This year’s annual National Renewable Energy Policy Forum, hosted by ACORE, took place on the heels of an important policy update for key technologies. In December 2015, Congress approved a combined tax and budget package giving wind and solar what amounts to between five and seven years of policy “certainty” for investors and developers. But tax policy is only one part of the equation. We got another important boost that same month from the successful international climate meetings in Paris where 129 nations came together and, in essence, agreed to move to a low-carbon economy. But just a few weeks later, the Supreme Court issued a surprising stay of EPA’s carbon-cutting regulatory initiative, the Clean Power Plan, which threw sand in the gears of an implementation effort that was just gaining momentum. The stay is likely to delay implementation efforts by more than a year, even as states respond in dramatically different ways. In the meantime, it will be up to the renewable sector and its allies to maintain the public and private sector momentum behind the shift to renewable generation.
Below is our quick overview of the key discussions and leading news stories emerging from this year’s Policy Forum. Three major stories reported on from this year’s Policy Forum:
Oct. 15 -- U.S. Geothermal now has its 22-megawatt power plant near Vale, Ore., online, sending electricity produced from Neal Hot Springs into Idaho Power’s grid. >>View Article
April 11 -- A nearly unanimous House voted Wednesday to lift barriers to the development of hydropower around the country, something that the bill's supporters say would help develop cheap, clean energy and create jobs. >>View Article
By Jenna Goodward 09/18/2013
The Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF-West) kicked off its first day with a lively debate about whether the West really is exceptional when it comes to the outlook for renewables. The panel of experts weighing in included Terry Grant of Marathon Capital, Barney Schauble of Nephila Advisors LLC, Nancy Pfund of DBL Investors, J. Radford Small of Goldman Sachs, Rob Sternthal of Reznick, and Tracey A. LeBeau of the Western Area Power Administration. Renewable energy technologies, mature or maturing, are generally situated in three contexts: the policy landscape, the surrounding physical grid they serve, and the financial markets.
By Matt Lucas 9/16/13
“Washington can be a tough place”, said John MacWilliams, senior adviser to the Secretary of Energy, in his understated manner. “Luckily, we have a president who deeply cares about these issues [renewables and climate change], and he has appointed a Secretary of Energy who is uniquely qualified to address those issues.”
As President Obama and the lame ducks head toward the fiscal cliff, what do his resounding victory and other election results mean for the clean energy industry?
August 23 -- House Republicans have summoned the leaders of 13 federal agencies to a hearing next month to examine their plans to implement a sweeping climate change agenda that President Obama outlined in a June speech. >>View Article
August 5 -- Here’s something you hardly ever see anymore. The House and Senate just passed two bills to promote clean energy around the United States. Not only that, but the votes were virtually unanimous.So what’s this mysterious energy source attracting all-but-unheard-of bipartisan affection? Hydropower. >>View Article
May 6 -- Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts organized roundtable discussions across the country to gather input from clean energy industry leaders on strategies for enhancing U.S. competitiveness in this key sector of the global economy. Throughout these discussions, we heard from business leaders, investors, and innovators about the importance of eliminating barriers to competition and low-cost capital for clean energy technology development. >>View Article
April 29 -- Renewable energy developers may win some tax benefits from Congress that only oil and gas companies can enjoy right now. A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would allow renewable and clean energy-related companies to structure their businesses as master limited partnerships -- avoiding double taxation while also trading ownership interests on the market, similar to corporate stock, Bloomberg BNA reported. >>View Article