The Best of FierceEnergy

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TASC suing WI PSC to overturn rate case ruling

The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) is calling on the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to release all records of communications between Commissioner Ellen Nowak and Wisconsin Energy (WE) -- including the full audio transcript of a June 2014 panel at the Edison Electric Institute's (EEI) annual conference in Las Vegas -- and has announced plans to sue the PSC to overturn its We Energies rate case ruling this month.  

ALLETE to sell wind farm to Montana-Dakota Utilities for $200M

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and ALLETE Clean Energy (ACE) have signed an agreement to purchase a North Dakota wind farm to be developed by ACE. The North Dakota wind project will be comprised of 43 turbines capable of producing 107.5 megawatts of electricity.

Unlocking $48 trillion in energy investments

The decisions that investors make in the energy sector today will make or break the sustainability of global energy systems for years to come, according to a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC). Specifically, the ability to invest the $48 trillion required over the next 20 years could be in jeopardy as global energy systems are under increasing stress and governments limit their spending due to economic conditions, threatening countries' ability to supply sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy for their populations. 


Germany's utility lobby objects to further emissions cuts without power market reforms

Germany's "Energiewende," an aggressive transition from traditional power sources to a program that features renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development, has been praised for its foresight and criticized for raising electricity prices and risking the health of its electric grid. 

Landowner lawsuit provision in oil and gas leases could become very different in PA

Oil and gas companies get sued by landowners for several things. It may have to do with shrinking or skipped royalty payments, environmental damage, the complicated world of surface rights versus mineral rights -- generally serious unpleasantness over which landowners feel justified suing the company with which they have a contract.

New NRG digs not just green, but ultra-green

The three-floor, 130,000 square foot headquarters will seamlessly integrate renewable energy technologies and efficiency measures, with the goal of making it a showcase for one of the most trailblazing resource-efficient, grid-resilient designs achievable by businesses today by incorporating NRG's vision of bringing a new level of integrated sustainability to the suburban built environment.

AZ utility speaks out against possible energy-efficiency rules changes

The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is considering a major overhaul of its energy-efficiency standards for utilities, which many large companies doing business in the state endorse. However, utility Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is opposing any changes to the current rules.

Wind, solar narrowing the price gap with coal and gas

Most industry professionals have agreed for some time that the cost of wind and solar power will be lower than coal and gas prices. The question stirring up the most argument is when. Many observers say that day is years away, but utilities have been increasingly willing to sign long-term power purchase agreements for renewable energy now.

Gas to contribute significantly to cleaner fuel mix by 2030

The global power generation industry is seeing differing trends across developed and emerging regions. While gas-fired power generation will register a substantial net increase globally, coal-fired capacities will witness major growth only in emerging regions, according to research from Frost & Sullivan. 

Confidence in oil and gas deals cautiously optimistic

Despite an increasingly stable global economy, resilient equity markets and corporate earnings confidence, the global oil and gas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) landscape remains just cautiously optimistic, according to an EY survey of more than 100 oil and gas executives worldwide, where 94 percent of respondents expect the global economy to either improve or remain stable over the next year.

CA utility nets top industry honor

PA Consulting Group (PA) has named the winners of its annual 2014 ReliabilityOne Awards, recognizing North American utilities in critical industry categories like reliability, storm response, technology and innovation, and customer engagement.

Clean Power Plan to hit energy-intensive industries hard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan is the latest in a series of regulations that, in conjunction with rising natural gas prices, will increase the cost of electricity and natural gas by nearly $300 billion in 2020 compared with 2012, according to a study by Energy Ventures Analysis for Peabody Energy.

EIA launching U.S. crude oil import tracking tool

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released a new tool for tracking U.S. crude oil imports, allowing policymakers, analysts, and the public to more easily track trends in this area.  The tool sheds light on the adjustments to imports being made in response to growing production of crude oil within the United States and is just one part of EIA's ongoing effort to assess the effects of a possible relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports, which is another avenue to accommodate domestic production growth.  

Data centers considering renewable energy to control costs

With energy costs weighing them down, data centers are considering renewable energy as one of the top emerging technologies to address power and cooling costs, according to a Mortenson survey. Of corporate data center executives, data center developers and operators, and information technology providers surveyed at the 2014 Data Center World conference, 84 percent said they needed to consider renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar, to manage future needs. 

Stringent policy driving energy-efficient buildings across EU

Europe is getting serious about energy efficiency in its commercial buildings. As a result of legislation, mandatory changes to country-level building codes are increasing the performance requirements that apply to new construction and major renovations of existing buildings. These codes are pushing toward the delivery of nearly zero energy buildings by 2019 and 2021 for public and private buildings, respectively.

CT community combines ancient Greek and modern hydropower technology

Meriden, Connecticut has taken an interesting approach to shaving its electric bills by generating power from water that normally would spill over a dam. A project is underway to take advantage of technology commonly attributed to Archimedes.

Wind energy tax credits in for a rough ride

The news reports and speculation over what Congress will do with federal wind energy tax credits when Republicans control both the House and Senate come January are numerous. The biggest backers of the wind industry tax credit program are not expected to have as much pull as they did, which could mean a questionable future for the industry.

Census Bureau reports renewable power generation growing

According to new U.S. Census Bureau statistics, revenues for electric power generation industries that use renewable energy resources rose 49.0 percent from $6.6 billion in 2007 to $9.8 billion in 2012, and include hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, biomass, solar and tidal energy.

Zero net energy investments hard to justify in the U.S.

The global market for zero net energy (ZNE) commercial buildings is expected to grow to $239.7 million by 2018, according to BCC Research, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.6 percent driven by a global green building boom, ongoing governmental regulations, and regional environmental concerns.