Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations
- Carper, Heller Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Investment in Renewable Energy Technology [S.1409]
- National Renewable Energy Groups Urge Support for Department of Energy Programs Facing Severe Proposed Cuts in Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
- Interior Announces Regulatory Reform Initiative to Make Government Work for America
- USTDA Creates Opportunities for U.S. Energy Industry in Zambia
- U.S. Renewable Energy Groups Share a Vision of the 21st Century Power Grid
- Polaris Infrastructure Provides Drilling Program Update
- Gov Sandoval Vetoes RPS Increase in Nevada
- US BLM ready with enviro assessment for Nevada geothermal auction
Leading Stories, Releases, Solicitations
Carper, Heller Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Investment in Renewable Energy Technology [S.1409]
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure, introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage growth in the renewable energy sector – a key element of an all-of-the-above energy policy that would create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs. The Technologies for Energy Jobs and Security Act of 2017 would temporarily extend clean energy investment tax credits that were unintentionally allowed to lapse after 2016.
“I’ve long said that if we want to encourage businesses to invest in growing our country’s clean energy sector, we have to make tax credits for those industries predictable and reliable,” said Senator Carper. “I am disappointed that credits for some of the most promising renewables technology were mistakenly eliminated, and that we still haven’t corrected this error despite support from both sides of the aisle. Senator Heller and I have joined together to introduce a bill that would do just that, and we hope our colleagues will support our effort.”
“If we want to continue to develop a robust and secure all-of-the-above energy policy, it’s critical that we level the playing field for renewable energies like geothermal,” said Senator Heller. “Our legislation will modify the tax code to do just that. As an outspoken champion for the renewable energy sector, I’ll continue to work to ensure that Nevada remains a national leader on solar, geothermal, and other innovative energy technologies.”
Energy companies around the country are developing and bringing to market new technologies that will make American power generation cleaner, more reliable and more secure. However, whether it’s expanding research or hiring more workers, these businesses need predictability in order to plan for the future. Many energy projects require years of development and design. This bill would provide the certainty they need to plan and advance their projects.
The Carper-Heller bill would reinstate a number of expired of tax credits that, due to a drafting error, were inadvertently excluded from December 2015 legislation that extended a number of other tax provisions. The Technologies for Energy Jobs and Security Act would retroactively extend, through 2021, investment tax credits for energy companies that develop and manufacture advanced energy technologies, as well as the accompanying credits for residential consumers to purchase and install these technologies.
Under this bipartisan bill, these credits would be available for advanced technologies including stationary fuel cells, geothermal power, combined heat and power facilities, and small wind turbines. The bill would also correct an older error in the tax code that unintentionally prohibits companies from claiming the investment credit for facilities that turn otherwise wasted heat into efficient power generation.
Ultimately, by giving businesses and consumers the certainty they need, the Carper-Heller bill will strengthen America’s energy security, help support job creation in a growing sector of the economy, and ensure our country becomes the global leader in global clean power generation.
For more information on S.1409: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1409
National Renewable Energy Groups Urge Support for Department of Energy Programs Facing Severe Proposed Cuts in Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
WASHINGTON, June 13, 2017 – Five national business groups representing diverse renewable energy technologies, developers, financiers and Fortune 500 buyers released a letter today requesting that Congress fund programs that have helped support job creation, economic growth and our country’s dominant technological position in electric power and renewable energy research and development. The letter conveys support for energy programs at the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Advanced Research Programs Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).
“The proposed cuts would seriously jeopardize America’s leadership position in cutting-edge research on clean energy technologies and harm the United States’ overall competitiveness in a rapidly growing global industry that presents a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council On Renewable Energy. “The work done by EERE, NRE, and ARPA-E fills a critical gap in research and development programs. These cuts would put our country at risk of falling behind other countries that are investing in this area, such as China.”
