progressive legislation

Utah Caps Solar Quota at Just 21 Homes Statewide

What a difference it makes whether you live in a good clean-energy-policy state or you don’t.

Solar incentives in sunny but 95% coal-powered Utah are so low that the entire state has capped rooftop solar with a quota of no more than 107 KW worth of home solar systems allowed per year. At about 5 KW each (Utah homeowners likely have A/C costs to cover) that amounts to only 21 or so homes!

That is not an incentive. That is a damper on solar development.

FERC’s New Transmission Rule Helps Renewable Development, Hurts “Traditional” Energy

In what has been called the most significant act of reform in years for power distribution in the United States, FERC Order No. 1000 will help solar and wind projects overcome a significant hurdle that has held up the development of more than 25 GW of solar projects and an uncounted number of wind farms nationwide for lack of transmission.

At the end of August, the final day for a rehearing of the controversial rule passed. Despite heated opposition from large non-renewable energy providers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling, initiated by pro-renewable FERC chief Jon Wellinghof, appointed by President Obama in 2009, is now law.

New Findings on Hydro Power Could Shake up Renewable Policy

Hydroelectric power has long been left out of renewable energy counts, on the assumption that it creates some greenhouse gas emissions as vegetation caught in damned rivers rots. But that may be about to change, with the results of new research just published by Dr. Jonathan Cole in Nature Geoscience finding that hydroelectric power reservoirs are responsible for only about a sixth of the carbon dioxide and methane previously attributed to them.

Largest Airplane Order in History – American Airlines Orders Low CO2 Planes

Finally noticing that it really will need new low carbon airplanes in order to land in Europe starting in 2012, at least one airline in the US has just ordered the aircraft it will need to do that.

American Airlines just placed the largest order in history for a new fleet of fuel efficient airplanes, according to Green Car Congress. The 460 new planes meet the EU climate regulations to lower airline carbon emissions.