Renewable Energy

Slovakia revokes hydro plant lease deal with Enel

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia's prime minister says his government is terminating the lease of a major state-owned hydro power plant to Italian energy company Enel.

Robert Fico said Thursday that Enel had breached a contract signed in 2006. He has blamed Enel for not providing sufficient information about profits generated by the 720-megawatt Gabcikovo plant located on the Danube river and a lack of a plan for its maintenance.

Extenders bill sails though House

The House on Wednesday passed a one-year, $44.7 billion tax breaks extenders bill on a 378-46 vote.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Democrats will have to weigh it against the two-year bipartisan package passed in the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year.

The wind power industry has pushed for enactment of the Senate package that would extend the tax breaks through 2015. 

House sends 1-year extenders bill to Senate

The House on Monday overwhelmingly approved of a one-year renewal of the expired wind Production Tax Credit and other business tax breaks, despite calls for a longer extension from the wind industry, backed by environmental groups.

The Republican-led House voted 378-46 to send the $44.7 billion extenders bill to the Senate. Democrats there will have to decide whether to insist on the two-year, $85 billion extenders bill passed by the Finance Committee this spring, or simply pass the House bill as time runs short on their lame-duck session.

President Barack Obama made clear Wednesday he could sign either bill.

Tesla sales could be hit by lower gasoline prices

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Projections for sales of Tesla’s Model 3, to start shipping in 2017 with a price tag of $35,000, could be seen as overly optimistic if gasoline prices remain relatively low, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Senate Democrats

Senate Dems await one-year extenders bill

The $44.7 billion House bill to renew expired wind energy and other business tax breaks through 2014 failed to draw opposition from Senate Democrats on Tuesday, as a key Republican predicted lawmakers will ultimately agree to send the plan to President Barack Obama.  

Lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol said they wanted a longer term bill to give businesses and individuals more certainty. But they also said the one-year bill was the only viable option after a $400 billion multi-year draft plan discussed by leaders in both chambers was shelved after the White House voiced its opposition last week.

Low oil prices to have little short-term impact on renewable investment

Source: 
Bloomberg

The drop in oil prices in recent months may cause drillers to cut back on spending, but it won’t have an immediate impact on investment in renewable energy, Bloomberg reports.

Fiery risk? Air shipments of batteries questioned

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dramatic U.S. government test results raise new concern that bulk shipments of rechargeable lithium batteries carried as cargo on passenger planes are susceptible to fires or explosions that could destroy the airliners.

Yet U.S. and international officials have been slow to adopt safety restrictions that might affect the powerful industries that depend on the batteries and the airlines that profit from shipping them. The batteries are used in products ranging from cellphones and laptops to hybrid cars.

Experts warn Germany will miss electric car target

BERLIN (AP) — Germany looks set to fail in its ambitious plan to put a million electric cars on the road by 2020.

An expert panel has warned that only half the target number will be achieved unless the government spends millions to make electric cars more attractive to buyers.

Analysts suggest west-facing solar panels

Source: 
The New York Times

Most rooftop solar panels on homes are mounted facing south, but although they generate more power that way, west-facing solar panels create electricity at the hours it is needed most, according to an Opower study of data from 110,000 homes in California, The New York Times reports.

Associated Press

House extenders plan gives wind sector less than hoped

The wind energy industry is facing another year of uncertainty about a key tax incentive if Congress goes ahead with a package of business tax break renewals that extends only through 2014.

A multi-year $400 billion proposal -- which would have extended some expired tax breaks, including the wind Production Tax Credit, and made others permanent -- fell victim last week to White House opposition. On Monday, House Republicans unveiled a one-year, $44.7 billion package of renewals for breaks that expired last Dec. 31, including the PTC and other incentives for biofuels and energy efficiency.

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