Los Angeles Times: How Killing Energy Star Could Benefit Trump Financially

Among the more puzzling cuts in the Trump administration budget proposal is the one that eliminates all funding for the popular -- and cost-effective -- Energy Star program, which awards its vaunted label to products and properties that utilize the most energy-efficient technologies.

The voluntary program is credited with saving consumers billions of dollars on their electricity bills, curbing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging companies to innovate. The plan to eliminate it reflects the substantial influence in the administration of a small group of advocates in free-market think tanks who argue that even the voluntary measure reflects too much government interference in industry.

But it turns out those think tanks are not the only organizations that have an interest in seeing the program disappear. Trump’s businesses do too. A report on CNN details how Trump’s buildings consistently receive low Energy Star ratings, which diminishes their value. If the program goes away, so does that business problem.

Conflict of interest? "You bet your life that it is," Norman Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, told CNN.

CNBC: China Continues to Lead Global Wind Energy Market, Says New Report

Over 54 gigawatts (GW) of wind power were installed in 2016 and cumulative capacity grew by more than 12 percent to hit 486.8 GW, according to a new report from global trade association, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Released on Tuesday, the GWEC's Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update forecasts nearly 60 GW of wind installations this year, with cumulative installed capacity seen reaching more than 800 GW by the end of 2021.

The GWEC said that Asia would lead growth, with China – which installed 23 GW in 2016 – leading all markets. 

Energy Storage News: Blackouts & Batteries: How California Pulled Off the World’s Fastest Grid-Scale Battery Procurement

In the summer of 2016, Southern California descended into a state of emergency. After the four-month Aliso Canyon natural gas leak that began the previous October, power generators in the region were bracing the threat of blackouts as long as 14 days as a result of the power shortages.

According to the California Energy Commission, the Aliso Canyon shutdown was forecast to affect power plants providing nearly 10,000 MW for the Los Angeles Basin, most of which are called in to provide electricity on hot days or during power outages.

Time was of the essence as California governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Energy Commission and California Independent System Operator (CAISO) clubbing together to address the energy shortages triggered by the methane leak.

pv-magazine: EIA -- Trackers Make Up More Than Half of Installed Solar

While the new head of the U.S. Department of Energy launches a review with the aim to save doomed and economically uncompetitive “baseload” coal and nuclear plants, the agency is continuing to go about its work, including producing data on the newer and more competitive forms of energy that are inevitably replacing those plants.

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report which states that PV plants utilitzing tracking technology already represent more than half of the installed utility-scale capacity in the United States by he end of 2015. According to EIA’s data, 47% of installed utility-scale capacity utilized single-axis tracking and 6% dual-axis, meaning that only 47% was mounted on fixed-tilt structures.

Consistent with reports from industry figures, tracking systems were most popular in sunny states in the West. 

Phoenix Business Journal: First Solar Stock Jumps 5 Percent

Shares of First Solar Inc. were up 5.27 percent Wednesday. First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) closed at $28.99 up $1.45, according to Google Finance.

Thesolarmanufacturer is based in Tempe.

First Solar’s stock is up 9.23 percent but is still down 9.66 percent for the year and 29.48 percent the past six months, according to Google Finance.

(GTM Editor's note: Author of this article failed to connect the stock's rise to the current solar trade dispute.)