UK Offers Clean Energy Support Ahead of Reforms to Prevent Delays
Britain will offer clean energy developers contracts for the power they generate ahead of electricity market reforms due to start next year to avoid delays that may threaten the U.K.’s low-carbon goal. Lawmakers are analyzing a bill that will change the way wind farms and biomass power plants are subsidized as the U.K. spurs low-carbon generation. The program of so-called contracts for difference that guarantee a tariff regardless of market prices will be in effect on the second half of 2014, risking an investment lapse as developers delay decisions until it starts.
Obama to Push Congress to Create Clean Energy Research Fund
President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to create a $2 billion clean-energy research fund with fees paid by gas and oil producers to help reduce U.S. dependence on oil. The Energy Security Trust would be funded over 10 years from government fees on offshore oil and gas drilling. The trust would provide reliable funding for research focused on transportation alternatives. The plan, which Obama described last month in his State of the Union address, wouldn’t open new offshore areas to drilling. Revenue for the Security Trust would come from permit approvals for oil and gas producers, which would boost production and increase receipts from royalties, lease sales and bonus bids.
BrightSource Adds Spains Abengoa SA as Partner in Desert Project
Oakland solar company BrightSource Energy announced that Spain’s Abengoa SA would become a partner in its 500 megawatt Palen project in the California desert. Both companies will work jointly to permit and finance the solar thermal project, which will be constructed, operated and maintained by Abengoa. The plant will use BrightSource’s technology.Construction on the $2.6 billion plant is expected to start at the end of 2013 and is expected to go into service in 2016.
US Senators Pushes for Wind PTC Clarification
A group of US Senators, led by Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), have sent an open letter to the US Treasury and IRS requesting them to speed up their clarification of new language in the renewable energy production tax credit . The language, added with the extension of the wind PTC, changes the criteria for qualification under the PTC as being a form of “under construction.” Some believe that clarifications could take a cue from what was in the former Section 1603 grant: a certain amount of physical work being put in, and/or a set small percentage of project cost invested.
Tags: clean energy