NewEnergyNews More: July 2015

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

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  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015


    Report: Attacks on Renewable Energy Policies in 2015

    Elsner and Kasper, July 2015 (Energy and policy Institute)

    “Fossil fuel and utility interests, concerned about the rise of cheap clean energy, continue to finance attacks on pro-clean energy policies in an effort to delay the growth of their [competition, according to a new report]. These companies, along with the Koch Brothers’ political network and front groups, want to continue selling as much coal, oil, and gas as possible — and, in their effort to roll back clean energy policies, are spreading misinformation about clean energy and the energy market…[They] fund front groups, who then attack clean energy policies…With greater numbers of customers generating and using their own clean energy, utility corporations saw decreased revenues…As a result of this competitive market threat, the utility industry, through its trade association, the Edison Electric Institute, launched a calculated, multi-year campaign…” click here for more


    UW Study Demonstrates Benefits of Pairing Wyoming and California Wind

    July 27, 2015 (University of Wyoming)

    "…[C]ombining the strengths of Wyoming wind with California wind and solar will reduce the intermittency of renewable energy and smooth the power supply -- leading to benefits for utilities and energy consumers alike [according to Wind Diversity Enhancement of Wyoming/California Wind Energy Projects: Phase 2 from the University of Wyoming…[It] digs into the details of geographic diversity relative to renewable energy and is based on one year of actual one-minute average wind and solar electrical production data from California and data from four operating meteorological towers in Wyoming…[Wyoming and California wind patterns are very different and very] complementary…California wind is strongest at night, while Wyoming wind is strongest during the day and peaks in the afternoon -- coincident with the time when the sun is beginning to set while the electric load is still increasing into the evening hours…” click here for more


    SolarCity launches plan to bring solar power to small and midsize firms

    Ivan Penn, July 28, 2015 (LA Times)

    “SolarCity Corp. wants to deck the rooftops of small and midsize businesses with solar panels by offering a new financing strategy to a market that the company says has largely gone untapped…Companies that lease the solar panels from SolarCity would be able to save 5% to 25% compared with their current electric bills…Businesses with potential for solar arrays of less than 500 kilowatts made up less than 40% of commercial solar installations in the first quarter of 2015. Solar arrays under 100 kilowatts were less than 10% of commercial installations…SolarCity's target is businesses that would use small solar arrays ranging from 30-kilowatt systems that a mom-and-pop store would use to a 500-kilowatt system designed for a warehouse or storage facility. The company plans to make the leasing plan available to businesses first in California and then expand in the next year...” click here for more

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015


    This Factor Predicts What People Think About Climate Change; Education affects climate change beliefs differently if you live in the U.S.

    Justin Worland, July 27, 2015 (Time Magazine)

    “Around the world, people with higher levels of education are more likely to understand climate change than their less-educated counterparts, according to new research published in the journal Nature Climate Change…Using data collected by Gallup from 119 countries, researchers found that education level was a key determinant of climate change risk perceptions in 62% of countries around the world. But all bets are off when it comes to education and views of climate change in the United States, along with a select few English speaking countries. Political party and ideology predicted views of climate change in the U.S., not education alone…[Different regions had vastly different levels of awareness…Two-thirds of people in Egypt, Bangladesh and Nigeria, for instance, had never heard of climate change…The lack of climate change awareness in developing countries should be of particular concern because…[p]ublic support for an agreement will help countries to follow through on commitments…” click here for more


    Hillary Clinton pushes renewable energy with focus on solar

    Dan Merica, July 27, 2015 CNN

    “…[A]s president, [Hillary Clinton said,] she would put the United States on a path toward generating enough renewable energy to power every home in the country by 2027 - ten years after she would hypothetically take office…Clinton knocked Republicans for refusing ‘to accept the settled science of climate change’ and cast her push as a fight for children and grandchildren…Clinton's plan focuses largely on residential power usage and is buoyed by a focus on solar. By the end of her hypothetical first term as president, Clinton promised that the United States would have more than 500 million solar panels installed across the country…The presidential candidate also stressed building an energy grid more focused on renewable energy, particularly solar, by the end of the decade…[A] Clinton presidency would hope to increase output of solar energy by 700% by the end of the decade…” click here for more


