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ACORE Members Meet With White House and DOE Leaders in Silicon Valley

ACORE and member law firm Wilson Sonsini hosted in the firm’s Silicon Valley office a meeting with Jonathan Powers, the Federal Environmental Executive at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Peter Davidson, Executive Director of the DOE’s Loan Programs Office; and Ken Alston, DOE Special Assistant for Finance.  ACORE west coast members met with these officials to exchange information and views on important renewable energy federal policy issues. 

Mr. Powers highlighted the Administration’s plan to address climate change and double renewable energy generation again by 2020, including efforts of the federal government and the military to invest in renewable energy generation for their own use.  Messrs. Davidson and Alston provided updates on the DOE’s loan guarantee program. This program has a total loan guarantee portfolio of $34.4 billion with $18.5 billion disbursed so far.  DOE just recently issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative and advanced fossil energy projects and facilities that substantially reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution, making available up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority.  DOE plans another solicitation focused on renewable energy in the next few months.  Please see the White House and DOE websites for more.

Cost Of Solar Power 60% Lower Than Early 2011 In US

September 20 -- For one, as the title above notes, solar panel costs were 60% lower in the second quarter (Q2) of 2013 than they were in early 2011. Overall solar PV system prices, on average, were 40% lower, and they were 50% lower than average solar PV system prices in early 2010. I’ve emphasized this before: if you have a cost of solar from a few years ago stuck in your head, you’re probably greatly overestimating the cost of solar today. (Get an updated estimate and an estimate of your monthly and yearly savings today.) >>View Article

Texas, Where Oil Rules, Turns Its Eye To Energy Efficiency

September 20 -- In Texas, where oil lubricates the economy the same way it does pickup trucks, energy consumption is no exception to the state’s everything-is-bigger reputation. The nation’s leading energy producer also uses more energy by far than any other state. As the state’s population keeps surging, demand is expected to grow, prompting leaders to think about how it will meet its long-term needs. >>View Article

U.S. Revives Aid Program For Clean Energy

September 20 -- The Obama administration has decided to revive a controversial loan guarantee program at the Energy Department, administration officials said on Thursday, even as the program remains under Congressional scrutiny after losing hundreds of millions in taxpayer money on investments in failed green energy start-ups like the solar module maker Solyndra. This time, though, the program would devote as much as $8 billion to helping industries like coal and oil make cleaner energy. Although the program, which does not require Congressional approval, would support a wide range of technologies, it could help coal-fired power plants find a way to keep their emissions from escaping into the atmosphere, department officials said. >>View Article

More Wind Means Less Baseload Generation

September 19 -- Score one for wind power. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wind is helping to cut the need for baseload power in a big chunk of the country.  The government’s official energy analysts said the rise of wind power in what’s known as the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) -- all of Kansas and Oklahoma, plus parts of New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Nebraska -- has led to a steady reduction in the use of baseload capacity in the past three years. >>View Article

DOE Advanced Vehicle Loan Portfolio Remains Strong

September 19 -- When the President took office, America’s auto industry was on the brink of collapse. With hundreds of thousands of jobs on the line, the President made the difficult decision to provide support to GM and Chrysler on the condition that they make the sacrifices necessary to fundamentally restructure and commit to tough-minded plans to return to viability. >>View Article

NASCAR Putting Pedal To The Metal On Ethanol

September 19 -- When it comes to defending ethanol’s reputation, Illinois Corn Growers Association president Paul Taylor simply points to the race track.  In a Conference Room interview with FBN’s Jeff Flock at Chicagoland Speedway, Taylor says the 4 million miles driven by NASCAR drivers prove ethanol’s performance on the road. >>View Article

Studies Cite Gains In Mass. Renewable Energy Industry

September 18 -- The state’s clean energy industry continues to thrive, according to two separate reports released Tuesday, with more than 20,000 employees working in renewable energy in Massachusetts and Boston ranked the most energy-efficient US city. An analysis for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasipublic agency created to support the alternative energy sector, found the jobs in the industry were spread across several energy technologies, including solar, wind, hydropower, and bioenergy, which includes biofuels. >>View Article

Google Inks Another Long-Term Wind Contract

September 18 -- Google (GOOG) announced Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase the entire output of the 240-megawatt Happy Hereford wind farm outside of Amarillo, Texas. The wind farm, which is expected to start producing energy in late 2014, is being developed by Chermac Energy, a small, Native American-owned company based in Oklahoma. The wind farm will provide electricity to the Southwest Power Pool, the regional grid that powers Google's data center in Oklahoma. >>View Article

Four Charts That Prove The Future Of Clean Energy Is Arriving

September 18 -- It would be hard for most Americans to look around and conclude that we are in the middle of an historic shift in our energy sector. Gas-powered cars still dominate the roads, most of us don't own a solar PV system, and more than 70 percent of homes still rely on 100-year-old incandescent light bulbs. But within the energy industry, there are major improvements in the economics of renewables, electric vehicles and lighting that are accelerating an increasingly rapid shift in certain sectors. A new report from the Department of Energy report lays out some of these advances in wind, solar PV, LED lighting and electric vehicles throughout the U.S. They're worth a look. >>View Article

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