“Modern American wind turbines are among the most productive in the world thanks to research efforts housed in the DOE’s Office of EERE and National Labs, as well as manufacturing innovation,” said Tom Kiernan, AWEA CEO. “Our industry will invest $85 billion and create 8,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by 2020. Maintaining these vital research programs at current levels will help America stay at the leading edge of innovation, accelerating investment and job creation into our nation’s future.”
“The dramatic funding reduction in geothermal research, from $71 million to $12 million, will have significant, negative impacts on technology development for the U.S. geothermal industry, dramatically reducing the ability to achieve the economic benefits of tapping the vast geothermal resource base of the United States,” said Karl Gawell, executive director of the Geothermal Energy Association. “Additionally, if the budget cuts are adopted then valuable benefits for the U.S. economy will be lost. For example, rather than developing domestic production of critical minerals from geothermal resource for high-tech applications, imports from China will continue.”
“Working closely with NREL, academia and industry, EERE is fostering innovation and accelerating the development of hydropower, pumped storage, marine energy and conduit technologies,” Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association. “The proposed funding cuts would put the Energy Department’s waterpower research programs in jeopardy; stifling advancements such as new turbines and the deployment of wave and tidal technologies.”
“At a time when the United States must innovate in order to hold onto its competitive advantage, now is not the right time to stop funding key research and development programs,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The SunShot initiative is one example of an Energy Department program that has helped bring American technologies straight to market, paying off on the government’s investment many times over.”
Interior Announces Regulatory Reform Initiative to Make Government Work for America
Interior seeks public comment on efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on American public
WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior today announced an initiative to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people. This initiative implements the vision set out by President Trump in Executive Order (E.O.) 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”
A notice will be published in the Federal Register providing instructions for commenting through www.regulations.gov. Interior is seeking input from the public, and specifically from entities significantly affected by Federal regulations, on what Interior regulations may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification because they:
- Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
- Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
- Impose costs that exceed benefits;
- Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
- Rely, in part or in whole, on data or methods that are not publicly available or insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or
- Derive from or implement E.O.s or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.
- Interior encourages all sectors of the public, including state, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, consumers, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations to provide input to improve Interior’s regulations.
This initiative is part of a government-wide initiative to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American public. Interior’s regulations include those of the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, National Park Service, Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey, and other agencies.
For more information on Interior’s regulatory reform efforts, please visit www.doi.gov/regulatory-reform/implement.
USTDA Creates Opportunities for U.S. Energy Industry in Zambia
Jun 13, 2017 By ialamo
Lusaka, Zambia – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency signed a grant with Kalahari GeoEnergy Limited, a Zambian geothermal development company, for a feasibility study supporting the development of a 10-20 MW geothermal power plant.
Kalahari GeoEnergy selected California-based Geologica Geothermal Group to carry out the study, which will provide technical and environmental analyses needed to advance the project. The plant, which is expected to be the first geothermal generation facility in Zambia, will add new renewable energy capacity to the Zambian grid and will expand access to reliable electricity.
“This grant is an endorsement of the work Kalahari GeoEnergy has conducted to date, and of the Bwengwa River geothermal resource, which we can now validate as a source of stable sustainable power,” said Peter Vivian-Neal, CEO of Kalahari GeoEnergy. “This type of power source is essential for economic development.”
“USTDA is excited to support this new project, which will expand access to reliable electricity in Zambia,” said Lida Fitts, USTDA’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. “This project represents an excellent opportunity for U.S. businesses to export technologies and services in support of Zambia’s infrastructure goals.”
U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Eric Schultz, signed the grant on behalf of USTDA, at a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka, along with Peter Vivian-Neal, CEO of Kalahari GeoEnergy.
U.S. Renewable Energy Groups Share a Vision of the 21st Century Power Grid
Leaders Call for Sustained Efforts to Build a Modern Grid Infrastructure that Takes Full Advantage of New and Existing Technologies for Increasing Grid Reliability and Efficiency
WASHINGTON, June 19, 2017 – Eight national business groups representing the diverse spectrum of renewable energy technologies (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydro, biogas and waste-to-energy) today released a first-of-its-kind joint statement outlining a positive vision for the future of America’s power grid.