    The Most (And Least) Extreme Republican Presidential Candidates On Climate Change

    Ryan Koronowski, July 26, 2015 (Climate Progress)

    “…It’s an extremely safe bet that the Republican nominee will not take more action to confront climate change than President Obama has. The question is more how much of the president’s climate agenda the nominee would reverse, repeal, or ignore…Pope Francis just told the world through the Vatican’s latest encyclical that climate change is happening, caused by humans, and requires ‘urgent’ policy…[H]ere is the GOP presidential field, ranked by how far they would walk back President Obama’s climate agenda, from least to most: 17. George Pataki…16. Lindsey Graham…15. John Kasich…14. Carly Fiorina…13. Chris Christie…12. Jeb Bush…11. Jim Gilmore…10. Ben Carson…9. Rand Paul…8. Marco Rubio…7. Bobby Jindal…6. Rick Perry…5. Mike Huckabee…4. Scott Walker…3. Donald Trump…2. Rick Santorum…1. Ted Cruz…” click here for more

    Monday, July 27, 2015


    Offshore Wind Farm Raises Hopes of U.S. Clean Energy Backers

    Diane Cardwell, July 23, 2015 (NY Times)

    “…[O]ff the coast of Block Island, part of Rhode Island, a small flotilla [of crane vessels, tugboats and barges just] began installing the 1,500-ton foundations of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm…It’s a moment that its supporters have long anticipated, billing it as nothing less than the dawn of a new clean energy future for the United States, which lags Europe and China in harnessing ocean gusts for electricity…Only five turbines will spin in the waters off Rhode Island…But its backers see it as one that could lend credibility to other efforts…[P]olicy experts and business executives warn that without stable subsidies and mandates — and coordination among the states — offshore wind development will be limited to a few small demonstration projects. Along with Cape Wind, projects are stalled near Delaware, New Jersey and New York…How far and fast the market develops depends, analysts and experts say, on how strong of a commitment the country makes…” click here for more


    Alabamians Overwhelmingly Ask for Freedom to Choose Solar Energy

    Kyle C. Grider, July 23, 2015 (Triple Pundit)

    “Alabamians are overwhelmingly in favor of their utilities boosting the use of solar energy to generate electricity, and they are nearly unanimous in their opposition to penalizing solar by tacking on fees, according to a new survey…The strength of the survey response leaves little doubt…[Out of more than of 1,600 responses,] 78 percent picked solar as one of the top two sources of energy that they would like to see their utility use more of in Alabama. Wind came in second [with 34 percent] …A study conducted several years ago by researchers at Arizona State University placed Alabama eighth nationally in terms of states that would benefit the most from expanding solar energy deployment. Alabama currently ranks 48th in both installed solar capacity and the total number of solar jobs per capita…Alabama is one of only four states in the nation without ‘net metering’ policies…” click here for more


    Senate Energy Bill Would Help Achieve the Nation’s Geothermal Potential, Industry Leaders Say

    July 24, 2015 (Business Wire)

    “…[T]he U.S. geothermal industry applauded U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alas., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., for…[The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, a broad, bipartisan bill with five titles covering energy efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability, and land conservation that would]…set a 50,000-MW National Geothermal Goal…direct federal agencies to identify priority areas for development…allow federal oil and gas lease holders to obtain a non-competitive geothermal lease to facilitate coproduction of geothermal power…facilitate new discoveries by allowing the limited non-competitive leasing of adjacent lands where a new discovery has been made; and…provide geothermal exploration test projects a limited categorical exclusion provided the lands involved present no extraordinary circumstances…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015


    Mid-Year Report: 70% Of New U.S. Generating Capacity In First Half 2015 Is From Renewables…Wind + Biomass + Solar = 97% Of New Capacity In June

    Ken Bossong, June 22, 2015 (Sun Day)

