The Globe and Mail: Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels May Hurt Canadian Renewables Industry

New import tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels threaten to dent enthusiasm for solar power and slow the shift to renewable energy in Canada, some industry players warn.

A decision last week to impose duties on Chinese imports was hailed as a victory for Canadian solar panel manufacturers, but it is raising concerns that prices will spike, pushing up the costs of installation and depressing demand.

Last Thursday, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued a preliminary ruling that cheap subsidized solar modules are being dumped into Canada from China. The agency set stiff provisional import duties to protect Canadian panel manufacturers. A final decision on any tariffs, to be made by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, is expected in about four months.

CBS/AP: Tesla Denies Delays

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors is denying reports that construction has been delayed on its Giga factory about 15 miles east of Reno.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), in an online job posting, says the project has been delayed at this time.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports the delay is attributed to a change in design plans for the giant $5 billion factory that will produce lithium batteries for Tesla cars.

But Tesla spokesperson Alexis Georgeson denies there’s a delay, saying the company’s plans are on schedule.

The Dallas Morning News: Once Extravagant, Renewable Power Plans Go Cheap

In Texas, hundreds of retailers compete on rates through ever-changing daily offers. Because natural gas prices have fallen, power prices are at their lowest level in years. On Thursday, the cheapest renewable-only plan for a Dallas resident was 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, only 0.4 cents more than the cheapest standard plan. And that was about half the rate that the average Texas residential customer pays, according to federal data.

On the same day, a New York City resident shopping on would find the second-cheapest fixed-rate electricity plan was 100 percent renewable.

Miami Herald: In Florida, Officials Ban Term 'Climate Change'

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Climate Progress: The USDA Is Helping Rural Farmers Get Their Own Renewable Energy

The clean energy business has a potentially unexpected ally: the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As part of the 2014 Farm Bill passed last year, the normally food-focused USDA is now offering farmers and rural small business owners financial assistance in installing clean energy systems and taking measures to improve energy efficiency. More than $280 million will be provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the form of grants and loans that can be used to install renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric projects as well as improve heating and cooling efficiency and upgrading windows and insulation.

Washington Post: Utilities Wage Campaign Against Rooftop Solar

Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.

If demand for residential solar continued to soar, traditional utilities could soon face serious problems, from “declining retail sales” and a “loss of customers” to “potential obsolescence,” according to a presentation prepared for the group. “Industry must prepare an action plan to address the challenges,” it said.

The warning, delivered to a private meeting of the utility industry’s main trade association, became a call to arms for electricity providers in nearly every corner of the nation. Three years later, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency that is rattling the boardrooms of the country’s government-regulated electric monopolies.