Germany's solar story

Germany's experience likely provides an opportunity for the U.S. to "look ahead" and see how electricity systems, and the rules governing them, will have to adapt when penetration rates of various renewable energy sources reach levels similar to those in Germany.

List of cities mandating energy benchmarking grows

Cambridge, Massachusetts is the latest city to require the benchmarking and disclosure of building energy performance for large commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings, joining Boston, along with eight other major U.S. cities -- Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. -- as well as two states and one county.

Government initiative focusing on natural gas

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced several new initiatives as part of its Administration Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, which builds on President Obama's Climate Action Plan. As part of the President's Climate Action Plan, the Administration is currently carrying out the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The first installment is focused on the issues of transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure across the energy sector, -- including natural gas.

Dominion making progress toward reducing its environmental impact

Dominion says it has made continued progress in executing its business plan, minimizing the environmental impact of its operations. In fact, in 2013, Dominion produced 50 percent of its electricity it produced from carbon-free nuclear and renewable energy, according to its Citizenship & Sustainability Report (CSR).

National Grid supports net metering compromise

National Grid is asking the House Ways and Means Committee to quickly release consensus language on House Bill 4185 -- a landmark compromise that provides a stable and cost-effective policy solution to support solar energy in Massachusetts. HB 4185 extends Massachusetts' net metering program, removing the caps that have been reached and making changes to both the net metering and renewable energy incentive programs.

Forest investment protects water supply, infrastructure

The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced another $187,500 in funding for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project water system. This is in addition to the $152,000 Interior's Bureau of Reclamation has already committed as part of the state's Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership.

Idaho Power files solar contracts under PURPA

Idaho Power has filed contracts with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for two solar projects proposed by private developers who will sell their output to the utility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) -- a federal law which requires utilities such as Idaho Power to purchase the electricity generated by certain renewable-energy projects.

$1.2B buys out NCEMPA's ownership in Duke Energy's power plants

An agreement between Duke Energy Progress and the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) has been approved by their respective boards for Duke Energy Progress to purchase the Power Agency's ownership in certain generating assets, at a purchase price of $1.2 billion. Under the agreement, Duke Energy Progress and NCEMPA will enter into a 30-year wholesale power supply agreement to continue meeting the needs of NCEMPA customers currently served by the power agency's interest in Duke Energy Progress' plants.

AEP Energy to build solar "Block O" on University rooftop

AEP Energy will fund, build, own and operate an approximately 10,000-square-foot array on the rooftop of Ohio State University's Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC), which will be made up of 367 solar panels arranged in a configuration similar to the "Block O."

APAC CHP investment second only to Europe

As the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region invests $56 billion on bolstering its distributed Combined Heat and Power (CHP), installed capacity will grow from around 37.7 GW in 2013 to approximately 64 GW by 2019 -- a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9 percent, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

San Bruno calling for removal of CPUC president

The City of San Bruno is demanding that CPUC President Michael Peevey be removed, in part, due to alleged inappropriate communication with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The City also wants significant penalties ($2.45 billion in after-tax dollars) levied against PG&E due to an exposure that top CPUC and PG&E staff engaged in repeated and illegal private (ex parte) conversations in the ongoing CPUC penalty proceeding related to the deadly 2010 PG&E gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

Solar reaching mainstream for utilities

New figures released by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) reflect the central role utilities will continue to play in the growth and change of the U.S. solar industry in emerging trends that have been identified as current and future market drivers, according to the organization.

Keeping nuclear as part of a diverse energy mix

Existing nuclear energy plants provide one-fifth of the country's electricity, are part of our diverse energy mix and help lower the cost of generating electricity for consumers by more than $93 billion a year, according to an IHS Energy report. 

LASER pinpoints LA solar shortfalls

New research has revealed some startling information regarding California's solar capacity. Specifically, approximately 98 percent of Los Angeles County's solar capacity remains currently untapped, according to the research by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), despite the fact that California is at the forefront of deploying clean energy to fight climate change among reaching other goals.

PA earns international energy recognition

The Foreign Direct Investment Association (FDIA) recently recognized Pennsylvania as the 2014 "FDI Destination of the Future for Energy Intensive Industries" for actively implementing strategies to support foreign direct investment in the energy sector.

NREL CIP to drive down cost of wind

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched the Distributed Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) to help the U.S. wind industry develop competitive, high-performance technologies needed to compete in the global distributed wind market and lower the levelized cost of energy so it can compete with retail electricity rates.

PSEG betting on the future of EVs

Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG) is using innovation to encourage New Jersey businesses to provide employees with electric car charging at work and foster greater adoption of electric cars, which would help to improve the state's air quality, help companies achieve sustainability targets, reduce costs for employees, and foster the country's energy independence. 

EEI: Utilities should spend 5 percent a year on EVs

"Transportation Electrification: Utility Fleets Leading the Charge" focuses on the electric power industry's effort to accelerate the expansion of electric transportation in commercial and retail markets, beginning with electric utility fleets, encouraging investor-owned electric utilities to meet an industry-wide goal to spend at least five percent of annual fleet acquisition budgets on PEVs and plug-in technologies.

Post-rebate solar shining in PA

Homeowners and small businesses in Pennsylvania now pay less for solar than they did when the state was paying even the highest rebates, according to a recent report by the nonprofit Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) -- based on an analysis of data collected for solar electric systems receiving PA Sunshine Rebates by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as part of the state's Sunshine Rebate Program.

Energy diversity critical to U.S. economy

The uncertainty around the future prices of natural gas, oil, coal, uranium, and others means uncertainty regarding the cost to produce electricity. A diversified portfolio is the most cost-effective tool available to manage the inherent production cost risk involved in transforming primary energy fuels into electricity, and a diverse power generation technology mix is essential to cost-effectively integrate intermittent renewable power resources into the power supply mix, IHS Energy explains in a new report called "The Value of U.S. Power Supply Diversity."