Renewable Energy

Solor Energy

Many economists also fear that the mandate will worsen California’s housing unaffordability. This crisis has many causes, such as restrictive zoning regulations that curtail construction. But the solar-panel requirement, which could increase the cost of a new home by more than $10,000, probably won’t help, even though supporters of the policy argue that the solar panels will pay for themselves in terms of lower monthly electricity costs.

The first is what I’d call the “Panglossian” argument, after the character in “Candide,” Voltaire’s 18th-century classic satire. In what Voltaire would call “the best of all possible worlds,” taxing carbon would make perfect sense.

But this is a world riddled with political obstacles that make enacting almost any climate policy next to impossible. If a big American state can enact an imperfect law like this mandate that might do some good, then it should go for it.

The other argument I find reasonable is that by drumming up more demand, the solar mandate will expand the solar panel market —thereby driving solar costs down, perhaps more quickly than a carbon tax would. There’s some evidence supporting the theory that these mandates can spur innovation in renewable electricity technologies.

Hydro Energy

The 2018 Hydropower Status Report, published today in conjunction with the Beijing Forum on Hydropower and Future Energy Systems, is the latest edition of IHA's annual study and reveals the global capacity of commissioned hydro rose by 21.9 GW over the past year -- bringing the worldwide tally of installed capacity to 1,267 GW.

"This report serves to highlight the vital contribution of hydropower to meeting the world's energy needs, without which we could not hope to achieve the ambitious carbon reduction targets that underpin the Paris Climate Agreement," said IHA Chief Executive Richard Taylor.

IHA said hydro translated to the elimination of about 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired sources in 2017, while avoiding a 10% rise in emissions from other fossil fuels. Hydropower also prevented the introduction of 148 million tons of air polluting particulates, 62 million tons of sulphur dioxide and 8 million tons of nitrogen oxide.

"Hydropower offers storage services which support growth in other renewables such as wind and solar, as well as water management and protection from floods and drought," Taylor said.

Bio Energy

The nation’s energy sector employed 6.5 million Americans in 2017, up 133,000 jobs from the year prior, according to a comprehensive report released today from the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). This two percent growth rate exceeded the national average of 1.7 percent.

The 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) is the third installment of the energy jobs survey established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2016. This year, the report has been produced by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s nonprofit think tank, EFI, in partnership with NASEO.

Both organizations secured private funding to continue the report this year. The USEER was previously issued by the Department of Energy.

Report authors said that the most surprising finding in the report was the sustained three-year growth of Energy Efficiency jobs. Since no one had studied this industry before with a direct survey, it provided the first-ever look at what’s going on with how businesses are trying to embrace these new technologies. They have certifiably flattened electricity demand, driven greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, made American manufacturers more competitive and created millions of jobs. In 2017 EE manufacturers added over 26,000 jobs.

Wind Energy

As states along the U.S. East Coast ramp up their mandates for offshore wind capacity, speculation remains about how the industry’s supply chain will take shape to meet the demand for turbines, boats, labor, specialized services, and more.

Gov. Ralph Northam, in a statement yesterday announcing the RFP, said that Virginia should be the “prime location for the offshore wind industry, from the supply chain to the full build out of our offshore wind assets off the coast.

According to the evaluation, the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, one of the Port of Virginia’s principal facilities, could qualify as a “super-port” with an investment of between $11 million and $25 million. A super-port would serve as a manufacturing cluster for three to four facilities and as a construction staging port.

1Other goals of the new report are to create an electronic toolkit to help connect supply chain partners with local industry, and identify policy and business gaps that need to be overcome for local industry to grow.