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Renewable Energy Update
January 19, 2017

Renewable Energy Focus

Study reports climate policies provide $13 billion in economic benefits to San Joaquin Valley

Los Angeles Times - Jan 18 As California lawmakers prepare for another round of debating the best way to combat climate change, a new study says the San Joaquin Valley is benefiting economically from the state's policies on global warming. The report comes from Next 10, a public policy think tank that partnered with researchers at UC Berkeley to crunch the numbers. According to the study, there has been $13.4 billion in economic benefits, primarily from the construction of solar generation facilities. More jobs are being gained than lost, researchers said.

2016 U.S. solar capacity by state recap

Renewable Energy World - Jan 16 The U.S. added over 25,000 megawatts of new generation capacity in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Electric Generator Inventory report. Solar capacity additions reached a new record of 7,568 megawatts, more than double 2015 additions of 3,384. California accounted for over 36% of new solar capacity in the U.S. in 2016 with 2,749 megawatts, and in total the top 10 states accounted for over 90%. North Carolina remained second behind California in 2016 with 708 megawatts.

President Obama gives $500 million to climate fund over GOP objections

San Jose Mercury News - Jan 17 The Obama administration this week doubled an initial $500 million commitment to a fund that helps developing nations fight climate change and adapt to its consequences. The incoming Trump administration and some Republicans reportedly oppose the program. The State Department’s announcement Tuesday brings U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund to $1 billion since 2016. The fund helps poor countries reduce carbon emissions by promoting clean energy and spurring private investment in the field.

NV Energy wants reversal on net metering rates for future solar customers

Las Vegas Review-Journal - Jan 12 NV Energy last week asked state utility regulators to reconsider a decision that restored more favorable net metering rates for up to 1,250 future residential rooftop solar customers in Northern Nevada. The company said the decision last month by the Public Utilities Commission took energy savings that were supposed to be shared by many of its Sierra Pacific customers and instead directed the savings to the limited number of new rooftop solar customers. The decision in the Sierra Pacific case is considered important for Nevada Power customers, who could see similar action by the PUC in a future rate case for the utility’s Southern Nevada territory.

Renewables, efficiency dominate robust job growth in energy sector

Utility Dive - Jan 17 Electric power generation jobs grew 13% in the last year as utilities replaced aging infrastructure and invested in new power plants, according to the latest Department of Energy report on job growth in the energy sector released last week. Across the board, jobs in the "Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency industries" grew by 5%. The solar and wind industries experienced the strongest growth, as solar jobs rose 25% over the past year and the wind sector expanded 32%. The energy efficiency industries also experienced an upswing in jobs, adding 133,000 jobs to reach 2.2 million total jobs.

Wyoming ‘Reverse RPS’ bill bans utilities from wind and solar

PV-Tech - Jan 18 A new Senate Bill submitted to the Wyoming legislature last week bars utilities from providing any electricity to the state that is derived from large-scale wind or solar projects by 2019. Effectively outlawing clean energy, SF 71 deters utilities from selling electricity from renewables by imposing a $10/MWh penalty. Utilities would have to be 95% compliant with the legislation by 2018, and 100% compliant by 2019 to avoid the fine. According to InsideClimate News, the sponsors are skeptical that the bill will pass, with likelihood at "50% or less".

Recurrent Energy brings 175MW of California solar online

PV-Tech - Jan 17 Recurrent Energy, the subsidiary of Silicon Module Super League member Canadian Solar, has reached commercial operation of two of its Kern County solar plants. The 100-megawatt Astoria and the 75-megawatt Astoria II plants are now online. Electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the Astoria plant will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a long-term PPA, while Astoria II’s electricity and RECs will be purchased by the Southern California Public Power Authority.

sPower completes California solar parks

SeeNews Renewables - Jan 19 sPower has switched on two solar power plants in Lancaster, with a combined capacity of 55 megawatts. The municipal utilities of the cities of Azusa, Colton, Riverside, and Vernon will use the output of the plants. The electricity will be enough to meet the annual consumption of nearly 10,000 households.

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