A new year is traditionally emblematic of possible turns for the better. But wind turbines, known for their unremitting rotation, are in danger of being snared by inertia.

THE END OF WIND TAX CREDITS?

News Wire

State Commissions Remain Focused on Safe, Resilient Infrastructure, NARUC Tells Congress

The nation's State utility regulators are focused on ensuring reliable [...]

Thu, Apr 10, 2014

NARUC

As Safe Digging Month Begins, NARUC's Honorable Focuses on Outreach

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Colette D. Honorable [...]

Mon, Mar 31, 2014

NARUC

States Applaud Sens. Nelson, Udall for Pushing on Consumer Database

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued the following [...]

Fri, Mar 28, 2014

NARUC

White House Recognizes Key State Role in Promoting Safe, Efficient Infrastructure: NARUC

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Colette D. Honorable [...]

Fri, Mar 28, 2014

NARUC

Wisconsin's Callisto Appointed Chair of NARUC's International Relations Committee

National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Colette D. Honorable [...]

Wed, Mar 26, 2014

NARUC

The End of Wind Tax Credits?

Congress allowed some 55 tax breaks to expire on December 31. Among them was a spate of tax breaks for green energy initiatives, including for electricity-generating wind farms.

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News & Notes

In a decision that could have far-reaching impacts on the solar industry, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) voted in November to allow the state’s largest utility to charge a monthly fee to customers who install photovoltaic panels on their roofs.

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People on the Move

Arkansas Public Service Commission chair Colette Honorable was elected president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) at the organization’s 125th annual meeting in November. She succeeds outgoing president Philip Jones of Washington State. NARUC members also elected commissioners Lisa Edgar of Florida as first vice president, and Susan Ackerman of Oregon as second vice president. All officers will serve one-year terms.

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Beltway Roundup

To the surprise of many in Washington, D.C., Congress and President Obama came to terms on an FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3547). The 1,582-page bill, which covers all 12 individual appropriations bills, was signed by the president on January 17. Of special interest to state and local energy officials, the Weatherization Assistance Program received $174 million (up from $68 million in FY2012 and $138 million in FY2013), the State Energy Program received $50 million, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program received $3.425 billion.

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Energy Round Table with Melanie Kenderdine and Karen Wayland

Last summer, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a reorganization of the DOE’s management structure to help it achieve the department’s—and the president’s—key objectives, including the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. One area Secretary Moniz called out was the DOE’s energy policy and analysis capabilities, saying consolidation would enable the department to take a better systems approach to policy analysis. Thus, he created the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA) to deliver unbiased analysis of energy systems to the DOE’s leadership.

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that renewable energy will grow from 13% of the U.S. energy supply in 2011 to 16% in 2040. This wildly understates the likely growth trajectory, in my view.

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Testing and Screening Energy Efficiency Programs

Cost-effectiveness testing is crucial to the future of energy efficiency programs. Commissions and utilities use cost-effectiveness tests to make decisions about which energy efficiency and other demand-side programs to fund. If a new energy efficiency program doesn’t pass the tests, it may never be created.

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Although German developments in electricity markets are, by no means, unique in Europe, they do provide a cautionary tale of the negative consequences that short-sighted energy policies and over-subsidized resources have on electric systems. The country’s very generous policies have led to a massive build out of “green energy,” wind and rooftop solar in particular. However, these resources are increasingly proving to be economically unsustainable as costs keep climbing and rapid penetration threatens the reliability of the electric grid.

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The Midwest: Gateway to Energy Efficiency

For much of the twentieth century, the Midwest was where energy went to be spent. Its brawny factories and populous cities used enormous amounts of power to manufacture products for the entire world. Now, the Midwest has turned to saving energy as a way out of its prolonged economic doldrums.

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Slideshow: A History of Solar Energy

We at State & Local Energy Report are committed to covering all aspects of energy in America and telling the stories of the men and women who shape its policy, technology, and innovation. Our next major project involves the history of solar energy in the United States. To kick off the project, here is a selection of photos illustrating the development of the American solar industry.

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VIDEOS