policy du jour in Washington. And unlike the hollow “momentum” earlier this year for a carbon tax, MLPs actually have bipartisan support and legislative potential. Keep reading →
The key to broader penetration of solar energy depends on access to capital markets and innovative financial structures that can reduce the cost of capital for project finance as well as increase the investor base beyond the traditional tax-equity driven investors. There is a strong case for the DOE to establish the Advancd Research Project Agency-Capital (ARPA-C) that will function to support the broader adoption and commercialization of renewable energy through mechanisms, including credit enhancment and direct equity investments for capital market project aggregation warehouse facilities and securitization transactions.
While ARPA-E has been successful for the deveopment of new renewable technologies, the renewable sector can benefit from the expansion of ARPA-E to include capital to catalyze the breakthroughs for financial innovations. ARPA-C innovations can help bridge the funding gap that challenges renewable energy growth by providing structural support for renewable energy projects to develop capital markets solutions. Capital Markets structures can help reduce the total installed cost of solar electricity significantly – and combined with other DOE initiatives could help make solar power cost-competitive without additional subsidies. The Obama adminstration outlined in the March 20, 2011 publication “Blueprint for a secure energy future”, three major goals : Keep reading →
The US wind power industry had a banner year in 2012, as developers raced to bring on projects before the federal production tax credit was set to expire at the end of the year. The frantic rush to take advantage of the tax incentive resulted in some impressive statistics highlighted in the American Wind Energy Association’s U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2012, released Thursday.
Breaking Energy recently sat down with AWEA’s vice president of public affairs Peter Kelley ahead of the launch to gain some insight into what made 2012 so important and what to expect from the industry going forward. Keep reading →
If any sector would seem unlikely to be singled out for its robust dealmaking outlook, renewable energy might seem to be it. After a surge in investment and in installations over the past decade, renewable energy seemed to run out of road in 2012, undermined by extreme competition, low natural gas prices and limits on government assistance in a budget-constrained environment.
But 2012 proved to be a surprise for analysts of the renewable energy sector, analyst from consulting and accountancy firm Deloitte said in their most recent overview of the sector’s merger and acquisition activity. Keep reading →
While there are some nagging questions, Texas is spending $6.8 billion on new transmission lines to deliver electricity from wind farms in West Texas to its major metro areas such as Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
And while it’s certainly a plus for the state, its economy and jobs, that transmission investment also is attracting developers who plan to spend $3.3 billion on new wind farms that will generate 1,633 MW of new capacity in the next two years, according to a story in Sustainable Business. Keep reading →
Even with well-established forms of energy development like oil and gas, the science on impacts to the environment can be hard to quantify and harder to predict. The challenge for sectors like the wind industry – comparatively new in its current form – are even higher given the lack of operational data, but as in other areas, the wind business is sprinting to get ahead.
A number of wind energy industry leaders joined several years ago with major environmental groups to form the American Wind Wildlife Institute, which plays several roles but represents an early effort by the sector to be certain wind energy development remains attractive while assuaging or minimizing concerns about impacts on wildlife. Keep reading →