QUICK NEWS, January 26: OBAMA SOTU BACKS NEW ENERGY; PRIVATE P.A.C.E.; COMMERCE INVESTIGATES ASIAN WIND
OBAMA SOTU BACKS NEW ENERGY
State Of The Union Address Calls For Comprehensive Energy Approach
Jessica Lillian, 25 January 2012 (Solar Industry)
"Although President Barack Obama's Jan. 24 State of the Union address contained only a singular mention of solar energy, he reiterated his commitment to expanding clean energy project development in the U.S. and ending subsidies to fossil-fuel companies…
"In a follow-up proposal posted online by the White House, Obama specifically called for a temporary extension of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit as part of a broader manufacturing tax-reform proposal. This $5 billion investment would drive nearly $20 billion in domestic clean energy manufacturing, the White House said. The tax credit was previously oversubscribed more than three times over."
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"During his address, acknowledging that Congress' partisan divide may prevent broad action on climate change, the president nonetheless urged Congress to set a national clean energy standard. However, he made no mention of the 80% by 2035 clean energy standard that he introduced in last year's State of the Union.
"Much of Obama's energy-independence discussion centered on increased exploration of domestic oil and natural-gas resources, as he advocated for the ‘all of the above’ energy approach that has been frequently espoused by more-conservative policymakers. He noted that the same public-private partnerships used in the natural-gas sector may also be applicable to renewable energy investment…Global competitiveness in clean energy - and beyond - also requires an increased emphasis on ensuring fair trade policies, Obama said. To that end, a newly created Trade Enforcement unit will investigate cases of unfair trading practices…"
Figtree Sells P.A.C.E. Multi-Jurisdictional Bond Placing California on the Leadubg Edge of Energy Efficiency Financing
January 18, 2012 (Figtree Energy Resource Company)
"Figtree Energy Resource Company…[issued] a $725,000 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bond that will fund energy-efficient and renewable-energy projects in four different California cities. This PACE bond is the first-of-its-kind in the nation; it represents a new source of money for property improvements and a dynamic job creation program for local communities. The issuance of a multi-jurisdiction bond places California on the leading edge of energy efficiency financing.
"Money raised by the bond will fund seven energy-efficient and renewable-energy projects in Fresno, Palm Springs, Clovis and Exeter, California."
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[Mahesh Shah, CEO, Figtree:] “PACE bond financing provides property owners fixed-rate, property value based and no credit check financing…The taxable municipal bond was sold to the capital markets without any state or federal funding assistance – a 100% private program…”
"Under Assembly Bill 811, California property owners in special assessment districts may enter into voluntary contractual assessments against their properties to finance energy and water efficiency products. The financed amount incurred by the property owner is repaid over time through annual property tax assessments with the charge appearing as a line item on the property tax bill…[The bill can both] lower greenhouse gas levels and reduce energy and water consumption…[and be] a stimulus program that spurs local economic growth and creates new jobs…"
COMMERCE INVESTIGATES ASIAN WIND
U.S. Commerce Department Investigating Unfair Trade Of Wind Towers From China, Vietnam
20 January 2012 (North American Windpower)
"The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has launched a formal investigation into the unfairly traded imports of wind towers from China and Vietnam…[following a complaint] filed by the Wind Tower Trade Coalition (WTTC) seeking investigation into the matter.
"The DOC [found] an anti-dumping margin for China of 213.54% and an antidumping margin for Vietnam of between 140.54% and 143.29%....[T]he department has decided to investigate subsidy programs used by all levels of the Chinese government to support its wind turbine industry."
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"Additionally, WTTC participated in a hearing at the International Trade Commission for the investigation into whether there is a reasonable indication of material injury or threat of material injury to the U.S. industry by reason of imports from China and Vietnam…
"No Chinese or Vietnamese producers attended the hearing to testify on their behalf. Siemens Energy Inc. testified at the hearing in defense of their purchases of dumped and subsidized merchandise…The International Trade Commission's vote is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10…"