    “…[R]enewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for nearly 70% (69.75%) of new electrical generation placed in service in the United States during the first six months of 2015…[according to] the recently-released Energy Infrastructure Update…FERC reported no new capacity for the year-to-date from oil or nuclear power and just 3 MW from one unit of coal…For the month of June alone, wind (320 MW), biomass (95 MW), and solar (62 MW) provided 97% of new capacity with natural gas providing the balance (15 MW)…Renewable energy sources now account for 17.27% of total installed operating generating capacity in the U.S.: water - 8.61%, wind - 5.84%, biomass - 1.40%, solar - 1.08%, and geothermal steam - 0.34% (for comparison, renewables were 16.28% of capacity in June 2014 and 15.81% in June 2013)…” click here for more


    Senate committee votes 23-3 to extend federal tax credits…strong bipartisan support for American wind power, renewable energy tax incentives

    July 21, 2015 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “…[The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted] overwhelmingly to extend over 50 tax policies through 2016, including the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that incentivize the building of more U.S. wind farms. The committee on a final vote of 23-3 reported out a ‘tax extenders’ bill preserving language that allows wind farms to qualify so long as they start construction while the tax credits are in place…Those credits expired at the start of this year, again throwing the future of American wind energy into doubt once projects currently under construction are completed… In 2013, after the renewable energy tax credits were allowed to expire even briefly, installations of new wind farms fell 92 percent, causing a loss of 30,000 jobs across the industry that year. After Congress renewed the PTC, the U.S. wind energy industry added 23,000 jobs the following year, bringing the total to 73,000 at the end of 2014…” click here for more


    Solar Energy Finance Association emerges on the scene

    Lea Lupkin, July 22, 2015 (GreenBiz)

    “...[Where solar] assets produce reliable cash flows, backed by the good credit of customers…[they] can be pooled and traded as liquid capital. In order to profit from this great opportunity for solar growth, investors and consumers demand standards and consistency from the industry…The Solar Energy Finance Association [SEFA] is one of several leaders shepherding in an era of solar standards…[and] the only association that focuses on solar distributed generation (DG) finance. Its flagship initiative involves overseeing [standard lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) contract documents]…The association consists of around 36 members and represents a majority of players in the market in terms of number of installations…[including] SolarCity, SunRun and Clean Power Finance…All of the major DG installers and facilitators in SEFA have adopted the standard contracts…[but] it will take a while to integrate across the businesses…” click here for more

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015


    Two Numbers: Solar Energy's Price Drop, Ahead of Schedule, Could Help Save the Planet

    Zoe Schlanger, July 15, 2015 (Newsweek)

    “…[The just-announced White House series of measures intended to make solar power more accessible to low- and middle-income households would have been unthinkable not long ago] because solar was too expensive. But the price in the U.S. has plummeted 70 percent since 1998, from nearly $86,000 for a 5-kilowatt installation (the average residential solar array) to just $26,000 in 2014…That translates to a massive drop in per-month energy costs…[from $76.67 a watt to 60 cents per watt while the average retail price of electricity in the U.S.] is $1.26 a watt…Many predict that as the price of solar technology continues to fall, and the pressures on nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions mount, the sun will provide a major share of the world’s future energy mix. A report by the International Energy Agency last year predicted solar could be the world’s main source of energy as soon as 2050.” click here for more


    These Geothermal Mountain Dwellings Look Like They Belong In The Shire; Built Into A Mountain In Japan, The Miyawaki Gurido Complex Is Temperature Controlled Thanks To The Mountain's Geothermal Properties.

