The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday unanimously rejected a proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would have propped up nuclear and coal power plants struggling in competitive electricity markets. The independent five-member commission includes four people appointed by President Trump, three of them Republicans. Its decision is
binding . . . “The law and common sense prevailed over special interests today,” John Moore, director of the Sustainable FERC Project Coalition, said in a statement. “The FERC correctly found that the Department of Energy’s proposal violated the basic requirements of the Federal Power Act. Secretary Perry’s plan would have subsidized coal and nuclear plants with a 90-day fuel supply yet Perry never explained why those plants were inherently more reliable or resilient.”
Current discussions on how to improve education have focused on better teachers, better technology and more funding (which deepens the debate on who should pay for it). But consider that each year K–12 schools spend more than $8 billion on energy — more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. Too commonly overlooked is the opportunity to cost-effectively improve our nation’s schools and enhance student performance by tackling the performance of the very buildings in which children, faculty and staff spend more than eight hours each day. With energy costs averaging about $300 per student per year, cash-strapped districts have found improving energy performance as the best way to lower operating and maintenance costs.Click to read more
Photo: Schools that integrate solar panels onto their campuses can teach valuable hands-on lessons to students about physics, technology and global stewardship. Credit: Shutterstock / pisaphotography
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING The enormous scale of all the energy that we never used, by Chris Mooney, The Washington Post Click here to download the new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE) Report that Mooney references in his article: The Greatest Energy Story You Haven’t Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change
By Jonathan H. Adler, The Washington Post Monday, acting on its own initiative, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that it would hear challenges to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan sitting en banc. As per the court’s order, the challenges will be heard by the full court in September. A three-judge panel had been scheduled to hear arguments June 2. Continue reading.
By Tim Dwight, President of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association. Published in The Des Moines Register
A new study, “Clean Jobs Midwest,”from the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs found that 28,451 Iowans work in the state’s clean energy sector, including 626 working in the solar industry alone. While we have a way to go to catch up with our “big brother” wind industry, more than $85 million was invested in solar installations in Iowa between 2012 and 2015. As president of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association, I have the privilege of watching these investments grow the Iowa economy. Read more here.
New statistics just released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggest that in the coming year, the booming solar sector will add more new electricity-generating capacity than any other — including natural gas and wind. EIA reports that planned installations for 2016 include 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar — followed by 8 gigawatts (or 8 billion watts) of natural gas and 6.8 gigawatts of wind. This suggests solar could truly blow out the competition, because the EIA numbers are only for large or utility-scale solar arrays or farms and do not include fast-growing rooftop solar, which will also surely add several additional gigawatts of capacity in 2016. In other words, U.S. solar seems poised for not just a record year but perhaps a blowout year. Last year, in contrast, solar set a new record with 7.3 gigawatts of total new photovoltaic capacity across residential, commercial, and utility scale installations.