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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of May 1, 2017

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 3, 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-may-1-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy news:

The governor of Montana vetoed an anti-solar bill from the legislature, Boulder is moving forward on its municipalization, and Curbed Magazine features a Brooklyn microgrid.

Featured Stories:

Boulder City Council votes to proceed with municipalization by Jeannine Anderson, Public Power Daily

In Florida’s fight for renewables, new co-op network eyes solar by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Short-sighted utility stymies solar in Milwaukee by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Slashing solar incentives is bad for business, say Indiana tech CEOs by Danielle Ola, PV Tech

Montana governor vetoes anti-solar legislation by Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock prevented the state’s utility from smothering the solar industry when he vetoed Senate Bill (SB) 7 last week.

In what is becoming a depressingly familiar refrain from terrified utilities around the country, SB 7 was supposed to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist – namely, the false idea the non-solar customers “subsidize” solar customers who, the monopoly utilities say, don’t pay for grid upkeep because they generate their own electricity.

Further thoughts on the economics of losing the federal solar tax credit by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Solar power’s future may be on these Brooklyn rooftops by Patrick Sisson, Curbed Magazine

The broad contours of the Brooklyn Microgrid, an effort to create a localized, sustainable energy market in the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Gowanus, may sound a little like the beginnings of a promising Portlandia sketch. But this test run in small-scale energy trading, which has already recruited and linked up dozens of consumers and residents with solar panels, is a significant experiment in making renewable power more affordable and attainable.

Energy Democracy News Across the States:

California

A rough start, possible reforms for California’s community solar program by Brian Orion, GreenTech Media

 

Colorado

Boulder City Council votes to proceed with municipalization by Jeannine Anderson, Public Power Daily

 

Florida

Florida one step closer to implementing solar tax break by Danielle Ola, PV Tech

 

Hawaii

Hawaii’s clean energy and oil consumption report card by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

 

Illinois

Solar interest shines on Illinois farmland by Phyllis Coulter, Illinois Farmer Today

 

Indiana

Slashing solar incentives is bad for business, say Indiana tech CEOs by Danielle Ola, PV Tech

Indiana governor remains uncertain over plan to phase out net metering by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

 

Maine

Solar energy promises good jobs, more choices by Mary Ann Larson, The Forecaster

 

Maryland

Maryland’s energy storage tax credit: Gaining momentum across America? by Michael Vinci, Breaking Energy

The General Assembly of Maryland just passed a bill that would provide a 30% tax credit to those who chose to utilize energy storage technology, making it the first state in the country to pass such legislation. The funds provided by the bill would last from 2018 to 2022.

The bill includes a cap of $5,000 for residential storage projects, while for commercial projects, the cap is set at $75,000. The state government has allocated a total of $750,000 per year to be used in credits.

 

Michigan

Despite disturbing federal policy threats to environmental protection, Earth Day panelists believe cleaner air, water, and energy momentum is irreversible by Russ White, MLive

Michigan’s new energy law gives state more options by Tracy Samilton, Michigan Public Radio

That’s Michigan Agency for Energy Executive Director Valerie Brader, describing the benefits of the state’s new energy law, which goes into effect tomorrow. The law removes the cap on how much utilities can use energy efficiency and renewable energy to meet the state’s energy needs, says Brader.

She says energy efficiency projects have already saved the state $4 billion since 2008, and there’s the potential for even more, especially if energy efficiency is the cheapest way to meet demand for power.  “We’re either going to use less energy or we’re going to buy more coal and more gas from other states to fuel our power stations,” says Brader.

 

Minnesota

St. Paul to juice a fourth of its municipal buildings with power from solar gardens by Frederick Melo, St. Paul Pioneer Press

May conference will address Minnesota’s clean-electricity growth by Neal St. Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

Montana

Montana governor vetoes anti-solar legislation by Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock prevented the state’s utility from smothering the solar industry when he vetoed Senate Bill (SB) 7 last week.

In what is becoming a depressingly familiar refrain from terrified utilities around the country, SB 7 was supposed to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist – namely, the false idea the non-solar customers “subsidize” solar customers who, the monopoly utilities say, don’t pay for grid upkeep because they generate their own electricity.

 

Nevada

SEIA urges Nevada panel to pass net metering bill by SEIA, Alternative Energy Magazine

Green with NV: Nevada’s monopoly utility wants to ‘subvert’ net metering restoration bill by Danielle Ola, PV Tech

Nevada Senate clears trio of energy bills on storage, efficiency, utility planning by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

New York

“People’s Commissioners” for the PSC by Andrea Sears, Manhattan Times News

The Buffalo-Niagara microgrid incorporates many into one by Andrew Burger, Microgrid Knowledge

Solar power’s future may be on these Brooklyn rooftops by Patrick Sisson, Curbed Magazine

The broad contours of the Brooklyn Microgrid, an effort to create a localized, sustainable energy market in the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Gowanus, may sound a little like the beginnings of a promising Portlandia sketch. But this test run in small-scale energy trading, which has already recruited and linked up dozens of consumers and residents with solar panels, is a significant experiment in making renewable power more affordable and attainable.

 

North Carolina

Effort to freeze NC’s renewable energy requirements renewed by Matthew Burns, WRAL – NC Capitol Blog

 

Ohio

The Bottom Line: More drivers want to go electric by Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

One in six Americans say they want an electric vehicle the next time they buy, according to a a new survey commissioned by AAA. That’s a lot, and would represent a monumental increase in market share for all-electric and hybrid vehicles, if the results turn out to predict consumers’ behavior. And it would be despite low gasoline prices.

 

Oregon

Legislature drops bill discouraging solar on top farmland by Pete Danko, Portland Business Journal

 

Virginia

Southeast seeing a surge of interest in net zero schools by Ken Edelstein, Southeast Energy News

 

Wisconsin

Dane County hopes to greatly expand its solar abilities with 30 acres of panels by Logan Wroge, Wisconsin State Journal

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

Is grid defection still a threat to the utility business model? by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

SEIA launches white paper series on grid modernization by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Study ranks Iowa among top ten states for clean energy ‘momentum’ by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Industry report: Midwest and Great Plains lead wind energy expansion by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

How wealthy are residential solar customers? by Shayle Kahn and Attila Toth, GreenTech Media

Another Midwest utility dealt a setback on electric vehicle charging stations by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Former FERC chair Jon Wellinghoff no longer at SolarCity by Krysti Shallenberger, Utility Dive

The cheap energy revolution is here, and coal won’t cut it by Tom Randall, Bloomberg

Government subsidies have helped wind and solar get a foothold in global power markets, but economies of scale are the true driver of falling prices. Unsubsidized wind and solar are beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas in an ever-widening circle of countries.

 

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