One of President Trump’s early campaign promises was to dismantle the 2015 Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s regulation asserting federal power over navigable bodies of water and aiming to replace polluting coal-fired power plants with clean energy facilities. Now, thanks to a district court ruling in D.C., Trump may be one step closer to actualizing that promise. To learn more about this ruling and its impact, read on!
Last night, New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN) hosted its annual Water Innovation Award Night to celebrate achievements made in the water industry this year. While many innovators in the New England area are creating solutions to address a wide range of water-related challenges, NEWIN recognized three companies for their outstanding innovations, market success, and commitment to furthering the work of NEWIN and the water industry as a whole. I was honored to present the awards to the winners in each category. To find out who are this year’s winners, read on!
On October 27, 2016, Cleantech Open Northeast, the Northeast division of Cleantech Open, a global cleantech accelerator for early-stage clean technology companies, announced the 2016 regional winners of the competition. Four companies focusing on water, efficiency, and energy generation received $20,000 in prizes and will go on to represent the Northeast at the Cleantech Open Global forum in San Francisco, California on February 6-10, 2017. The 2016 regional winners are GreenBlu, Proper Pipe, PV Pure, and Surge Hydro. Selected from a record pool of 107 applicants, Cleantech Open Northeast’s Class of 2016 featured 33 companies developing a diverse array of clean technologies related to energy, agriculture, water, waste management and more. Judges selected the regional finalists from the 24 graduates. To learn more about the Cleantech Open Northeast competition, read on!
The House of Representatives and Senate returned September 6 from the long August recess that started in mid-July. The House is scheduled to be in session for four weeks and the Senate for five weeks before breaking again for the month of October to campaign. Energy legislation will be debated at the conference of the energy bills (S.2012 and H.R. 8) and potentially during an end of the year tax extenders debate. For further information on energy legislation updates, continue reading!
Research published earlier this month in the journal Nature and highlighted in Newsweek explains how substantial amounts of power can be generated when fresh water river mouths flow into bodies of sea water. This natural phenomenon of osmosis involves fresh water coming into contact with sea water through a membrane. The potential of harnessing the process of osmosis is significant: researchers estimate that a 1m2 membrane could produce enough electricity to power 50,000 standard energy-saving light bulbs! To learn more about this breakthrough research, read on.
This week, the House had hearings on several energy policy issues, including the crude oil export ban, the electric grid, and a broad bipartisan energy package. Also in D.C., President Obama continues his busy fall climate agenda as he prepares for Pope Francis’ visit, which will partly center on the Pope’s environmentally focused encyclical Laudato Si.
The Department of Energy also had two exciting announcements this week. On September 10, the DOE released its second Quadrennial Technology Review, outlining the energy world’s broad research and development challenges. It emphasizes current technological developments in several areas, such as fuel cells and water use, that are crucial to the country’s energy future. The Department also awarded $6.5 million to seven organizations to advance low environmental impact hydropower technologies. For a full report on the week in Washington, read the latest update from ML Strategies.
In late July, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a ruling to help ISO-New England more effectively manage congestion on its grid due to growing renewable energy generation. Due to the intermittent nature of renewable generation, operators nationwide cannot predict when transmission lines might get overloaded. This can cause generators of renewable power to have to curtail their supply through a cumbersome and inefficient manual system. ISO-NE, having experienced this issue firsthand, appealed to the FERC for approval to upgrade from a manual dispatch to electronic management for wind and hydropower resources. In its ruling, FERC granted ISO-NE permission to use a modified electronic dispatch method called DNE Dispatch Points for wind and hydro resources classified as Intermittent Power Resources – those above 5MW. FERC required ISO-NE to submit a compliance filing within 30 days, with proposed tariff revisions effective April 2016. For implications and analysis on this change, read on!
On Tuesday, June 2, CleanEdge, in association with Wells Fargo and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center among others, released its annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The Index uses a diverse set of industry indicators to rank all 50 states and the country’s 50 largest metro areas on their clean tech advances. It is meant to help drive comparative research and analyze the American clean energy market as a whole. The report gives state and metro overviews, but also ranks locations in specific subcategories such as capital, green buildings, advanced transportation, and carbon management. Read on for a few of the most exciting developments!
In an ambitious and unprecedented move, Hawaii is aiming to increase its current renewable energy output of 21% to a 100% quota by 2045. The state, which carries some of the U.S.’s highest electricity costs, is riding the momentum of decreasing renewable energy prices. Legislators believe Hawaii’s abundant sunshine, wind, ocean and tidal waves, and geothermal activity make it an ideal candidate for quitting fossil fuels. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Mike Gabbard (D – West Oahu), said rather than continuing to spend up to $5 billion annually on fossil fuels, “our islands are blessed with abundant, renewable energy…we should be using these resources for the benefit of our people.”
In recent weeks, Senators have put forth a variety of energy and environment initiatives, hoping to get their ideas included in a forthcoming broad bill from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Meanwhile, last week the Obama Administration hosted 90 investors, transportation experts, policymakers, as well as government and nonprofit leaders at a climate infrastructure round-table, while the Energy Department awarded millions in grants to efficiency and renewable fuel innovators. Get the full take in the latest update from ML Strategies.