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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of October 2, 2017

| Written by Kelsey Henquinet | No Comments | Updated on Oct 4, 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-october-2-2017/

This Week in Energy Democracy News:

Experts discuss how Florida will rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and create better energy resiliency; the Trump Administration looks to nuclear and coal over renewables for funding; and state-level RPSs are defended as a viable option or further renewable deployment.

 

Featured Stories:

After Irma, Can Private Utilities Be Trusted to Rebuild? By Kate Aronoff, In These Times

With major utilities aligned in opposition, the road to renewables’ proliferation in Florida may not be an easy one. John Farrell, director of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, says that policies to transition Florida’s electricity over to renewables could go a long way toward being able to get lights back on more quickly after major storms.

In an ideal rebuilding process, Farrell told In These Times, “What we would see is, from a policy standpoint, that [utilities] would be more supportive of ways customers could build their own power generation. In a system like we have today, if one power line is knocked out, it can affect tens of thousands of people … If we have lots of different pockets of generation, we can figure out ways to fill in the gaps.”

Trump officials adopt ‘base’-first strategy on nuclear and coal by Timothy Cama, The Hill

In a shift from the Obama administration, Trump officials are putting a high priority on what is known as “baseload” power in the electric grid. That change has the effect of favoring coal and nuclear power, which can be generated consistently around the clock, no matter what the weather is.

Some Trump officials are now considering policies that would let those baseload power plants charge higher prices than their competitors. They are also citing the need to ensure a reliable and resilient electric grid when shaping the regulatory agenda.

Solar industry roiled by trade ruling that some fear could lead to tariffs by Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post

The most effective clean energy policy gets the least love by David Roberts, Vox

RPSs are the perfect case in point. Everyone I know in energy-nerd world has their own bespoke objection to RPSs: They are too strong, or too weak, they should include this or that other technology, they don’t solve systemic externality issues, they are just a bargaining chip for carbon taxes.

But they exist. They are popular. They are working. Maybe economists could tear their eyes from carbon taxes and activists could tear their eyes from pipelines long enough to give them a few cheers.

Electric Vehicles Report: Part 1 — Electric Vehicles Are Going Mainstream by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Would You Pay 5% More For Local Energy? By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Westchester Power Puts New York Communities In Charge Of Energy Future — Episode 43 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Xcel Has Room For Renewable Generation On Its Minnesota Grid. So Where Is It? By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Residential Subscribers In Focus As Minnesota Weighs Community Solar Incentives by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

 

Energy Democracy News Across the States

Alabama

New solar energy project coming to Dothan by Randi Hildreth, WSFA

 

California

California bid for 100% clean energy stalls by Karl Mathiesen, Climate Change News

 

Colorado

Utilities Board agrees to add more solar after colorful public comment by Nat Stein, Colorado Springs Independent

 

Connecticut

Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Florida

Joe Henderson: Florida needs more than a mop after Irma by Joe Henderson, Saint Peters Blog

The troubling ‘tactics’ politicians are using to attack rooftop solar by Greer Ryan, CNBC

As we witness the violent effects of climate change across the country – from rampant, destructive wildfires to back-to-back, devastating hurricanes – our elected leaders should be doing all they can to rapidly transition away from dirty fuel sources.

Instead, politicians influenced by fossil fuel and utility companies are working feverishly to stifle renewable energy growth.

After Irma, Can Private Utilities Be Trusted to Rebuild? By Kate Aronoff, In These Times

With major utilities aligned in opposition, the road to renewables’ proliferation in Florida may not be an easy one. John Farrell, director of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, says that policies to transition Florida’s electricity over to renewables could go a long way toward being able to get lights back on more quickly after major storms.

In an ideal rebuilding process, Farrell told In These Times, “What we would see is, from a policy standpoint, that [utilities] would be more supportive of ways customers could build their own power generation. In a system like we have today, if one power line is knocked out, it can affect tens of thousands of people … If we have lots of different pockets of generation, we can figure out ways to fill in the gaps.”

Solar Co-op program launches in Tampa Bay by Mitch Perry, Saint Peters Blog

Why Tampa Electric is spending $850 million on solar projects by Margie Manning, Tampa Bay Business Journal

 

Georgia

Invest in Solar by Sam Booher Martinez, The Augusta Chronicle

 

Illinois

Chicago town hall urges communities to take advantage of solar incentives by Kevin Stark, Midwest Energy News

 

Indiana

North Vernon, Indiana, plans to be state’s first ‘solar city’ by Joel Schipper, WDRB

 

Kansas

Kansans who install solar panels may soon pay higher electric bills by Peter Hancock, Lawrence Journal-World

 

Michigan

How advocates helped lead Michigan’s capital city to a future without coal by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy

 

Minnesota

Greenspace: ‘There’s plenty of room for growth’ by Ryan Faircloth, Post Bulletin

It’s kind of a gradual process where there’s just more and more awareness. We noticed that people that come to us expressing an interest in solar, whether they’d be a farm, or business or home, know a little bit more. They’re just more aware of it, and more aware of the technology. That’s a good thing. In the last few years, we’ve definitely seen a growth in the number of companies that are installing clean energy and solar.

