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February 16, 2018

Energy – SciPol Weekly, February 10 – February 16

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Energy News Network – N.C. governor stuck between a pipeline and offshore drilling plan

The contrast between North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s actions on offshore drilling and a pipeline project reflect different legal, political and economic risks.

Inside Climate News – Geothermal: Tax Breaks and the Google Startup Bringing Earth's Heat into Homes

By cutting costs and laying pipes for entire communities, Dandelion is trying to make low-emissions heating and cooling more affordable.

Reuters – EU seeks U.S. compensation for solar panel tariffs: WTO

The European Union has sent the United States a demand for talks on compensation for steep U.S. tariffs imposed on imported solar panels, a World Trade Organization filing showed on Wednesday.

Utility Dive – NRDC, EEI pair up on 21 policy recommendations to grow clean energy

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Edison Electric Institute today announced they have developed 21 policy recommendations aimed at advancing clean energy, and intend to work collaboratively to advance the strategies. The recommendations include greater coordination between the gas and power industries, more pricing and data transparency and authorization from state and local regulators to increase investment in smarter, cleaner grids.


Bloomberg – Biggest-Ever U.S. Wind Farm Suffers Blow From Oklahoma Judge

American Electric Power Co.’s proposal for the largest-ever U.S. wind-power project received a setback Monday. The company failed to prove that customers should pay for the $4.5 billion Oklahoma project through power rates, Mary Candler, an administrative law judge in the state, said in a filing. Her non-binding recommendation will be considered by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which has final say on the project.

Brattleboro Reformer – Local solar has international backing

Companies from around the world are collaborating on what is being dubbed the largest net-metering solar project in Vermont. "It's a big project," said Bob Spencer, Windham Solid Waste Management District executive director, estimating the total cost will be between $10 million and $12 million. 

Greentech Media – First Solar Made Good on Its Promise to Beat Out Gas Peakers With Solar and Batteries

Arizona Public Service will add a 50-megawatt battery system to its fleet for storing solar energy to use during evening peak hours. The regulated utility revealed Monday that it had signed a 15-year power-purchase agreement with First Solar for the dispatchable solar power. The storage system will be paired with a new 65-megawatt solar plant in western Maricopa County and should be up and running in 2021.

Inside Climate News – Marathon Reaches Deal with Investors on Human Rights. Standing Rock Hoped for More.

In the face of mounting pressure from investors and the glare of public scrutiny, Marathon Petroleum Corp. officials acknowledged that the company has a responsibility to address environmental and social risks—including potential violations of the rights of indigenous people. However, in an agreement signed Friday with a block of shareholders, the oil company also said that the ultimate responsibility for protecting human rights lies with government regulators. 

The Washington Post – Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, the electricity may run out

The stunning success of cryptocurrencies around the globe has had a more unexpected repercussion on the island of 340,000 people: It could soon result in an energy shortage in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.


CBS News – "Desperation set in": Puerto Ricans grab shovels, machetes to help restore power

 For months, residents begged Puerto Rico's power company and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to bring back their electricity -- with few results.  So the people of the town of 40,000 -- high in the mountains of southern Puerto Rico -- have started restoring power on their own, pulling power lines from undergrowth and digging holes for wooden posts in a do-it-yourself effort to solve a small part of the United States' longest-running power outage.

The New York Times – In China’s Coal Country, a Ban Brings Blue Skies and Cold Homes

A monument to China’s efforts to wean itself from coal rises on the outskirts of this village deep in the heart of the nation’s coal country. Scores of old coal stoves have been dumped in a lot, removed by government decree in recent months in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas furnaces.

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