    Meg Miller, July 17, 2015 (GizModo via Fast Company)

    “In Japan, a country whose territory is almost three-quarters mountainous, developing new property outside of the densely packed urban areas can be problematic—unless you're willing to work with the terrain instead of against it…[Architect Keita Nagata] built Miyawaki Gurido, a Shire-ready housing complex that is literally buried into the side of the mountain…[S]ince the complex is surrounded by the mountain's soil, geothermal energy stabilizes the indoor temperature to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating and cooling tubes below the dwelling capture fresh air through an air-supply tower and pump it into the house to regulate the temperature as needed…[R]ent ranges from around $500 for the smaller units to $1,080 for the larger ones…” click here for more


    Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Smart Thermostats; Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 12 Smart Thermostat Hardware, Software, and Services Vendors for Utility and Commercial Markets

    3Q 2015 (Navigant Research)

    “The market for communicating and smart thermostats has exploded with activity…[The technology has evolved] into a stable and growing market. The year 2015 has seen…conclusive evidence of cost-effectiveness [in collaborations between ecobee and Carrier and Nest and solar provider SolarCity, as well as continued expansion of global marketing on behalf of Nest and tado…Heightened awareness of residential energy management and growing interest in particular devices, such as the Nest and ecobee smart thermostats, have fueled an end-consumer-based spike in the smart thermostat market…Despite challenges such as the affordability of energy…[newer] players like tado have given longtime vendors, such as Honeywell and Carrier, some additional competition…[and] disrupted the status quo by going direct to consumers, attracting early adopters and a few mainstream consumers…” click here for more

    Monday, July 20, 2015


    Report: Wind could supply 40 percent of Iowa energy by 2020

    Donnelle Eller, July 16, 2015 (Des Moines Register)

    “Iowa could…push its wind-energy mix to 41 percent in 2020 and supply enough power to more than match its energy usage by 2030, with excess energy to export to other states, [according to A Wind Vision for New Growth in Iowa] the American Wind Energy Association said…[That] could create significant benefits for the environment and economy…Iowa consumers could save $3.68 billion in lower electricity bills through 2050…[and] boost property tax revenues for government services $49.1 million annually by 2020 and nearly $137 million annually by 2030…Farmers, ranchers and landowners could see land lease payments climb from $17.1 million annually to nearly $20 million annually by 2020 to $55.5 million annually by 2030…[and] Iowa could save on the amount of water used to generate energy…[and add] 1,400 on-site construction, operations and maintenance jobs by 2030…” click here for more


    Super-charge the solar power boom

    Van Jones, July 17, 2015 (CNN)

    “There's a solar power boom in America…[but] not enough Americans are seeing the benefits…[T]he Obama administration is doing something about it. The solar industry and other government leaders have joined in, but they need to step up even more. And the big polluters should stand down…Until now, unless you were a typically affluent homeowner with a good credit score to help you get a loan…[solar was] mostly out of reach…If we want to stop climate disruption, we need everyone on board…We can't win political fights against the polluters who want to maintain the old fossil-fuel economy unless we have a big, broad, diverse coalition of stakeholders -- people of every class and color who are directly enjoying the benefits…[O]n July 7 the Obama administration announced a new initiative designed to help deploy solar power in low and moderate-income neighborhoods… More solar energy also means more [solar jobs and] money in our pockets…President Obama made a bold move by opening the door of opportunity for more Americans. Now we need to make sure dirty energy companies don't shut it.” click here for more


    This Mobile Charging Station Fixes Two Major Problems With Electric Cars

    Christian de Looper, July 17, 2015 (Tech Times)

    “…[C]harging an electric car just got a lot easier, with…charging stations that have wheels and can come to the car, eliminating both the problem of charging stations having to be built in the first place and the problem of cars sitting at a station after being fully charged…[The Mobi Charger, built by a startup Freewire,] looks like a food cart. It can charge a car in only 30 minutes…[It] uses batteries from old electric cars from Nissan…[and is] in talks with BMW and GM…The system is extremely easy to use…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015


    California: Utilities urge for DG solar to count towards 50% renewables goal

    Becky Beetz, 9 July 2015 (PV Magazine)

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) want California lawmakers to amend SB 350, which increases the state’s current 33% renewables by 2020 mandate to 50% by 2030, to make distributed renewables eligible…The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)-administered program is based on the definition of “eligible renewable energy resources” that does not include distributed generation (DG)…SCE argues in its letter to the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce that in its current form the new mandate “picks technology winners and losers.” The three 2030 goals of SB 350: Golden State Standards, according to the California Senate, are to (1) achieve a 50% reduction in petroleum use, obtain 50% of utility power from renewable energy, and increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings by 50%. click here for more


