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Utility Dive:  Democrats to take Senate majority after Georgia victories. Here’s how it could impact the power sector.

Jan. 7 — Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated their respective Republican opponents in Georgia’s Senate runoff on Wednesday, giving Democrats the majority in both chambers of Congress. Analysts and stakeholders say the implications could be consequential for renewables and electric vehicle deployment, as well as broader carbon reduction policies.

 

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Utility Dive: Renewables stocks soar as Democrat-led Congress improves environment for green investments

Jan. 8 — A Democrat-controlled Congress paired with President-elect Joe Biden creates a favorable environment for continued utility investment in clean energy resources, analysts say.

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Utility Dive: Two barriers to utility and customer savings with flexible loads and how regulators can help

 

Jan. 6 — Utilities, regulators and load flexibility authorities say better distribution system control technologies and compensation are needed to increase use of flexible customer-sited resources.

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Bloomberg: The 10 Ways Renewable Energy’s Boom Year Will Shape 2021

Jan. 6 — Even after Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on almost everything else, the new year begins with surging growth for renewable energy. “2020 was the year of positive surprises for the environment in a way that very few saw coming,” says Jeff McDermott, head of Nomura Greentech. “It was the breakout year in sustainability and infrastructure.”

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Utility Dive: Two barriers to utility and customer savings with flexible loads and how regulators can help

Jan. 6 — Utilities, regulators and load flexibility authorities say better distribution system control technologies and compensation are needed to increase use of flexible customer-sited resources.

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Texas Climate News: Federal rules, international pressure may finally snuff methane flaring

Jan. 5 — Texas regulators have consistently allowed the controversial practice at oil and gas wells, which contributes to manmade climate change. Voters in November rejected a Democratic candidate who called for tougher state regulation.

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Houston Business Journal: NRG Energy closes $3.6B Direct Energy deal

Jan. 5 — The company is funding the deal in cash with proceeds from debt offerings and asset sales.

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Houston Chronicle: NRG closes deal to buy competitor Direct Energy

Jan. 5 — NRG Energy, one of the biggest electricity sellers in Texas, said Tuesday that it completed its $3.6 billion deal to buy British-owned Direct Energy, a move that further consolidates the Texas retail electricity market under the banner of NRG.

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E&E NEWS: 117th Congress opens to new energy, environment fights

Jan. 4 — Lawmakers face fresh fights on energy and environmental issues, particularly climate change, but first they have to get through the political and logistical hurdles of the next few weeks.

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Houston Business Journal: Comptroller approves incentives for Pattern Energy solar farm

Jan. 4 — The solar farm would be built in Jackson County, Texas.

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Houston Chronicle (Commentary): The transition from fossil fuel is an opportunity for Texas

Jan. 4 — Day One of the Joe Biden administration is only a few weeks away and so are a series of executive orders aimed at kick-starting the new president’s ambitious clean energy agenda as part of his promise to forcefully combat climate change.

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Commentary): In ‘remarkable shift,’ four out of five Texans say climate change is real. Now what?

Jan. 4 — In a “remarkable shift from the past,” a University of Houston study published in December found that 81% of Texans agree that climate change is happening. That result, from a survey of 500 Texans conducted in October, now matches the views expressed by the majority of 1,000 Americans, 80% of whom said that climate change is real.

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S&P Global: Texas support for massive transmission boost for renewables in question

Jan. 4 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas must massively expand its transmission capacity to move West Texas renewable power to load centers in the eastern half of the state by 2035, a move aimed at accommodating fossil-fuel generation retirements, but experts differ on whether the state government would approve such spending.

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RTO Insider: ERCOT Takes a Shine to Solar Energy

Jan. 5 — With almost 31 GW of wind capacity, Texas has more wind resources than any other state and is on track to stake out similar leadership in solar energy.

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Spectrum News: Renewable Energy Grows in Oil-Rich Texas

Dec. 31 — When it comes to wind power, the oil-rich state is now the largest producer of wind energy in the country, in both installed and under-construction capacity. Texas produces more than 330 gigawatts of wind energy, supporting 25,000 energy jobs.

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San Antonio Business Journal: Five oil and gas proposed bills in the Texas Legislature to pay attention to in January

Dec. 31 — Legislators have proposed tightening regulations on pipeline routes, protecting a vital water source from pollution and ending a tax that has benefited gas drillers.

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Midland Reporter-Telegram: Midland County finishes second in state in natural gas production

Jan. 1 — Midland County surged ahead of third-place Webb County with 52.262 million mcf during the month. Webb finished with 44.904 million mcf of production. Reeves County again was first in the state with 82.395 million mcf. The RRC reported 772.887 million mcf of gas was produced during the entire month. In October 2019, the preliminary number was 665.716 million mcf. The updated total was 924.980 million mcf.

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Wichita Falls Times Record News: Proposed solar farm would bring employment bump, big economic impact for Wichita County

Dec. 31 — A proposed $455 million renewable energy project in Electra ISD would be a once-in-a-lifetime boon for the district — even though EISD has agreed to a multi-million dollar tax incentive, according to school officials.

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San Antonio Express-News: Texas oil firms see rebound as vaccine hopes improve industry’s outlook in 2021

Jan. 1 — Texas’ oil and gas industry, battered this year by the pandemic, appears to be entering the new year on the rebound — though a return to steady profitability is a long way off, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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S&P Global: US renewable pipeline poised to add 172.5 GW through 2024

Dec. 30 — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing record job losses for the renewable energy industry, slowing construction activity and threatening developers’ access to capital, the U.S. saw strong capacity additions for wind and solar power during 2020.

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