In this four-part series, we revisit 2017’s biggest developments in Energy & Sustainability-related news, milestones, policy changes, and financial transactions. This is the third installment of the series. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.
In this four-part series, we revisit 2017’s biggest developments in Energy & Sustainability-related news, milestones, policy changes, and financial transactions. This is the second installment of the series. Click to read Part 1.
A new report from Baird Equity Research outlines the inroads made by solar energy the past two years and projects the industry’s continued growth over the long term. In particular, the report cites increased installations, decreasing costs, and consistent technological advancements as key contributors to the industry’s success.
The same technology underlying the efficiency of bitcoin transactions and largely responsible for the online currency’s success could be the key to developing a smarter energy grid. Blockchain, a shared, encrypted ledger maintained by a network of computers, gives bitcoin transactions their unique peer-to-peer quality, making the entire system decentralized without a central repository or single administrator. While the electricity grid still relies on centralized plants generating power sent over long distances, blockchain technology could help modernize the system, making it easier for smaller, distributed networks to connect to the grid and exchange power locally.
On September 11th, Tesla announced the opening of Supercharger stations in downtown Boston and Chicago, representing the first step in the company’s effort to expand its Supercharger network into urban areas. The company currently operates 951 Supercharger stations worldwide, primarily along major highways to provide quick recharging on long trips. By bringing the network of charging stations into city centers, Tesla hopes to service growing demand among urban dwellers without immediate access to home or workplace charging.
On August 23, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $455,000 in grants to seven early-stage researchers and companies developing clean energy technologies as part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Catalyst program.
In early April 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) partnered with investor-owned electric distribution companies across the state to jointly issue a request for proposals (RFP) for renewable energy generation. The mission of the RFP is to ultimately help the state meet goals outlined by energy diversity legislation signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in August 2016. By the time the initial deadline closed on July 27th, the state had received nearly four dozen bids for a contract to add more renewable power to its energy portfolio.
This month’s Washington Update offers an extensive overview of the major legislation that has recently been introduced on Capitol Hill, as well as the big takeaways from this month’s congressional hearings related to energy policy. We also examine the ramifications of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, and highlight the Department of Energy’s latest funding announcements for three research and development projects.
This month’s Washington Update provides insight into a number of energy-related developments at the federal level, including President Trump’s recently proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, the Senate’s failed efforts to turn back the Obama administration’s methane rule, and several pieces of legislation related to energy efficiency.
Tom Burton, Member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Section and Founder and Chair of the firm’s Energy Technology Practice, will publish bi-weekly installments providing key takeaways from the four sections of AEE’s webinar including: Industry Growth; Advanced Energy Jobs; Growth Trends; and Policy. This is the fifth and final installment of the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
The final AEE webinar topic highlighted the important role policy plays in driving the advanced energy market. Panelist Malcolm Woolf noted that President Trump’s recent Executive Order overturning the Clean Power Plan conveys how policy can affect the market. While market forces are on the side of advanced energy, there are several policy levers that AEE believes will be significant drivers to future growth. These include:
- opening wholesale markets to the energy industry;
- meeting corporate demand for advanced energy;
- continued evolution of the utility business model;
- bipartisan opportunities at the state level.
To listen to the full webinar, click here.