Trump Administration Eases Rules on Methane Emissions From Oil, Natural Gas Drilling

The Bureau of Land Management on Sept. 18 issued final revisions to an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing the waste of methane, a potent global warming pollutant, from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas drilling operations. The final rule largely re-establishes the requirements that were in place before the 2016 rule, which,…

U.S. Imposes Tariffs on $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods Including Batteries, Citing Unfair Trade Practices

The Trump administration issued a 10 percent import tax which will apply to $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including inverters used in renewable energy installations as well certain types of batteries. According to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Sept. 18 announcement, the tariffs go into effect on Sept. 24 and are set to jump to…

Avista’s Cost Adjustments to Slash Gas Bills by 4.9 Percent For Idaho Customers

Avista Corporation’s purchased gas adjustment would lower gas bills by about 0.7 percent, according to a Sept. 18 press release from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The adjustment accounts for changes in costs incurred by the utility to purchase, store, and transport gas needed to serve its customers. Avista attributed the proposed rate decrease to…

NorthWestern to Pass $3 Million in Federal Tax Cut Savings to South Dakota Customers, Agrees to Two-Year Rate Freeze

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved a settlement allowing NorthWestern Energy to refund $3 million in savings resulting from the federal tax reform that slashed the federal income tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent effective Jan. 1., according to a Sept. 18 press release. The company agreed to a rate moratorium to…

U.S. Energy Department to Invest $120 Million in Research Center to Advance Next Generation Battery Technology

The U.S. Energy Department announced funding to renew the agency’s innovation hub dedicated to battery science over five years, according to a Sept. 18 press release. The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, established in 2012, addressed major scientific challenges in electric storage including efforts to lay the foundation for doubly-charged magnesium batteries instead of…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Massachusetts Solar Credit Market Overhaul Signals Predictability, Revenue Certainty

All six states in New England have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that drive the market for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). Massachusetts installed 1.6 GW of solar as of December 2017, the most in the New England region, largely thanks to its SREC I and II programs. The state is currently implementing a long-term, sustainable solar incentive called the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, replacing the SREC II program set to conclude in 2018.