Nuclear Waste Fee Ruling Released

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled November 19 that the Department of Energy must change the nuclear waste fee to zero until the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository proposal is reopened or until another waste management plan is signed into law. The agency had defended its stance to collect fees from utilities despite the abandonment of the Yucca Mountain proposal in a case filed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

DOE Provides $5M to 7 Methane Hydrate Projects

In a November 20 statement, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced that the agency would provide $5 million to seven methane hydrate research projects. Secretary Moniz said the funding would increase understanding of the ice-like structures that hold natural gas within them. The projects are at universities in GA, MA, OR, TX, and WA.

$19M Provided for Solar Projects

The Department of Energy announced November 20 that $19 million is available for projects designed to drive down solar energy soft costs and improve hardware efficiency. Ten million dollars will be provided through the ninth round of SunShot Incubator program while nine million will be given out through the Next Generation Photovoltaics III program.

Clemson Opens Largest Wind Energy Testing Facility

Clemson University opened the nation’s largest wind energy testing facilities November 21. It is designed to test and validate turbines, chiefly for offshore wind projects. The South Carolina facility received $47 million in Department of Energy funding and $60 million in outside funding.

$30 Million for DG Cost Reduction

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy announced plans November 25 to spend up to $30 million on a program aimed at reducing the cost of distributed power generation. The Reliable Electricity Based on Electrochemical Systems program is seeking projects that advance fuel cell technology for distributed power generation in the hope of improving grid stability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric Motor Efficiency Standard

The Department of Energy released a proposed rule November 25 for improving electric motor efficiency. The proposed increase would save consumers between $8.7 billion and $23.3 billion, and reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 400