Leading news: California Goal is Now Official — 50% Renewables by 2030

In this post:

*California Goal is Now Official: 50% Renewables by 2030
*Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Would Provide $71M for Geothermal; Vote This Week
*GEA and Clean Energy Organizations Tell Congress: We Need Tax Extenders “As Soon As Possible”
*IRS Plans to Issue New Regulations for the Investment Tax Credit
*EIA Issues Short-Term Energy Outlook for Electricity from Renewables
*Geothermal Featured in Energy-Water-Land Connections Briefing Series

california-clipart-oct2015

Click below for leading geothermal news.

*California Goal is Now Official: 50% Renewables by 2030
*Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Would Provide $71M for Geothermal; Vote This Week
*GEA and Clean Energy Organizations Tell Congress: We Need Tax Extenders “As Soon As Possible”
*IRS Plans to Issue New Regulations for the Investment Tax Credit
*EIA Issues Short-Term Energy Outlook for Electricity from Renewables
*Geothermal Featured in Energy-Water-Land Connections Briefing Series

California Goal is Now Official: 50% Renewables by 2030
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. along with government, climate, business, environmental justice and community leaders met for a signing ceremony today in Los Angeles for the much anticipated SB 350. The legislation by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) makes official the goals to double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

GEA executive director Karl Gawell said, “GEA applauds Governor Brown and the leadership of the California Senate and Assembly for achieving this historic step in the state’s clean energy efforts, the signing of SB 350. Geothermal power has been an important part of keeping California’s environment clean and its families healthy. The industry looks forward to being part of the clean, renewable power future for the state, the United States, and globally.”

Developing more of the known geothermal resources in California could mean an estimated 2,500 permanent on-site jobs in the state and 15,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, plus $20M-$30M in property tax revenue.

Support came from a variety of sectors; CALSTART, the global clean transportation technology industry organization, told press: “CALSTART and its 160 member companies applaud the leadership of Senator de León and Governor Brown in putting California on a pathway of sustainable electricity generation. Today’s action by the Governor will ensure that, over time, grid-connected transportation will become cleaner and better for the environment. SB 350 will improve the outlook for the growth of the electric transportation sector,” said CALSTART’s President and CEO, John Boesel, who spoke from the signing ceremony today in Griffith Park.

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Would Provide $71M for Geothermal; Vote This Week
In the U.S. Senate, a vote could occur Thursday on HR 2028, the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. This bill was previously passed by Committee back in May (see May 2015 Committee report, PDF) and provides $71 million for the Department of Energy’s geothermal programs. It also has some controversy because it eliminates all funding for wind R&D onshore, with only off-shore allowed. It also cuts back the roughly $200 million budget increase for renewable R&D proposed by the Administration, providing instead an 8% cut.

The $71 million geothermal funding is to be “disbursed to the full spectrum of geothermal technologies, as authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.” This is an increase from last year’s appropriation of $55 million but less than the $95 million requested in the DOE Budget. Within this amount, $35 million is specified for the FORGE initiative. The report urges “the Secretary to examine the feasibility of utilizing geothermal energy from produced fluids for in-field energy requirements” from otherwise available funds in other programs.

GEA and Clean Energy Organizations Tell Congress: We Need Tax Extenders “As Soon As Possible”
In a letter (PDF) dated October 5, over 580 signatories representing clean energy industries, including Geothermal Energy Association, urged Congress to pass tax extenders as soon as possible this year to provide benefits for businesses and investors deploying clean energy technology innovation.

“Allowing the lapsed clean energy tax provisions to languish undermines investor confidence and jeopardizes continued economic and environmental benefits,” according to the letter. “These bi-partisan tax provisions have a proven track record of helping scale up production, increase private sector investment and drive down the cost of clean energy technologies, thereby ensuring that market-ready technologies are deployed to their full potential.”

“Tax provisions that spur the use of a broad array of clean energy technologies, including biogas, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, waste-to-energy, wind, fuel cells, renewable fuels, alternative fueled vehicles, combined heat and power, waste heat to power, and energy efficiency technologies lower the cost of clean energy and keep the U.S. competitive in the global technology race. They promote economic development, job creation, and a cleaner environment. To continue capturing these benefits, it is essential to restore stability in the marketplace by providing long-term tax certainty.”

Passing legislation that provides a multi-year time frame for these long term projects “will help grow the economy, create jobs, provide certainty, and deliver a safer, healthier future for our children,” according to the letter.

Kelly Speakes-Backman, Senior Vice President of Policy & Research, Alliance to Save Energy told press, “Extension of the clean energy tax incentives is a bipartisan issue. This extension will bring stability to a growing private industry, while reducing pollution from the energy sector. The Alliance endorses this business-oriented approach to strengthen our economy and encourage energy efficiency and clean technology investments.”

The letter is addressed to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, and Minority Leader Pelosi and signed by over 580 organizations including Geothermal Energy Association, Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies, American Wind Energy Association, Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, National Wildlife Federation, Union of Concerned Scientists, Enel Green Power North America, Inc. (GEA Members), ElectraTherm (GEA Members), Ormat Nevada Inc. (GEA Members), Terra-Gen Power, LLC (GEA Members) and Natural Resources Defense Council.

IRS Plans to Issue New Regulations for the Investment Tax Credit
Via Sustainable Energy Coalition and Greentechmedia.com — The Internal Revenue Service is considering modifications to energy investment tax credit regulations, which could have implications for energy storage and other technologies. Regulations that govern the ITC haven’t been updated since 1987, however, so there’s been growing confusion around which technologies qualify and how they must do so. Consequently, the IRS and the U.S. Department of Treasury Recently issued a notice that they are seeking public comments on Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code, the commercial Investment Tax Credit, concerning the definition of qualifying energy property. The IRS is now accepting public comments on dual-use property and energy storage, among other items, through February 16, 2016.

EIA Issues Short-Term Energy Outlook for Electricity from Renewables
Via Sustainable Energy Coalition and http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/renew_co2.cfm — EIA expects total renewables used in the electric power sector to decrease by 2.7% in 2015. Conventional hydropower generation is forecast to decrease by 9.7%, and non-hydropower renewable power generation is forecast to increase by 4.0%. Forecast generation from hydropower in the electric power sector increases by 7.3% in 2016. EIA expects continued growth in utility-scale solar power generation, which is projected to average 89 gigawatt-hours per day (GWh/d) and 0.8% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2016. EIA expects utility-scale solar capacity will increase by more than 100% (11 GW) between the end of 2014 and the end of 2016, with 4.4 GW of new capacity being built in California. Wind capacity, which starts from a significantly larger installed capacity base than solar, grew by 8% in 2014, and is forecast to increase by 13% annually in both 2015 and 2016.

Geothermal Featured in Energy-Water-Land Connections Briefing
In September, geothermal experts provided a briefing at the Longworth House Office Building that looked at recent successes in geothermal research as part of an “Energy-Water-Land Connections” series. The topics covered what geothermal resources are; where they are located; water and land resources that are needed for geothermal production; existing operations with innovative solutions for water use; and impressions of the future for geothermal production. Panelists included: University of Nevada’s Research Professor, Jim Faulds; National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy and Environmental Analyst, Jordan Macknick; and the Navy Geothermal Program Office’s Senior Geologist, Andy Sabin. The briefing was moderated by U.S. Department of Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power, Doug Hollett.

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