    Duke Energy buying into wind farm that powers Mars candies

    John Downey, July 7, 2015 Charlotte Business Journal

    Duke Energy Renewables will, pending regulatory approval, purchase a 50% share of Sumitomo Corp.’s 211 MW Mesquite Creek Wind Farm in Texas. Financial details were undisclosed. The production of the 118 turbine Mesquite Creek project, which went online in April, goes to M&Ms and Snickers bars maker Mars, Inc., under a long term power purchase agreement (PPA). It is, according to Mars, 100% of the electricity used at its 70 U.S. locations, which include 37 factories. With this deal, Duke Energy Renewables’ 2014-ending 1,627 MW wind capacity, which gave it the ninth leading market share among owner-developers of U.S. wind, will go to over 1,700 MW. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) 2014 Annual Market Report, at least 60 non-utility entities had bought wind energy through various contractual mechanisms by the end of 2014, including over 1,800 MW in PPAs. click here for more


    CPS Energy awards 'community solar' bid to Clean Energy Collective

    Sergio Chapa, June 29, 2015 San Antonio Business Journal

    CPS Energy awarded Clean Energy Collective (CEC) the contract to build the first community solar project in San Antonio. The CPS Energy-determined business model requires CEC to build a 1.2 MW solar array and, through its roofless solar program, market ownership of individual solar modules at a per-module fee to CPS Energy residential and commercial customers. Subscribers receive a monthly electric bill credit against their electricity consumption for the output of their modules. In June, NEC Retail awarded Clean Energy Collective a contract to build a community solar array to market module output to its residential and commercial customers in Corpus Christi and parts of the Eagle Ford shale region. New data in the DOE’s Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation shows an estimated 49% of households and 48% of businesses are unable to host solar. “Shared solar could represent 32% to 49% of the distributed PV market in 2020,” it reports, “leading to cumulative PV deployment growth in 2015 to 2020 of 5.5 GW to 11.0 GW, and representing $8.2–$16.3 billion of cumulative investment.” click here for more

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015


    Solar Energy for the Poor: How Obama Plans to Change Energy; Community solar gardens could be big business if the Obama administration gets its way.M

    Travis Holum, July 12, 2015 (Motley Fool)

    “…[E]nergy from the sun has been reserved mostly for wealthy homeowners and is out of reach for millions of lower-income Americans…[H]ouseholds in the top 60% of income in the U.S. account for 95% of all residential solar installations…[L]ower-income Americans often rent instead of own a home that could install solar…[That leaves over 40% of households] out of the market…[But] the White House proposed a number of measures to ramp up what's called community solar projects…making it possible for lower-income people to participate in the solar industry…Solar is a booming business nationwide, but this could bring an entirely new market into the fold…[Investors take advantage] by owning developers that will build community solar…[SolarCity is one of the largest publicly owned] participants…[C]ommunity solar gardens should come with lower default risk because the utility is essentially the intermediary…” click here for more


    Amazon backs NC’s 1st large-scale wind farm

    John Murawski, July 13, 2015 (The News & Observer)

    Iberdrola Renewables is breaking ground on the 208 MW Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East installation in North Carolina, the first in the state and the first large scale wind energy development to go into construction across the nine states of the Southeast. The output of the $400 million, 104 turbine project, estimated to be enough to power 60,000 homes, has been contracted for by Amazon Web Services and is expected to go online by the end of 2016. It is expected to provide 250 construction jobs and 10 full time jobs…Resource maps released earlier this year by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed the impact of turbine technology on the viability of wind in the Southeast…Today’s turbines, with 110 meter hub heights, show some power but turbine manufacturers’ plans for wind technology in the coming 5 years to 10 years, with hub heights going to 140 meters, are expected to provide a 35% or higher capacity factor in the Southeast. click here for more


