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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of February 6, 2017

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 8, 2017 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-media-roundup-week-of-february-6-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy news:

A lot of state-level activity on renewable energy issues. Indiana and Wyoming put forward bills to limit net metering and any fair solar valuation, while Maryland and Massachusetts assert themselves as champions of economic development via renewables. Finally, NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s 50 States of Solar counted up a total of 212 solar policy actions (for good and ill) that were taken in 2016.

Featured Stories

After veto override, renewable energy sourcing accelerates in Maryland by Pamela Wood, Baltimore Sun

Competition & Freedom at stake – Episode 37 of Local Energy Rules podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Mountains Beyond Mountains: How Green Mountain Power became more than an electric utility – Episode 38 of Local Energy Rules podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Net metering is under attack: Here’s what you need to know by Travis Hoium, Motley Fool

Utilities across the country are trying to find ways to undermine rooftop solar, and some states are giving them some help. This month alone, Wyoming’s legislature introduced a bill that would effectively ban both wind and solar in the state, including rooftop solar. Indiana’s legislature is also considering a bill that would force rooftop solar owners to sell all of their energy production to the utility while buying all of their energy from the utility.

It’s not yet clear whether either bill will go forward, but it’s clear that utilities and some states are moving to a more adversarial stance with solar energy.

Net metering bill would make Indiana an outlier on solar policy by Jeff Brooks-Gillis, Midwest Energy News

Senate Bill 309, authored by Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman, would end net metering by 2027 at the latest, and earlier than that for new panel installations by customers of utilities that hit caps on net metering capacity. The new rules would require customers to buy all the electricity they consume from the utility at a retail rate while selling everything they generate to the utility at a lower wholesale rate.

Video: The shocking impact of boring energy policy – CommonBound 2016 conference by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Video: Choices within monopoly – A grid of the future conversation with Jon Wellinghoff by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Energy Democracy News Across the States

Alaska

Renewable energy makes financial sense for Alaska by Elan Edgerly, Alaska Daily News

 

Arizona

Solar group asks Arizona utility regulators to reconsider net-metering decision by Ryan Randazzo, AZ Central

 

California

California utilities want $1 Billion for electric cars by Bloomberg New Energy Finance

 

Illinois

Energy experts: Future of clean power lies in changing incentives by Hannah Levitt, Medill Chicago

Q&A with Aur Beck: Solar leading the way in Southern Illinois renewable energy by Richard Sitler, Southern Business Journal

 

Indiana

Net metering bill would make Indiana an outlier on solar policy by Jeff Brooks-Gillis, Midwest Energy News

Senate Bill 309, authored by Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman, would end net metering by 2027 at the latest, and earlier than that for new panel installations by customers of utilities that hit caps on net metering capacity. The new rules would require customers to buy all the electricity they consume from the utility at a retail rate while selling everything they generate to the utility at a lower wholesale rate.

A bright idea, resist urge to tie solar-energy producers’ hands by Journal Gazette Editorial Board

 

Maine

Maine PUC approves proposal to phase out net metering starting 2018 by Danielle Ola, PV-Tech

 

Maryland

Maryland House overrides Hogan veto of energy bill by Pamela Wood, Baltimore Sun

Maryland’s House of Delegates vote to override Governor Hogan’s veto on clean energy bill by Mitti Hicks, My Montgomery County Media

Maryland’s House of Delegates voted early Tuesday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto on legislation that would increase renewable energy use throughout the state.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act , sponsored by Del. William Frick of District 16, would require Maryland to get 25% of its electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020. The current goal is for Maryland to reach 20% by 2020.

After veto override, renewable energy sourcing accelerates in Maryland by Pamela Wood, Baltimore Sun

Partners help Montgomery County build two microgrids by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

 

Massachusetts

Massachusetts bill aims to mandate 100% renewable energy by 2035 by Tyler Koslow, Merry Jane

Massachusetts just gave a big opening to solar + storage by Travis Hoium, Motley Fool

 

Minnesota

From sunlight to service by Deb Gau, Marshall Independent

Report cites clean energy growth as Minnesota legislators push to eliminate solar program by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

The report does not directly connect to bills under consideration but instead offers statistics and a narrative describing how the state has become a national leader in clean energy.

Several Republican bills under review in the legislature could potentially slow the spread of clean energy, according to renewable advocates.

Among them is an effort to end the state’s Made in Minnesota solar photovoltaic panel production incentive program. Another bill would remove state regulatory oversight of fixed fees in areas served by cooperatives and municipally owned utilities.

Minnesota legislation would end state oversight of small utilities’ fixed fees by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

 

Montana

Growing the solar energy industry in Montana by David Jay, KTVQ Billings

 

Nebraska

Nebraska bills would allow more community solar, tap lottery for funding by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

 

New Hampshire

New Hampshire PUC staff suggests net-metering tweaks by Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

Net Metering: Energy providers clash on cap, utility rates by The Exchange, New Hampshire Public Radio

 

New Mexico

Bills to reinstate New Mexico’s solar tax credit move ahead by Associate Press, Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico considers more aggressive renewable energy goals by Morgan Lee, Belleville News-Democrat

 

North Carolina

Tesla batteries help power small North Carolina island by Robert Walton, UtilityDive

 

Utah

Utah Clean Energy, Salt Lake City unveil 10-year solar deployment plan by Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News

 

Vermont

Vermont’s power grid the key to more renewable energy by Heather Calderwood, Montpelier Bridge

 

Washington D.C.

District of Columbia PSC launches grid modernization proceeding by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

What Austrailia’s DER revolution can teach US utilities about the age of Trump by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Republican political donors install nearly as much solar as Democratic donors by Chris Warren, GreenTech Media

PowerScout examined about 1.5 million rooftops in the top 20 solar markets nationwide and found that Democratic and Republican party donors installed residential solar systems at roughly equal rates — 3.06 percent of Democratic donors and 2.24 percent of Republicans, respectively.

Net metering is under attack: Here’s what you need to know by Travis Hoium, Motley Fool

Utilities across the country are trying to find ways to undermine rooftop solar, and some states are giving them some help. This month alone, Wyoming’s legislature introduced a bill that would effectively ban both wind and solar in the state, including rooftop solar. Indiana’s legislature is also considering a bill that would force rooftop solar owners to sell all of their energy production to the utility while buying all of their energy from the utility.

It’s not yet clear whether either bill will go forward, but it’s clear that utilities and some states are moving to a more adversarial stance with solar energy.

3 Republican governors embrace clean energy’s economic promise by Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund

US solar power employs more people than oil, coal, and gas combined, report shows by May Bulman, The Independent

The top 10 solar battleground states of 2016 by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Solar policy actions spiked in 2016, with a focus on net metering by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

Nearly every single U.S. state took some type of policy action related to distributed solar in 2016, according to the NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s (NCCETC) year-end edition of The 50 States of Solar. A total of 212 solar policy actions were taken by states and utilities across the country, which represents 37 more actions than in 2015. These developments occurred in 47 states plus Washington, D.C.

 

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.