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Tax Experts: Renewables Come Out Ahead on Recent Tax Overhaul

As the House and Senate passed their respective versions of tax legislation, renewables advocates and tax experts sounded the alarm: The original versions could cripple the wind and solar industries. The major trade groups, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), jointly wrote that the original legislation would lead to a “devastating reduction in wind and solar energy investment and development.”  

But the final product as signed this week avoided any major blows. According to the many tax policy and industry experts we read or talked to, the tax bill might be even a net positive for the two industries.

Topics: Clean Economy Public Affairs

Ethan Zindler of BNEF: U.S. Needs Energy Infrastructure to Take Advantage of Empowered Consumer, Plummeting Cleantech Costs

If you want to stay on top of the latest developments in cleantech, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is without question one of the best sources of information and analysis available. For instance, recently BNEF's "Head of Americas" analyst, Ethan Zindler, testified to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources regarding how the United States needs to "rethink its whole approach to energy infrastructure in the years ahead, in order to position its economy to benefit from the age of the empowered consumer and of tumbling costs for solar panels and batteries." Here are a few key points, but definitely check out Zindler's full statement.

Topics: Clean Economy Public Affairs

Public Affairs is Vital Part of the Cleantech Marketplace

By Mike Casey, President of Tigercomm

Topics: Public Affairs

EIA's 2016 "Early Release" Long-Term U.S. Energy Outlook Raises a Host of Questions

We've been keeping an eye on the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) long-term projections for wind and solar power, because many supporters of clean energy scaling (ourselves included) have been concerned that EIA's forecasts have been consistently too-pessimistic on this subject. Back in 2013, for instance, we wrote that EIA Renewable Energy Forecast Isn’t Just Wrong, It’s Wildly, Laughably Too Low. More recently, we commented that EIA’s Response to Criticisms of Its Clean Energy Forecasts Fails to Address Core Concerns.

Topics: Public Affairs

New EIA International Energy Outlook Has Clean Energy Growing Relatively Fast, But Still Not Fast Enough

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is out today with its 2016 International Energy Outlook, and there's a lot to chew on. Here are a few, initial highlights that jumped out at us.

Topics: Clean Economy Public Affairs

Yale Report Finds Broad Support for Clean Energy Among Supporters of Leading Presidential Candidates

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication does great work, and today is no exception, with their new report, "Global Warming and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election." Here are a few findings relevant to the clean energy  industry:

Topics: Public Affairs Marketing & Communications

New Report: 10 States Making Things Particularly Difficult for Distributed Solar Power

Last fall, Environment America issued a report looking at the top ten states from a policy perspective for solar power growth as of 2014. Those states included Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada (note that this state's ranking almost certainly has fallen sharply in recent months -- see here for more), California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Colorado. These states made the top 10 due to strong policies in the areas of solar net metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards (many with solar "carve-outs"), PACE and other means of creative clean energy financing, etc.

Topics: Public Affairs

Clean Energy Industry Dodges Bullet in Supreme Court Ruling on Subsidizing Natural-Gas-Fired Power Plants

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a case ("Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC") that could have had adverse implications for states wishing to promote clean energy development. Fortunately, that's not what happened. First, though, here's the gist of the decision by the Supreme Court.

Topics: Public Affairs

EIA's Response to Criticisms of Its Clean Energy Forecasts Fails to Address Core Concerns

Over the past few years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has been widely criticized for consistently and significantly underestimating the growth of renewable energy, both in the U.S. and the world. For instance, see the December 2013 post here on Scaling Green, "EIA Renewable Energy Forecast Isn’t Just Wrong, It’s Wildly, Laughably Too Low." As we pointed out then:

Topics: Clean Economy Public Affairs

Checks and Balances Project Presses Investigation of Pro-Utility, Anti-Solar Arizona Corporation Commissioner

Last fall, we highlighted great work by the Checks and Balances Project (C&BP) watchdog group on the fossil-fuel-funded front group, the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), which has been a vociferous opponent of clean energy and climate solutions.  We also wrote about C&BP's October 28, 2015 lawsuit against the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), demanding immediate access to public records on Commissioner Bob Stump’s taxpayer-funded smartphone.

Topics: Public Affairs