In “A Shared Vision of the 21st Century Grid,” the groups highlight mutual support for market structures that appropriately value new and existing technologies, tax policy continuity and parity for all renewable technologies, and the expansion and modernization of the electrical grid to support the proper operation and integration of clean power sources.
By embracing these standards, the U.S. can enjoy “economic savings, improved reliability, greater access to electric power, environmental improvement, and more diverse choices for consumers and producers of electric power.”
The statement was organized by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) in close partnership with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), American Biogas Council (ABC), Biomass Power Association (BPA), Energy Recovery Council (ERC), Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), National Hydropower Association (NHA) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Polaris Infrastructure Provides Drilling Program Update
TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – June 15, 2017) – Polaris Infrastructure Inc. (PIF.TO) (“Polaris Infrastructure” or the “Company”), a Toronto-based company engaged in the operation, acquisition and development of renewable energy projects in Latin America, is pleased to provide the following update with respect to the 2017 San Jacinto drilling program.
Consistent with the stated objective of maximizing long-term production at the San Jacinto project, the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Polaris Energy Nicaragua S.A. (“PENSA”), began drilling a new injection well, SJ 11-2, in late April, 2017. The well was completed in early June 2017, on-time and under budget, after successfully hitting the targeted zone of permeability. Accordingly, we anticipate that SJ 11-2 will accept a significant volume of geothermal fluids for reinjection, further increasing operating flexibility with respect to the long-term management of the San Jacinto reservoir. We anticipate SJ 11-2 being available for service in late July 2017, following completion of routine construction and fabrication activities.
Further, we are pleased to confirm that drilling of SJ 4-2, a new production well, is scheduled to commence on June 18, 2017. The objective with SJ 4-2 is to further increase average production towards the 72 MW (net) level supported by both the purchase price agreement as well as installed turbine capacity at the San Jacinto project. Target completion date for SJ 4-2 is early August, 2017. In addition, Polaris Infrastructure is assessing whether to drill a second production well, after SJ 4-2, and expects to come to a decision in the next few weeks.
“We are pleased to have successfully kicked off further drilling efforts at the San Jacinto project,” said Marc Murnaghan, Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Infrastructure. “Execution of the SJ 11-2 drilling program was excellent, achieving our objectives and coming in under budget. Our focus now shifts to drilling the next production well, SJ 4-2, while continuing to assess options for an additional new production well.”
Gov Sandoval Vetoes RPS Increase in Nevada
Governor Sandoval vetoed Assembly Bill 206, which would have raised Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 25 percent by the year 2025 to 40 percent by 2030. In his statement on the decision he said:
“I am fully aware that increasing the RPS as proposed in this bill is very popular, and under different circumstances I would support the bill. However, I have a responsibility to consider the approval of this bill with Nevada’s current and future energy costs, policy and ratepayers in mind.”
“Thus, although the increase in the RPS proposed at this time in AB 206 is one that I would otherwise suppor, the consequences of approving this bill must be considered through the lens of recent changes to Nevada energy policy and those likely to be adopted in the near future. These changes can only be characterized as massive shifts in energy policy that have already dramatically altered the energy landscape in Nevada. They are occurring in real time, with energy policy evolving in real time.”
US BLM ready with enviro assessment for Nevada geothermal auction
Source: Bureau of Land Management.
The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has concluded the environmental assessment for two geothermal parcels in Mineral County, Nevada, ahead of a planned lease sale for the sites in October.
The proposed lease sale covers almost 2,800 acres (1,133ha) of public land south of the community of Hawthorne for the exploration and production of geothermal power, the BLM said on Wednesday. Separately, some 3,000 acres of land managed by the US Forest Service may also be included in the auction, if approved by the agency. The latter will conduct an independent study.
The environmental assessment will be available for public examination and comment by the end of June. The analysis covers the effects of leasing the geothermal areas to the human and natural environment, the BLM said.
The Department of the Interior’s office BLM also awaits public comments and information regarding historic properties in or in proximity to the two parcel areas.
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