    Meet the Teenage Indigenous Hip-Hop Artist Taking on Climate Change; Rolling Stone recently sat down with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez after his powerful speech at the United Nations

    Coco McPherson, July 13, 2015 (Rolling Stone)

    “…At the U.N.'s high-level event on climate change, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon criticized what he called the snail's pace of [negotiations, and] Anote Tong, the president of Kiribati, delivered a mournful report on the massive relocation of his drowning island nation…[And then, dressed in a donated suit, with dark hair skimming his waist, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, the youth director of Earth Guardians, issued a brief prayer in both Spanish and the Nahuatl language…[and] began an extemporaneous speech on the folly of climate dithering…When he finished just over nine minutes later, climate negotiators and representatives from nearly 200 countries had seen the face of America's next-generation environmental movement: a 15-year-old trilingual Indigenous hip-hop artist from Boulder who sits on Obama's youth council and who's already organized youth crews on six continents…[who told Rolling Stone we don't have to all stop using fossil fuels entirely and go live in the woods…It's about understanding — seeing — that the way we're interacting with the world is destroying the planet…” click here for more

    Monday, July 13, 2015


    South Getting Its First Big Wind Farm Soon

    Jason Dearen, July 12, 2015 (AP via ABC News)

    “…[In North Carolina, Spanish developer Iberdrola Renewables is] getting ready to build something the South has never seen: a commercial-scale wind energy farm…[The $600 million project will build 102 turbines] with plans to add about 50 more. Once up and running, it could generate about 204 megawatts, or enough electricity to power about 60,000 homes…[It would be the first large onshore wind farm] in nine states across the Southeast from Arkansas to Florida…But taller towers and bigger turbines are unlocking new potential in the South…[The average tower height now in the U.S. is about 260 feet; the new technology allows turbines to mine air at 460 feet] and the industry is already looking to invest…And with the electricity system in the region undergoing a period of change as coal plants are phased out, some experts believe the door is open for renewables like wind…” click here for more


    Buying into solar energy

    Nathan Bowe, July 12, 2015 (DL-Online)

    “…[R]ural electric cooperative and city municipal electric utilities are [beginning to offer] community solar gardens…[that] offer customers the chance to ‘buy into’ solar without having to pay in full up front, and without having to worry about installing and maintaining solar energy units in their homes or businesses…Although there are different models,]solar gardens are generally built by the utility and the panels ‘purchased’ by customers, who get a discount on their electric bill…Buying into a solar garden may or may not save customers money, but it will give them a way to stabilize at least part of their electric bill over the next 20 years…If electrical rates go up over the next 20 years, which seems like a pretty safe bet, those who buy into solar gardens will save money, since they have locked in a rate…Of course, if rates go down, they lose out…If a customer moves out of the area, they can give away their panels or try to sell them to another customer…[Minnesota’s Lake Region Electric Cooperative] charges $1,400 for a full panel, which at current rates would generate about $66 a year for the customer over 20 years…” click here for more


    Are There Stocks to Watch in Geothermal Energy? Geothermal power has the potential to power the U.S. for 130,000 years but with wind and solar power prices falling so quickly should investors even bother with geothermal stocks?

    Adam Galas, July 8, 2015 (Motley Fool)

    "Mounting global concerns about climate change have made the development of renewable and clean energy a major priority…One largely ignored source of near limitless, carbon free energy is geothermal power…[but] investing in this sector can be rather challenging…[because] with or without government subsidies, geothermal is at a substantial cost disadvantage to utility scale solar and wind energy -- meaning that only its ability to generate base load power works in its favor...[Most companies involved with geothermal power are so well diversified that geothermal makes up just a token amount of their business, or they're highly speculative penny stocks that most investors should steer clear of…[T]here is one company that represents a large enough pure play in geothermal energy that it might be worth keeping on your investing radar…[Ormat Technologies] has 50 years of experience designing, operating, and building geothermal projects around the world…Over the past eight years the company has posted 11% annual sales growth and managed to outperform the S&P 500…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015


