Welcome to Power Line, a weekly energy newsletter brought to you by Business Insider.
Here’s what you need to know:
Memorial Day weekend is here. Oil markets are swiftly recovering. My radishes have finally sprouted! See, we can have nice things.Â Â
Dear reader, I hope you have at least one non-Zoom activity planned for the long weekend.
I, for one, will be spending this afternoon driving through country roads in Iowa â€” obviously, not for vacation, but for a story about a small town’s battle against â€¦ smart meters. More on that next week.Â
Let’s get to it.Â
As an employee of a digital media outlet, I will be the first to say that ads can be super annoying. But as we recently discovered, some are just downright shady â€” and this is an industry that’s literally run on sunlight.
We reviewed solar ads on Facebook that make all kinds of claims that experts say could be harmful to consumers.Â
Who’s behind them? Wow, great question! It’s really hard to say.Â
Most of them are published by lead generators â€”Â typically, websites designed to gather personal information from a prospective customer, which they then sell.Â
Lead generators often aren’t forthcoming about the companies they represent.Â
But: Don’t let this turn you off to solar. There are a bunch of legitimate incentives and, obviously, solar is a source of clean energy.Â
Currently, there’s a 26% federal tax credit for residential and commercial solar (you can read more about that here.)
Different states have their own policies and rebate programs that can further lower the cost.Â
38 states, DC, and three US territories have mandatory net metering rules, meaning that if you have solar and generate more energy than you need you can get a credit on your electricity bill.
There’s not a ton of research on cost savings, but one 2019 study found that “residential solar adopters reduce summer electricity bills by 61% on average.”
Remember that time that US crude went negative? I do. Because it was literally just over a month ago.Â
About 80% of North American oil and gas companies backed by private equity don’t have buyers, he said.Â
OK, but: If you invest in the stock market, Morgan Stanley has suggestions for where to place your bets.Â
Business Insider is hiring. It was hard watching so many incredible journalists lose their jobs this week. We have some openings available, so check out our careers page.Â
As our global editor in chief recently wrote on Twitter: “We pay above market,” and “we are a high autonomy/high accountability culture.”Â
If you’re a journalist and have questions about working here, feel free to email me.Â
An update on rising stars. We’re working on it. Our rising stars of clean energy project took a back seat for the past couple of months as we shifted priorities, but we’re planning to get that up soon.Â
Energy outlook: In 2020, the growth of renewable energy is set to fall for the first time in 20 years, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.Â
But next year, “renewables are expected to show their resilience,” the agency said.Â
EVs offset oil demand: “BloombergNEF expects that the electric vehicles currently on the road are already avoiding a million barrels per day of the world’s would-be oil consumption,” Bloomberg’s Nathaniel Bullard reports.
Redlining in new context: In an interview with Axios, US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette compared restrictions on financing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic by big banks to redlining â€”Â which refers to when, in the past, banks wouldn’t loan to communities of color.Â
“I do not think banks should be redlining our oil and gas investment across the country,” he said.Â