Renewable Energy Focus
SustainableBusiness.com - Nov 27
Geothermal energy is coming to the rescue of California's Salton Sea while also giving a huge boost to the industry with one of its biggest projects. It starts with a 1.7-gigawatt geothermal project that will power over a million homes. Besides producing clean energy at this geothermal "hot spot," the money generated will finally provide much of the funding needed to restore critical habitat at the Salton Sea. Under the plan, the Salton Sea would be designated a Renewable Energy Zone where solar and wind projects would be sited along with emerging resources such as algae and solar gradient ponds. The Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative believes geothermal development alone could be worth at least $3 billion over 30 years - about a third of what's needed for restoration.
Washington Post - Nov 21
A New Jersey energy company required by an unusual legal settlement to build an extensive network of electric car chargers throughout California has delivered just 10 percent of what it promised in the first year. Just 110 of the 1,040 stations that NRG Energy committed to installing by early December are ready. The subsidiary responsible for building the stations over four years, NRG eVgo, blames a series of unanticipated problems, including a reluctance among owners of malls, offices, and apartment buildings to provide space for the chargers — even when the company subsidizes their cost.
Smart Brief - Nov 20
The House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act decreasing funds permitting solar and wind energy projects at the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management from $10 million to $5 million.
SustainableBusiness.com - Nov 25
The Department of Justice announced a $1 million settlement with Duke Energy over the deaths of endangered birds in the first criminal enforcement under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a wind farm. Duke Energy Renewables pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Los Angeles Times - Nov 18
The U.S. Navy recently sailed a fleet near Hawaii that was powered in part by algae and used cooking grease to the delight of both environmentalists and biotech startup companies. The Obama administration has made the military, the largest consumer of energy in the country, a financial lifeline for cash-strapped alternative fuel innovators. But the pilot voyage of the Navy's "great green fleet" came with a troubling aspect: price. The fleet's green fuel costs $26 a gallon, several times more than conventional diesel and jet fuel.
Environmental Defense Fund - Nov 18
The Golden State’s carbon market received another dose of confidence last week when state courts upheld California's ability to auction carbon allowances and hold polluters accountable for their harmful emissions. The ruling came just in time for the state’s fifth carbon auction. From the 2013 California Carbon Summit to a recent Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Report, discussions are now turning to the future of the carbon market post-2020 and potential linkages with other emissions trading programs.
Bloomberg - Nov 19
Raw data released by the California Air Resources Board show that total CO2 emissions for the entities covered by the Cap-and-Trade Program rose by 2 percent between 2011 and 2012. Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate that CO2 emissions actually remained flat over the two years, taking into account double-counting in the raw data. This conclusion means that the California program is likely to run a greater surplus over the early years than many expected.
Orange County Register - Nov 18
California dairy farmers who have been squeezed by rising feed costs will get some relief if the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to ease up on ethanol in fuel mixes is approved early next year. The proposed rules, introduced Friday, would require oil refiners to blend 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuel with gasoline and diesel next year, down about 8 percent from this year’s blend. California Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, told the Register that the EPA’s decision is a “step in the right direction” for struggling dairy farms. She believes the EPA could do more, like replace ethanol with other types of biofuels that are still in the research and development process.
Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals
Bank of America Environment - Nov 21
Bank of America Corporation announced has issued a “green bond” consisting of a three-year, fixed-rate bond that is $500 million in aggregate principal amount. The funds will be used specifically to finance green investments such as renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in furtherance of Bank of America’s 10-year, $50 billion environmental business initiative to help address climate change, reduce demands on natural resources, and advance lower-carbon economic solutions.
My Desert Business News - Nov 16
The word “elegant” does not normally leap to mind when describing carports. However, Solar Carports USA, a new Palm Desert-based company is hoping to transform many of the region’s large parking lots into well-designed community solar plants. The company’s pilot project, the solar carports at the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Charitable Center in Palm Desert, is unobtrusively designed with clean lines and a low profile that leaves the surrounding mountain vistas untouched. The carports also contain 500 kilowatts of neatly hidden solar panels silently pumping out about two-thirds of the power used by the mostly nonprofit tenants at the campus.
Energy Business Review - Nov 20
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the California State Water Resources Control Board have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to coordinate the review of pre-application activities for hydropower proposals in the state. The MoU will facilitate a more efficient and coordinated process for license applications and water quality certifications that include consultation, environmental scoping, study planning, and commenting on an applicant's preliminary licensing proposal.