"Last year (2015) was the warmest year on record - by far". Piers Sellers, NASA Earth Sciences Director
temperature in February 2016 took its greatest leap in 136 years of record-keeping,
rising 1.35 degrees Celsius (2.43 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1951-1980
average. As a result of the gigantic temperature jump, it became the warmest
February on record by a landslide.
In February, a Princeton-based research organization said that tidal flooding that has already made life miserable for people in coastal cities like Miami and Charleston is getting steadily worse. In mid-March a group of climate experts including James Hansen, warned that shifts in climate could be sudden and abrupt, giving humanity little time to prepare for flooding, severe droughts and other upheavals.
"The biggest change we will see in the next 25 years is the transition to a low-carbon energy future".
Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute
The January 2016 COP21 "summit" in Paris resulted in a “historic”
multi-nation agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a voluntary
agreement, but a framework will be established to measure & report each
country’s emissions & progress in reducing them. The formal agreement was signed by 174 countries in April.
JP Morgan Chase
joined Bank of America, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley in announcing that they
would significantly reduce financing for coal-fired power plants.
Oregon Gov Kate Brown recently signed a bill requiring Oregon to eliminate coal from its energy supply by 2030, and requiring utilities to provide 50% of their power from RE sources by 2040.
In northeast Wyoming, the huge coal mining operations are slowing, and significant layoffs are underway.
In April, coal giant Peabody Energy filed for bankruptcy, following in the footsteps of other major coal companies like Arch Coal, Patriot Coal, Walter Energy and Alpha Natural Resources.
The ASES Solar 2016 Conference is scheduled for July 10-14 in San Francisco. This year's conference focus is
"Progress Toward 100% Renewables"
For more info: http://solar2016.org/
Intersolar North America has become the most-attended solar event & trade show (about 18,000 professionals) and the premier networking platform for the North American solar industry. This years Intersolar NA event will be co-located with the ASES Solar 2016 Conference and the Electrical Energy Storage North America event. EES is a must if you want to learn more about Rechargeable Batteries, Energy Storage Systems, Charging Technologies, Battery Production Equipment and Materials.
Here's the 2016 Program Flyer (2Mb PDF)
Federal Tax Credits
An extension of the Federal renewable energy tax credits was passed as a part of the Dec 2015 Federal budget deal. This will result in significantly more solar & wind capacity being installed in the US.
Clean Energy Investments
2015 was a record year for global investment in
clean energy, with $ 329 billion invested in wind, solar panels, biomass plants
and more around the world. Fully one-third of the 2015 clean energy investment
occurred in China. That country saw investments of $ 110.5 billion last year.
The United States was second with $ 56 billion.
But in spite of these investments some RE companies are struggling. SunEdison, one of the big players, filed for bankruptcy in late April. The Spanish multinational solar & biofuel giant, Abengoa, is in "restructuring" proceedings.
PV Goes BIG in California
The Desert Sunlight & Topaz Solar Farms, located in the Mojave Desert east of Palm Springs, came online in early 2015. At 550 MW each, they are the two largest PV solar power plants in the world.
The 400 MW Concentrating Solar-Thermal plant, located in the Mojave Desert, officially opened in mid-Feb, 2014. Ivanpah uses a "power-tower" design.
San Francisco has just passed an ordinance requiring solar PV on all new buildings.
Hawaii has ended its Net-Metering policy, eliminating a major incentive for solar PV system owners.
Nevada's newly appointed Utility Commissioners approved severe retro-active penalties for rooftop solar system owners. Solar installation & financing businesses are abandoning Nevada. Tesla's new battery Giga-Factory is stuck there.
NM PRC Decisions
The NM Public Regulatory Commission regulates all public utilities in New Mexico. On Dec 16, 2015 the PRC approved the final San Juan Generating Station Plan to meet EPA pollution rules. Formal hearings on the 2015 PNM Rate Case started April 11, 2016 and ended on April 29, then were extended into June to deal with an issue about the cost of Palo Verde power. There may be a public hearing scheduled for late June. The PRC Hearing Examiner's recommendations are expected in July. The Comissioners are expected to vote on the Rate Case in August. For more info about both of these cases go to our Advocacy Page.
NM State Legislature
2016 30 day “Short Session” ended without approval of the bill to extend the state tax credit for RE. NM's 10% tax credit for residential solar will expire at the end of 2016. The actual funds that support this tax credit will probably be exhausted by the end of this summer.
Two of the four coal-fired generating units at the San Juan Generating Station will be shut down as part of the EPA San Juan Stipulation Agreement. Peabody Energy, which declared bankruptcy in April, owns two coal mines near Grants, which they tried & failed to sell. Peabody's shares have dropped in value by 99% since 2008. Meanwhile, PNM Resources, which "owns" PNM, is investing in coal.
The Latest NMSEA Videos on YouTube
The full 13-part Renewable New Mexico Video Series plus information-packed Seminar Presentations from the Spring & Fall 2014 Solar Fiestas are now on the NMSEA YouTube Channel. John Perlin, the author of Let it Shine: the 6,000-Year History of Solar Energy, was the keynote speaker at the 2015 NMSEA Solar Fiesta. John was interviewed by ASES Passive Solar Pioneer Architect Mark Chalom. Take a look by selecting the NMSEA YouTube Channel link.
NMSEA Local Chapters
Local NMSEA Chapters in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Silver City, Alamogordo, Los Alamos, Las Vegas and Taos participate in community events & organize regular meetings. Check out the What's Happening - News & Events link and the NMSEA Chapters links for more info.
NMSEA is an active State Chapter of the
American Solar Energy Society.
We encourage all of our members to join ASES.
ASES is offering a discount on combined ASES & NMSEA memberships! Check out the ASES Website link for details.