Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, GHG Emissions, Power Prices, Regulation, Solar, Wind  -  March 11, 2017

Weekend reads: Power market upheaval; dismantling the Clean Power Plan; Tesla helps Hawaii & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads

'Can't be half-pregnant': Power market upheavals prompt states, feds to take action (Utility Dive): Strange things are afoot in organized power markets. You can see it in New York, where existing, carbon-free nuclear generation needs help from the state to keep running. In Ohio, where generators are selling coal plants after failing to win financial support. And in Texas, the nation's largest organized market, where even combined-cycle gas plants have come under pressure. Last week, Mauricio Gutierrez, the president and CEO of NRG, called the independent power producer model "obsolete and unable to create value over the long term."

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Questions Basic Facts About Climate Change (NPR): President Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency says he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a major cause of global warming. "I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Scott Pruitt said Thursday in an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen. "I believe that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact," Pruitt said.

The Clean Power Plan is gone — and there's no 'replace' (E&E News): The White House intends to unravel the Clean Power Plan without providing a replacement, according to a source briefed on the issue. An executive order expected to be released next week also instructs the Justice Department to effectively withdraw its legal defense of the climate rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The move aligns the White House with about two dozen Republican state attorneys general who are challenging the way the rule restricts greenhouse gas emissions at power plants.

Here are 5 Texas-sized ideas for Energy Secretary Rick Perry (The Hill):  First, Secretary Perry has an immediate opportunity to help fund the trillion-dollar infrastructure program that President Trump emphasized in his recent address to Congress, stressing the need for both "public and private capital." The DOE’s loan guarantee program, signed into law by President George W. Bush, has $41 billion in existing authority to fund a broad array of important energy infrastructure such as transmission lines, carbon capture systems, electricity storage, and nuclear facilities.

Hawaiian island gets a huge renewable energy boost thanks to Tesla (Mashable): A Hawaiian island is one step closer to getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Tesla, the clean energy powerhouse run by Elon Musk, has built a 13-megawatt solar farm on Kauai to help reduce the island's dependence on diesel-burning power plants.  Unveiled on Wednesday, the Kapaia project features 54,000 solar panels. But that's not what makes it so unique. 

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