PV Magazine: Arizona Regulators Preserve Net Metering in UNS Case

After three days of amendments and grandstanding by members of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), the regulatory body has issued a ruling which preserves net metering in the territory of UNS Energy -- for now.

In a 4-1 ruling, the commission passed a modified version of a proposed decision by an administrative law judge which says that UNS must wait for the conclusion of a value-of-solar study before it can modify the basic net metering arrangement, impose solar-specific rates or impose demand charges.

It also says that any changes cannot be retroactive, a point which was emphasized by Attorney Court Rich, who represented the Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC). “Their commitment to grandfathering is a great thing for the solar industry and for all Arizonans,” Rich told PV Magazine. “I think that is a very important outcome.”

Fortune: LeEco Plans a Big Electric Car Factory in China

Chinese tech company LeEco plans to build a $1.8 billion electric car factory in China, the latest ambitious plan to churn out electric cars in the country.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the planned factory, located in eastern Zhejiang province, will be able to produce 400,000 cars per year, and will be part of a bigger $3 billion auto-related theme park.

LeEco has financed Faraday Future, a Los Angeles-based electric car startup that’s building a factory in Nevada. The report says that Faraday Future and LeEco plan to work closely together on electric car manufacturing, research and development, and supply chain.

Electrek: BMW's Electric Vehicle Timeline Update: Too Little, Too Late

After unveiling its ‘Vision NEXT100’ plan, BMW was reportedly “putting electric vehicles on the back burner” in order to focus on self-driving. The company only officially announced a new BMW i8 in 2018, hopefully all-electric this time, and its iNEXT all-electric and autonomous car in 2021. The iNEXT will be based on a concept unveiled earlier this year.

Now a new report on the German automaker’s updated electric-vehicle timeline claims to give more insights into vehicle releases over the next five to six years, and it is just as disappointing as BMW’s official timeline.

The Fuse: What’s at Stake for the Future of Autonomous Vehicles 

China recently released a set of rules governing ride-sharing transportation network companies (TNC) such as Uber and local favorite Didi, finally making ride-sharing and hailing legal in China. Given that these services provide over 4 million rides a day, there was a clear need for a regulatory framework that removed fear of arrest and offered certainty to drivers. The new policy had an almost immediate impact: Just three days later, Uber announced that they were shutting their independent Chinese subsidiary, partially because the rules prohibited the subsidized rides which were key for Uber’s strategy to gain market share.

This contrasts strongly with the city-by-city battles that Uber and Lyft are fighting in the U.S., where each city has an entirely different regulatory process. In recent months, Uber and Lyft have pulled out of Austin, Texas because of a local ballot initiative to strengthen regulation of driver qualifications, and are threatening to leave Chicago if the City Council requires certain background checks on drivers. Abroad, Uber executives have been convicted of illegal operations in France, and the service faces obstruction in Germany, amongst other challenges. The form and substance of each challenge varies widely from city to city, leaving these companies to play a regulatory version of “whack-a-mole."

InsideClimate News: Wind Takes Center Stage in Vermont Governor's Race

In a statewide contest notable for its vigorous debate over wind power, victory went to the candidate who favors industrial-scale wind development.

Sue Minter, who had financial backing from Vermont wind developers, won Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary by a double-digit margin over opponents who favored giving local communities veto power over large-scale projects or who opposed such projects entirely.

All the candidates supported Vermont's ambitious goal of obtaining 90 percent of its total energy from renewables by 2050 -- not just electricity, but also for transportation. Where they differed was on the role that wind power, and people living near large wind projects, would play in obtaining that goal.