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State Programs to Encourage Zero-Emitting Generation Are Constitutional

Late last month, the 2nd Circuit Court of appeals rejected a challenge to Connecticut laws intended to encourage use of renewable energy. Earlier this month, Judge Manish Shah, of the Northern District of Illinois, issued a...more

State Programs to Encourage Renewable Energy Are Constitutional (In Case You Were Worried)

Last week, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court decision rejecting a challenge to Connecticut statutes intended to encourage renewable energy development in Connecticut. It’s a critical win, not just...more

Wind Powers Texas. What Does That Say About the Future of Coal?

According to Bloomberg BNA (subscription required), last week, for the first time ever, more than 50% of the load in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas service area was supplied by wind power. This is the state that...more

Wind Power Is Now the Largest Installed Renewable: 82,000 MW And Counting

According to the American Wind Energy Association blog, installed wind capacity in the United States has reached 82,000 MW. That puts it past the 80,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity and makes wind the largest...more

Climate Change Will Increase Peak Energy Demand By More Than We Thought: More Storage, Perhaps?

In an interesting study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors predict that climate change will have a more significant impact on peak energy demand than had previously been...more

What a Surprise! Increased Renewal Energy Decreases GHG Emissions.

On October 12, 2016, the Energy Information Administration reported that “Energy-related CO2 emissions for first six months of 2016 are lowest since 1991.” The EIA gave three reasons for the drop in CO2 emissions. ...more

RGGI Is a Success Story. When Will It Be Obsolete?

When RGGI was first implemented, I heard Ian Bowles, then Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts, say more than once that the purpose of RGGI wasn’t really to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or jump...more

DOE and DOI Release the New National Offshore Wind Strategy: Perhaps Prosperity Is Finally Just Around the Corner

Last Friday, DOE and DOI issued an update of their National Offshore Wind Strategy. It’s a moderately aggressive strategy, seeking to deploy at least 86 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2050. The report highlights both the...more

Some Hard Truths About Addressing Climate Change

On November 23, 2015 Boston Globe had an op-ed by Joshua Goldstein and Steven Pinker concerning some “Inconvenient Truths for the environmental movement.” I’m sorry to say that I agree with pretty much every word of it. Why...more

Perhaps Massive Purchases of Canadian Hydropower Would Not Be a Panacea

Governor Baker recently submitted Senate Bill No. 1965 to the Legislature. It calls for utilities to solicit long-term purchases of renewable energy. We are talking about as much as 1/3 of Massachusetts’ annual electricity...more

The Clean Power Plan. Is Better Good Enough? Is More Defensible Defensible Enough?

So the Clean Power Plan is out. It’s difficult to be pithy about such a big, sprawling, mess, other than to say that it’s probably about as good as it could be, though that may not be enough. Here are a few items that have...more

The 10th Circuit Affirms Colorado’s RPS; The Dormant Commerce Clause Remains Dormant

When Colorado enacted a referendum petition strengthening its renewable portfolio standard, the Energy and Environment Legal Institute sued, arguing that the RPS violates the dormant commerce clause, because it harms...more

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Potentially New and Improved?

On Tuesday, EPA issued a Notice of Data Availability, requesting further comment on some specific issues that have been raised since it published its draft Clean Power Plan in June. My immediate reaction? My head hurts....more

UCS Says to Add More Renewables to the Clean Power Plan; If It’s Better, Does that Make It Best?

The Union of Concerned Scientists today announced release of a report which attempts to document that the renewable energy “building block” in EPA’s Clean Power Plan is not sufficiently aggressive. The report argues that,...more

Some PURPA Qualifying Facilities are More Qualified Than Others

In a fascinating decision last week, a divided panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Texas Public Utilities Commission had authority to limit the universe of “Qualifying Facilities” under the Public...more

Does Offshore Wind Finally Have The Wind At Its Back? DOI Announces Plan For Largest Auction To Date

Earlier this week, DOI Secretary Jewell joined with Governor Patrick to announce plans to auction more than 1,000 square miles on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Massachusetts for wind energy development. The auction,...more

Light at the End of the Cape Wind Tunnel? Judge Stearns Proclaims the Opponents “Vexatious”

On Friday, Judge Richard Stearns dismissed the latest challenge to Cape Wind, ruling that claims that the Massachusetts DPU coerced NSTAR into purchasing power from Cape Wind, and that such coercion violated the dormant...more

The Song Remains the Same: Cape Wind Wins Another Case and the Opponents Declare Victory

Late last week, in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. Beaudreu, Judge Reggie Walton gave Cape Wind and its federal co-defendants an almost across the board victory in a series of challenges by Cape Wind...more

Cape Wind Survives a Legal Challenge to FAA Approval: Is the Opposition Strategy to Play Whac-A-Mole?

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals rejected a challenge by the Town of Barnstable to the FAA’s “no hazard” determination for Cape Wind. As background, the same court had determined in 2010 that a prior no hazard...more

Massachusetts Issues Draft SREC II Regulations: Headed Toward 1.6GW of Solar By 2020?

Last year, Governor Patrick announced a goal of 1.6GW of solar electricity in Massachusetts by 2020; a goal that requires more than 1.2GW of new solar in the next six years. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources...more

Is Renewable Energy At Parity With Fossil Fuels? Not Quite, But Certainly Closer

According to ClimateWire on Tuesday, a Minnesota state administrative law Judge’s recommendation to the state Public Utility Commission may be the first time that a solar project has been declared cost-competitive against...more

Is Renewable Energy At Parity With Fossil Fuels? Not Quite, But Certainly Closer

According to ClimateWire on Tuesday, a Minnesota state administrative law Judge’s recommendation to the state Public Utility Commission may be the first time that a solar project has been declared cost-competitive against...more

Offshore Wind Marches On: Is Momentum Starting To Build?

Those of us with an interest in renewable energy have long wondered if offshore wind would ever reach its promise. The knots into which Cape Wind has been tied provide an object lesson – and an abject lesson – in how not to...more

Making Economic Arguments to Reduce GHG Releases: Senator Markey Releases a Report on Methane Leaks From Gas Distribution Lines

Two years ago, when I participated in a D.C. fly-in with a renewable energy group, we were instructed not to use the words “climate change.” Instead, we were told to focus on “growing the clean energy economy.” The push to...more

Is the Offshore Wind Market Really Ready to Fly? BOEM Announces First Lease Auction for July 31

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that the first auction of leases of offshore wind areas will be held on July 31. Even though it now looks as though Cape Wind will eventually get to the finish...more

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