    Koch groups try debunked wind attack for a fourth time

    Michael Goggin, July 1, 2015 (Into The Wind)

    “A new attack piece by a Koch front group, Institute for Energy Research, recycles their familiar attack playbook of starting with an inflated cost for wind energy and then mischaracterizing how the power system functions…Once the incorrect assumptions are corrected, this and other analyses clearly show that wind energy provides significant net benefits and is one of the lowest cost sources of electricity, particularly among low- and zero-emission energy sources…Much of the report regurgitates previous Koch-funded attack pieces…[It uses ] an old government estimate to claim that the cost of wind energy is $80.30/MWh, or 8 cents per kWh, while more recent market data indicates actual wind energy costs are less than half that amount. Specifically, market data indicate the actual average purchase price for wind energy was $25.59/MWh in 2013, or well under $50/MWh if the impact of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) on long-term wind purchase prices is removed…indicating that wind energy provides significant net benefits…” click here for more


    Massive wind farm to power Facebook's $1B data center campus in Fort Worth

    Candace Carlisle, July 7, 2015

    “Social media giant Facebook will invest up to $1 billion to build a massive global data campus in north Fort Worth, which will draw renewable power from a wind farm…[The Facebook searched the planet for] a shovel ready site with good access to fiber and renewable energy in a centrally located part of the country…By summer 2016, Facebook plans to complete construction on the initial phase of the data center campus…[T]he economic impact of the Facebook goes beyond the company’s capital investment…[to reshaping its industry towards] efficiency and sustainability…By the end of 2018, Facebook hopes to get to 50 percent renewable energy with the long-term goal of bringing it to 100 percent renewable energy in the future…That goal will be helped with a new [$287 million, 119 wind turbine, 200 MW] wind farm being built…to supply the campus with renewable energy…” click here for more


    New energy cell can store up solar energy for release at night

    Dario Borghino, July 7, 2015 (GizMag)

    “A photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) is a special type of solar cell that gathers the Sun's energy and transforms it into either electricity or chemical energy used to split water and produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells. In an advance that could help this clean energy source play a stronger role within the smart grid, researchers at the University of Texas, Arlington have found a way to store the electricity generated by a PEC cell for extended periods of time and allow electricity to be delivered around the clock…[The new cell] includes a specially designed…hybrid tungsten trioxide/titanium dioxide (WO3/TiO2) photoelectrode [that] can store electrons effectively for long periods of time, paving the way for PEC cells to play a bigger role within a smart energy grid…The system also includes a vanadium redox-flow battery (VRB)…The team is now working on building a larger prototype…” click here for more

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015


    Many Americans still lack access to solar energy. Here’s how Obama plans to change that

    Chris Mooney, July 7, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “…[The White House] announced an array of new measures to extend access to the most rapidly growing source of U.S. energy — solar — to a much broader group of Americans, including low-income communities and individuals who rent, rather than owning their own homes…That includes a new initiative to ramp up so-called “community solar” projects across the country — programs in which one solar installation supplies energy to multiple different homes or individuals – with a focus on serving low- and middle- income Americans. It also includes a pledge to install a total of 300 megawatts of solar and other renewables in federally subsidized housing developments by the year 2020…The announcements came just a week after the administration pledged, in a joint agreement with Brazil, that the United States will get 20 percent of its total electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030 — a target that would require tripling renewables…” click here for more


    How a Conservative Billionaire Is Moving Heaven and Earth to Become the Biggest Alternative Energy Giant in the Country; Philip Anschutz wants to turn his 500-square-mile cattle ranch into the world’s largest wind farm…

    Gabriel Kahn, June 29, 2015 (Pacific Standard)

