Search Results for solar
36 item(s) were returned.
Discussion

Will MLPs Help Drive Renewable Energy Markets Forward?

Author(s): Andrea Luecke
Executive Director
The Solar Foundation
Date: July 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

There is an investment vehicle available to oil and natural gas development that is not available to renewable energy resource projects.  There is a current effort in Congress to change that situation. Most political leaders today claim they support an “all of the above” energy strategy.  Yet solar and other renewable energy resources are currently restricted by the lack of access to master limited partnerships (MLPs). MLPs are business structures that are taxed as a partnership, but whose ownership interests are traded like corporate stock on a market. MLPs have the advantage of avoiding double taxation.  Projects done through MLPs… [more]

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Will the Bonanza of Cheap Natural Gas Postpone the Transition to a Clean Energy Future?

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: March 27, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Thanks to breakthroughs in seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the US in 2012 reduced its reliance on much dirtier coal by shifting to gas-fired power plants. This trend is expected to continue, spurred by low gas prices and increased regulation on coal. The move to shale gas is being heralded as a key to economic prosperity and a clean energy future. But there are other options for displacing baseload electricity from retired coal plants, the principals being nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency. Will the gas bonanza enable or postpone the transition to these cleaner options? While natural gas… [more]

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Aligning Federal Policy with America’s Energy Priorities: A Blueprint

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 11, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Last week Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, published a blueprint for energy policy, titled “Energy 20/20: A Vision for America’s Energy Future.” The blueprint offers ideas to “align federal policy with… our national interest to make energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure.” Among the main ideas in Sen. Murkowski’s blueprint are: Establishing a national goal to become independent of OPEC imports by 2020 by increasing domestic oil, biofuel and synthetic fuel production. Approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and… [more]

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Tariffs Doing Little to Protect U.S. Solar

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Earlier this year the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese solar products after the U.S. Commerce Department deemed that China provided Chinese solar panel manufacturers unfair subsidies, resulting in artificially low prices. These low prices, it was argued, made it difficult for more expensive American solar products to compete in global and domestic markets. At the time, opponents of the tariffs argued that the move would increase prices, eliminate jobs and threaten the U.S. solar industry. Recent analysis shows solar prices continue to fall even though Chinese manufacturers, eager to stay in the U.S. market, are buying more expensive components outside… [more]

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The State of U.S. Solar

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 5, 2012 at 7:09 AM

Massachusetts-based solar panel developer Konarka Technologies Inc. has filed for bankruptcy. The company received $1.5 million in grants from the state while Mitt Romney was governor. President Obama’s reelection campaign is casting this development as “Romney’s Solyndra,” even as Romney’s campaign continues to attack the president for his role in the Solyndra scandal. Konarka and Solyndra are two high profile U.S. solar firms that have filed for bankruptcy or otherwise collapsed since 2011, but there are a number of others: Evergreen, SpectraWatt, Energy Conversion Devices Inc. Meanwhile, other firms, such as First Solar, have forecast weak market demand for 2012, as European nations reduce solar incentives and… [more]

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DOE Forging Ahead with Loan Guarantees

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 10, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Last week, DOE announced plans to continue its provision of loan guarantees for approved renewable energy projects. The announcement comes seven months after the controversy surrounding the agency’s loan to Solyndra, the California-based solar manufacturer which filed bankruptcy after receiving a $535 million DOE loan guarantee. Solyndra’s loan guarantee was administered under a program authorized by Section 1705 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which elapsed in September 2011. The new loans will be directed under a program created by section 1703 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Section 1703 program has $34 billion in… [more]

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Discussion

Are Renewables Becoming Competitive?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 6, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Historically, widespread uptake of renewable energy has been limited by relatively high costs as compared to traditional energy sources. A 2011 IEA report argued that “renewable energy … is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support.” Several recent trends, and recently announced business ventures, seem to support the IEA’s finding that some renewable energy sources are approaching cost-competitiveness. Prices for distributed solar have plummeted recently – due largely to economies of scale, government support and policy-driven demand – leading in 2011 to a record 1,855… [more]

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U.S. to Impose Tariffs on Chinese Solar Products

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 22, 2012 at 7:23 AM

Responding to a complaint filed last year by some U.S.-based solar manufacturers, the U.S. Commerce Department has deemed that the Chinese government provided Chinese solar panel manufacturers unfair subsidies, resulting in artificially low prices for Chinese solar products and a competitive advantage on the global market. The U.S. will be imposing a tariff ranging from 2.9% to 4.37% on Chinese solar products in an effort to raise their prices and level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers. Advocates on both sides of the issue cited Commerce’s decision as a victory. “We support free trade without government intervention,” said Gordon Brinser,… [more]

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CBO: Recent Growth in Subsidies for Renewables, Efficiency

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office found that in 2011 federal support for fuel and energy technology development and production was $24 billion. Of this, $20.5 billion, or 85%, was in the form of “tax preferences—such as special deductions, special tax rates, tax credits, and grants in lieu of tax credits”; the remainder was made up by the Department of Energy’s spending programs. Of the total $24 billion provided in 2011, about $16 billion, or 78%, went toward support of renewables, energy efficiency, and alternative vehicles.   According to the report, historically energy-related tax preference support was “primarily… [more]

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Discussion

Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 Introduced

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would require electric utilities to derive increasing percentages of their supply mix from low-CO2 sources. The bill would take effect in 2015, and would require that by 2035 84% of power from large utilities come from low-CO2 sources. Sources eligible under the legislation include: renewables, such as wind and solar, “qualified” renewable biomass and waste-to-energy, hydropower, natural gas, and nuclear. Facilities with CO2 capture and storage, and some combined heat and power facilities, are also eligible. The bill establishes a market-based… [more]

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