Tampa Bay Times: Florida Regulators Approve Plan to Gut Energy Efficiency Goals, End Solar Power Rebates
State regulators on Tuesday approved proposals to cut Florida's energy-efficiency goals by more than 90 percent and to terminate solar rebate programs by the end of 2015, giving the investor-owned utilities virtually everything they wanted.
After almost two hours of debate, members of the state's Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in support of staff recommendations that backed the proposals of Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light.
The two dissenters, Commissioners Lisa Edgar and Julie Brown, said they could not agree with a plan that so drastically altered state energy policy.
"It's not the direction I want to go in," Edgar said before the vote. "I am uncomfortable going to the reduced goals. It is a policy and it is a statement, as a state, of what our energy policies are."
The Desert Sun: Wind Energy Faces Turbulent Future in Desert
For renewable energy advocates and environmental groups, few questions are more divisive than the impact of wind turbines on desert wildlife.
Trade organizations see wind development as something of a climate change panacea: an abundant, relatively inexpensive clean energy source that doesn't disturb most wildlife. Conservationists, though, argue that wind turbines pose a major threat to birds, and that they can disrupt the habitats of ground-dwelling species.
Dallas Business Journal: Shareholder Groups Put Pressure on Exxon
Exxon Mobil Corp. needs to face the reality of low oil prices and climate change, according to shareholders from Arjuna Capital and As You Sow.
An unspecified number of shareholders took the unusual step of asking Irving-based Exxon to increase dividends or share buybacks because of the challenges the company faces. They are seeking an estimated $56 billion over the next decade that Exxon has allocated to high-cost, carbon-intensive projects, including deep water and arctic drilling.
The Hill: Microsoft Co-Founder Sues Feds Over Coal Lease Program
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen is suing the federal government over the environmental impacts of its coal-leasing program.
Allen said Tuesday that the Bureau of Land Management hasn’t properly studied the effect of greenhouse gases caused by the coal rights it leases.
EurActiv: Germany Denies Plans to Close Old Coal Plants in Sprint to 2020 Targets
According to a paper from the German Economic Affairs Ministry, the government plans to impose carbon dioxide reductions on energy providers. But Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel denies the plan would forcefully shut down outdated coal-fired power plants, EurActiv Germany reports.
Bloomberg: India to Double Renewables in Energy Mix, Minister Says
India plans to more than double the share of renewables in the mix of fuels it consumes, an effort to reduce the dominance of coal.
Renewables such as solar and wind may account for 15 percent of India’s energy supply in the next five years, up from 6 percent currently, said Piyush Goyal, a government minister in charge of power, at a conference in New Delhi.