 

Missouri

Missouri regulators to tackle utility regulations, DERs by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

Nebraska

Kearney solar array near complete, residents can now signup for renewable energy by Ifesinachi Egbosimba, Nebraska TV

 

New Mexico

NM utility regulators approve solar proposal for Navajo Nation by Rachel Sapin, Albuquerque Business First

 

New York

Why Solar Advocates Are Crying Foul Over New York’s Latest REV Order by Jeff St. John, GreenTech Media

Solar Groups Speak Out Against Recent N.Y. Ruling by Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

 

Ohio

FirstEnergy filing could delay court ruling in ‘bailout’ case by Kathiann M. Kowalski Midwest Energy News

 

Vermont

Hartford Warms to Solar Plans by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling, Valley News

 

Virginia

Virginia solar group participants warm to time-of-use rates by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

 

West Virginia

After generations working in coal, young West Virginians are finding jobs in solar by Jason Margolis,  PRI

 

Wisconsin

Metro Transit getting 3 all-electric buses in 2019 by Bill Novak, Wisconsin State Journal

The sun always shines for local insurance agency by Brandon Anderegg, GM Today

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

PURPA: A Quiet Death or Longer Life After 40 Years of Wholesale Electricity Competition? By John Farrell, GreenTech Media

Congress should certainly look for ways to ensure diversity among market participants and that PURPA isn’t an end-around for savvy developers who should be participating in competitive markets. But states already have the power to protect fairness in PURPA contract terms and avoided costs. There’s no reason to roll back competition when clean energy can provide utility customers a better deal.

Utilities grapple with the rooftop solar revolution by Jacques Leslie, GreenBiz

Solar panel prices fell 30% in the first quarter of 2017, NREL report says by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

What’s Impacting Consumers’ Community Solar Investment Decisions? By Emma Foehringer Merchant, GreenTech Media

U.S. mayors plan funding for distributed energy, smart grids and more by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Solar industry responds to ruling in New York’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources proceeding by Kevin Randolph, Daily Energy Insider

Proterra’s Electric Bus Breaks a World Record for Range—1,100 Miles on a Single Charge by Katie Fehrenbacher, GreenTech Media

Have You Mastered the Utility Sales Cycle? By Bentham Paulos, GreenTech Media

All parties see room for improvement. Management and non-utility players report a spike in concern about regulatory issues — and the need to get on top of them. Ongoing struggles about net metering have rung alarm bells across the solar industry, and serve as a reminder to other technology sectors whose business models depend on favorable public policies.

The results reflect an industry in transition as it navigates the choppy waters of market reform.

Free Energy for Everyone, Hillsdale Daily News

Trump officials adopt ‘base’-first strategy on nuclear and coal  by Timothy Cama, The Hill

In a shift from the Obama administration, Trump officials are putting a high priority on what is known as “baseload” power in the electric grid. That change has the effect of favoring coal and nuclear power, which can be generated consistently around the clock, no matter what the weather is.

Some Trump officials are now considering policies that would let those baseload power plants charge higher prices than their competitors. They are also citing the need to ensure a reliable and resilient electric grid when shaping the regulatory agenda.

Solar industry roiled by trade ruling that some fear could lead to tariffs by Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post

Three Ways Electric Utilities Can Avoid A Death Spiral by Mike O’Boyle, Forbes

Microgrids and distributed power for system resilience by Steve Hodgson, Decentralized Energy

The most effective clean energy policy gets the least love by David Roberts, Vox

RPSs are the perfect case in point. Everyone I know in energy-nerd world has their own bespoke objection to RPSs: They are too strong, or too weak, they should include this or that other technology, they don’t solve systemic externality issues, they are just a bargaining chip for carbon taxes.

But they exist. They are popular. They are working. Maybe economists could tear their eyes from carbon taxes and activists could tear their eyes from pipelines long enough to give them a few cheers.

Most of the fastest selling used cars in the US are now electric by Michael J. Coran, Quartz

Electric Vehicles Report: Part 1 — Electric Vehicles Are Going Mainstream by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Would You Pay 5% More For Local Energy? By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Westchester Power Puts New York Communities In Charge Of Energy Future — Episode 43 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Xcel Has Room For Renewable Generation On Its Minnesota Grid. So Where Is It? By John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Residential Subscribers In Focus As Minnesota Weighs Community Solar Incentives by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

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