Ballot Win in Florida Emboldens the Solar Industry: ‘Voters Have Spoken Very Loudly’

Miami Herald: As Rooftop Solar Costs Drop, Utility Attempts to Raise Barriers May Not Work

Florida’s utility industry steered more than $20 million of their profits into a failed constitutional amendment to impose new barriers to the expansion of rooftop solar energy generation, but developers say that as the cost of installing solar panels drops, the state could quickly become a leader in private solar energy expansion no matter what the energy giants do.

The Florida Solar Energy Industry Association estimates that over the next five years, Florida homeowners, businesses and utilities are projected to take advantage of the falling prices and install 2,315 megawatts of solar electric capacity — 19 times more than the amount of solar installed in the last five years.

“Solar prices are in free-fall, and no one knows where the bottom is,” said Chris Delp, an attorney with the Tampa law office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick.

Wall Street Journal: Car Makers Gear Up for Electric Push

The coming weeks offer big new showcases for the humble electric-vehicle.

Auto makers, rushing to meet tightening emissions standards, are unveiling new battery-powered vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, mirroring last month’s flood of such cars by European companies. These curtain-raisers will be followed by first shipments of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Bolt, a $35,000 Tesla fighter that goes on sale next month.

What’s missing are consumers, however. Auto makers are suffering from a glut of U.S. sedan and coupe inventory amid strong demand for light-trucks. The coming addition of electric-vehicle capacity could worsen that oversupply if shoppers continue to prefer pickups and sport-utility vehicles to plug-in cars.

Bloomberg: Forget Moving to Canada — Barclays Says Buy Utility Stocks There

Disappointed by the outcome of the U.S. election? If moving to Canada isn’t practical, Barclays Plc suggests an alternative: parking your money in utilities based there.

Shares of U.S. power suppliers have tumbled on speculation that interest rates will climb now that Donald Trump has won the presidency, limiting the appeal of the sector’s steady dividends. Rates in the Great White North will probably stay low in comparison, making Canadian utilities like Emera Inc. a better value, Barclays analysts Ross Fowler and Daniel Ford wrote Friday in a research note.

Utility Dive: New Administration Won't Attack Renewable Energy

There has been a lot of angst in the renewable power sector over what the Trump presidency will mean, but according to a Trump insider, renewable energy will not be in the new president’s sights when he takes office in January.

The day after the election, shares of solar power companies like SolarCity, SunPower and Vivint Solar cratered, as did wind turbine maker Vestas, while shares of coal company Peabody Energy jumped more than 50%. But those drastic movements may not prove to be an accurate reflection of the realities the energy sector will face under Trump’s presidency.

“Energy is not one of the top five agenda items” on Trump’s to-do list when he takes office in January, according to a major Trump financial contributor who said he is a member of the transition team and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The top issues on that agenda are tax reform, immigration, reforming health care (Obamacare), infrastructure, and trade.

“Everything with renewables continues; the credits will remain in place,” he said.

Oil Price: Trump May Open Up Arctic Drilling

Much has been made about President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to dismantle environmental regulations and streamline regulations that could lead to the construction of more pipelines. But there are a few other controversial energy issues that President Trump might ram through a Republican Congress, which would hand the oil and gas industry new areas for drilling that have long been off limits.

No other place has been more contentious, more fought over, than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a large swathe of territory in northeast Alaska, east of Prudhoe Bay where much of the state’s drilling is located. As its name suggests, the refuge is home to scenic mountains, rivers and lakes rich in wildlife and biodiversity. But it is also thought to hold large volumes of oil and gas reserves, and has been the subject of heated debate since the late 1970s over whether or not oil and gas companies should be allowed to drill. Republicans have long sought to open ANWR up for drilling, but Democrats have stymied them for decades.

from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/ballot-win-in-florida-emboldens-the-solar-industry-voters-have-spoken-very

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