Washington Post: White House to Eject Its Environmental Advisers From Their Longtime Headquarters

The White House on Friday will move its Council on Environmental Quality out of its main headquarters at 722 Jackson Place, a red brick townhouse it has occupied since it was established nearly half a century ago.

Although some White House CEQ staffers will remain in adjoining townhouses, the shift means the council will lose its main conference room. While the influence of CEQ waxes and wanes depending on which president is in office, it traditionally plays a key role in executing the White House’s overall environmental agenda and coordinating key decisions among different agencies.

Seeking Alpha: Another Quarter, Another Executive Departure For Tesla

Buried among the fanfare of a profitless fourth quarter from Tesla is the most important announcement, one not made in the annual update letter but rather as a one sentence send-off in the conference call: Jason Wheeler, Tesla's CFO, is leaving to pursue a "public policy" position. Sound familiar? It should, considering that seven executives left the company last year. What makes the departure even more astonishing is that Wheeler only spent 15 months at the company, his addition being announced in November of 2015.

Perhaps more concerning, however, is his replacement: Deepak Ahuja, i.e., the CFO Wheeler was brought on to replace in the first place. There is little debate possible about how great of a step-down this is: Ahuja was hired away from a board directorship at FireEye, and before his previous stint at Tesla was a Product Development Controller at Ford. This contrasts starkly with the success that Wheeler found at Google, where he spent 13 years as VP of finance.

The Economist: Wind and Solar Power Are Disrupting Electricity Systems

Almost 150 years after photovoltaic cells and wind turbines were invented, they still generate only 7% of the world’s electricity. Yet something remarkable is happening. From being peripheral to the energy system just over a decade ago, they are now growing faster than any other energy source, and their falling costs are making them competitive with fossil fuels. BP, an oil firm, expects renewables to account for half of the growth in global energy supply over the next 20 years. It is no longer far-fetched to think that the world is entering an era of clean, unlimited and cheap power. About time, too.

There is a $20 trillion hitch, though. To get from here to there requires huge amounts of investment over the next few decades, to replace old smog-belching power plants and to upgrade the pylons and wires that bring electricity to consumers. Normally investors like putting their money into electricity because it offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source. That makes it hard to manage the transition to a carbon-free future, during which many generating technologies, clean and dirty, need to remain profitable if the lights are to stay on. Unless the market is fixed, subsidies to the industry will only grow.

RenewEconomy: Global Battery Storage Industry to Fight Australia Home Bans

The world’s biggest battery manufacturing brands and clean energy lobby groups have signaled they will fight proposed new guidelines and recommendations that could effectively ban battery storage units from inside homes and garages, saying the restrictions are over the top and don’t conform to international standards.

Standards Australia is believed to be preparing the release of new standards that would effectively force most battery storage units to be put in a free-standing and fireproof enclosure, possibly adding thousands of dollars to the cost of installation and making it uneconomic.

As a precursor to that move, Queensland workplace regulators unveiled new recommendations last week that suggested no battery storage units be installed inside homes and garage or adjoining sheds, and instead be put in separate enclosures.

Las Cruces Sun-News: Bill to Spur Nuclear Energy Stalls

Should nuclear energy be considered renewable?

The New Mexico House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee split on the issue Wednesday, tabling for now a bill that would allow nuclear energy to be included in the renewable energy portfolio standards required for investor-owned utilities and rural electric co-ops in the state.

The New Mexico Energy Policy and Implementation Plan, released in 2015 by Gov. Susana Martinez and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Committee Secretary David Martin, calls for the development of small modular reactors to supplement New Mexico’s energy production.

“Many of the state’s high-income communities and highly educated residents have direct ties to the nuclear industry. Nuclear power generation, however, does not yet exist in New Mexico,” the plan noted.