We begin this week’s Energy Jobs column inside the Beltway.

The U.S. Senate recently confirmed Andrew Wheeler to become second in command at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Wheeler was at the EPA more than 20 years ago, and spent most of the past decade lobbying for various corporations, including coal companies. The move is particularly disconcerting to environmentalists as EPA chief Scott Pruitt remains under fire and Wheeler would be running the department if Pruitt leaves.

Democrat and Republican insiders discussed the possibility of an EPA shake-up, and what it could mean for energy and environment policy, in the latest episode

Trump still digs coal.

The Trump Administration is mulling the use of a Truman-era law to make good on the promise to restore the coal industry, according to a Thursday report from Bloomberg.

The Defense Production Act of 1950 offers the president power to implement subsidies for domestically-produced materials in the name of national defense and also claims “it is necessary and appropriate to assure the availability of domestic energy supplies.” 

Per reports, the Trump administration believes his authority under the law could be a way to help out nuclear and coal plants, and one that may have a better chance against judicial scrutiny. 

So far,

By all measures, Africa is currently losing the battle to end energy poverty by 2030.

UN Sustainable Development Goals commit the global community to delivering access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. One barrier to success is the ongoing political debate about how to best provide power to the more than 600 million people in Africa without access to electricity. Vested interests, inertia, aversion to change — all traits of the energy sector — do not lend themselves to speed nor to innovation.

The debate has huge financial, economic and social implications. To solve it, empirical questions on technical feasibility

The second generation Powerwall now comes with a bigger price tag.

Tesla now charges more for its Powerwall than it did when the product launched in October 2016.

The company's website now lists the starting price for the 7 kilowatt/13.5 kilowatt-hour storage system as $5,900 — a $400 increase from the original list price of $5,500. The actual price to a customer will be higher still, because it includes supporting hardware, installation and other fees.

The $5,900 rate applies to new orders; orders placed before February 22 will have the previous pricing, a Tesla spokesperson clarified by email Thursday. 

"Tesla evaluates its global pricing of energy products based on various factors and continues

By all measures, Africa is currently losing the battle to end energy poverty by 2030.

UN Sustainable Development Goals commit the global community to delivering access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. One barrier to success is the ongoing political debate about how to best provide power to the more than 600 million people in Africa without access to electricity. Vested interests, inertia, aversion to change — all traits of the energy sector — do not lend themselves to speed nor to innovation.

The debate has huge financial, economic and social implications. To solve it, empirical questions on technical feasibility

Trump's tariffs are shifting the U.S. solar manufacturing landscape.

SunPower couldn’t convince the Trump administration to abandon tariffs on imported solar panels. So now it plans to buy one of the companies pushing the tariffs in the first place.

Yesterday, SunPower unveiled plans to acquire SolarWorld’s U.S. operations. Two months ago, CEO Tom Werner said SunPower was going to divest from America. But now he’s buying his way back in.

In this week's episode, we'll explain how Trump's demands for tariffs are shifting the PV manufacturing landscape.

Then, 173 countries agreed to cut emissions from the shipping sector by 2050. What are the technological solutions for a sector that could make up

Subtitle: 
If you've had an energy audit at your house, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy would like to hear from you
Images: 

Residential energy audits are supposed to give homeowners a clear idea of how they can reduce energy use and save money, but a lack of guidelines and standards for auditors means their reports may instead be unpersuasive or difficult for homeowners to understand.

That, at least, is the theory behind a new research effort ledLight-emitting diode. Illumination technology that produces light by running electrical current through a semiconductor diode. LED lamps are much longer lasting and much more energy efficient than incandescent lamps; unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lamps do not contain mercury and can be readily dimmed. by Dr. Reuven Sussman, a psychologist at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and it's the reason Sussman is gathering energy audit reports from anyone who would care to send him one.

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A new report proposes 50 actions nonprofits can take promote battery deployments.

Clean Energy Group has published a battery guide for activists and foundations as pressure groups increasingly see energy storage as a key component of their clean-energy toolkits.  

The Vermont-based nonprofit said its report, Jump-Start: How Activists and Foundations Can Champion Battery Storage to Recharge the Clean Energy Transition, should prompt action and support to advance battery storage, either deployed alone or paired with renewables.

The publication surveys 10 areas where batteries are transforming the energy system, from reducing demand charges to replacing peaker plants

It also proposes 50 actions nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can promote to accelerate rates of battery

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