PJM is the nexus for policy battles over grid resilience.

Grid resilience is one of the hottest issues in U.S. energy policy, with last year’s hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico showing the stark consequences of failing to prepare the grid to withstand and recover from catastrophic events. 

But it has also become intertwined with the Trump administration’s efforts to bail out economically uncompetitive coal and nuclear power plants, from Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s attempt to get the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to provide coal and nuclear plants with out-of-market payments, to the continuing possibility that DOE will use emergency powers to keep FirstEnergy’s bankrupt coal and nuclear fleet afloat. 

NuScale's technology now has a viable pathway to market.

Last month’s first-ever small modular reactor design approval could usher in a new era for nuclear power, provided the technology can live up to the hype.  

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) phase 1 review approval of a small nuclear reactor (SMR) design from Portland, Oregon-based NuScale Power means the technology now has a realistic chance of being up and running within a decade. 

In a press release, NuScale said its first operational products, for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), could be hooked up to the grid “by the mid-2020s,” while Bloomberg reported that the company was aiming for commercial operations

Dominion Energy plans to increase solar capacity, but overlooks energy storage in favor of gas plants.

High-tech grid resources that have become commonplace in some utility territories aren’t even considered in others.

California utilities are already deploying energy storage in place of new gas plants. Regulated utilities in places like Arizona, Florida and North Carolina have begun factoring substantial amounts of storage into their grid planning, to tackle peak demand and make the grid more flexible.

Meanwhile, Dominion Energy’s new long-term plan for Virginia and North Carolina barely mentions storage and instead calls for intensive deployment of new gas peakers.

The disparity in adoption of tools like battery storage means that ratepayers in some places get a fuller consideration of alternatives

Fuel economy standards are under threat, but consultants at ICF said electric vehicle use will still rise.

U.S. automakers have negotiated their way into a policy pickle. 

In early May, a leaked document suggested the administration would seek to freeze Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards at 37 miles per gallon rather than the 46.8 miles per gallon in 2026 set out by the Obama administration. Proponents of the stricter rules say they’re essential for climate progress and innovations in efficiency. And the auto industry has also asserted the rules have contributed to the surge in electric vehicles.

While automakers have spent years pushing back against Obama-era fuel standards for light-duty vehicles — standards the EPA previously determined are reachable — they’re

Subtitle: 
California architects' group publishes a primer on net-zero energy building
Images: 

California's steady move toward net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. construction has prompted the publication of a new guide for architects called the Zero Net Energy Primer.

Written by Ann V. Edminster, an architect (and a member of the GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com advisory team), the ZNE Primer was published by the American Institute of Architects, California Council and financed by Pacific Gas & Electric. It comes against a backdrop of increasingly stringent requirements in Title 24, the state's efficiency code for buildings.

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In total, twenty EU member states saw emissions rise in 2017.

European Union carbon emissions grew 1.8 percent in 2017 despite a 25 percent increase in wind power and 6 percent growth in solar, figures show. The European statistics body Eurostat this month reported that carbon dioxide emissions rose last year in a majority of EU member states.

The best-performing countries were Finland, which cut emissions by 5.9 percent, and Denmark, which posted a 5.8 percent fall. 

Germany, which is by far Europe’s largest polluter, accounting for 23 percent of emissions, also managed to improve its performance. But only just. Germany posted a 0.2 percent improvement on 2016 levels of carbon dioxide.

The EU’s second-largest emitter, the

As the impacts of the Section 201 tariffs become clearer, utility-scale developers come to terms with their balance sheets.

Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation's fifth-largest solar developer and last year's top utility-scale installer, says it will take a $1.5 billion hit due to the Trump administration’s solar tariffs. 

Greentech Media confirmed the figure, first reported by Bloomberg, that the company has stopped investing in 1.5 gigawatts of projects — roughly 20 percent of its pipeline — because of the tariffs. 

“Because utility-scale solar is extremely price-sensitive, the tariff forced us to re-evaluate some of our projects,” said Jeff McKay, communications director at Cypress Creek. “We can confidently say that we will not be able to move forward with $1.5 billion...of projects as things

California made national news this week in becoming the first state to require that solar be installed on virtually all new homes. 

The California Energy Commission approved the proposal on May 9, as part of an update to the state’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The codes apply to all new residences and major home renovations on buildings under three stories, beginning in 2020.

For the U.S. solar industry, the new standards are expected to boost residential solar sales 14 percent over a four-year timeframe from 2020 through 2023, according to a new analysis from GTM Research. That's an upside of nearly 650

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Qatar Green Leaders is a Green Building Certification Management & Training Company, dedicated to helping its clients achieve the most feasible LEED / GSAS certification.

We are a privately-owned Qatari company established in June 2011 and operating from Doha, Qatar.

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