    “…[In 2006, a] buyer was prepared to pay roughly $50 million for [the 500-square-mile high-desert [Overland Trail cattle ranch] in south-central Wyoming where the wind blows so fiercely people have to brace against it just to stay upright…[Owner Philip Anschutz] had become one of the richest men in America—with a fortune of nearly $12 billion—by figuring out an abundance of ways to churn wealth out of real estate, from oil wells and railroads to sports arenas and cattle ranches…[T]he market for wind energy was growing …[A]long the ridges of the Overland Trail Ranch are some of the only Class 7 winds in the nation…[and they start in the morning and gain force just when demand is peaking. With the TransWest Express transmission system to take wind-generated electricity straight from Wyoming across Colorado, Utah, and Nevada into a substation on the California-Nevada border] wind had all the markings of another Anschutz triumph…” click here for more


    Energy Companies That Stake Their Future On Gas May Be In For A Big Surprise

    Mike Scott, July 7, 2015 (Forbes)

    “Almost $300 billion of planned LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects could be surplus to requirements, suggests…[Carbon Supply Cost Curves] from the respected think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative…[T] here is some room for gas demand to grow while we remain within the ‘carbon budget’ that will keep temperature increases to safe limits, but not as much as the gas industry believes…The study finds that over the next 10 years $82 billion of potential capex in LNG plants will not be needed in Canada, $71 billion in the United States and $68 billion in Australia if demand is lower than companies project because of tighter carbon regulations, the introduction of carbon prices around the world, improved energy efficiency, the development of energy storage and the greater use of renewable energy. The value of unneeded LNG projects rises to $379 billion by 2035…” click here for more

    Monday, July 6, 2015


    Climate change turning male dragon lizards into females

    PTI, 6 July 2015 (The Economic Times)

    “Scientists have confirmed for the first time that sex change [of male dragon lizards into females] can occur naturally due to exposure to increased temperatures resulting from climate change…[Researchers from the University of Canberra were] able to show that a reptile's sex determination process can switch rapidly from one determined by chromosomes to one determined by temperature…[W]hen exposed to extreme temperatures [in natural conditions], genetically male dragons turned into [fertile] females…[With field data from 131 adult lizards and controlled breeding experiments, molecular analyses] showed that some warmer lizards had male chromosomes but were actually female…[From studying the new breeding lines, they discovered those lizards] could trigger a rapid transition from a genetically-dependent system to a temperature-dependent system…[The] sex-reversed mothers - females who are genetic males - laid more eggs than normal mothers…[and the] ‘dad lizards make better mums’…” click here for more


    Record-breaking flight shows the power of solar energy; Solar Impulse 2's flight from Japan to Hawaii, using only solar power, has put clean technology back on the agenda.

    5 July 2015 (AlJazeera)

    "A record-breaking flight using electricity produced from the sun is showcasing what is possible using clean technology…The accomplishment marks the latest leg of a round-the-world mission by two Swiss explorers to promote the promise of clean technology...Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9 on the first stage of a 35,000 km journey…The sun-driven plane completed its latest leg from Japan to Hawaii… setting three world records in the process…” click here for more


    First Offshore Wind Farm in U.S. Powers Ahead; Proponents of Block Island project hope its five towering windmills will boost coastal sites

    Jon Kamp, July 2, 2015 (Wall Street Journal)

    “…Five towering windmills off the [Block Island]’s southeast coast are scheduled to begin generating power late next year…[Proponents] hope it will help jump-start the offshore wind industry in the U.S. The American Wind Energy Association trade group estimates there are 11 projects in 10 states in various stages of development. The U.S. lags behind other parts of the world in developing offshore wind, particularly Europe, which has been tapping the power source for more than two decades…In 2010, Rhode Island state regulators approved an amended deal for the state’s main power utility to buy the wind farm’s output…[T]he project is fully financed and permitted, and workers are expected to begin anchoring steel foundations to the ocean floor [in late July]…The new power source means Block Island residents will see their power bills go down roughly 30% by replacing the expensive diesel power…” click here for more

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015


    James Cameron’s Plan to Fix Solar Panels

    Alissa Walker, June 30, 2015 (GizModo)

    “…[Avatar director, deep-sea explorer, NASA advisor, and all around badass James Cameron has turned his attention to solar. Panels] are installed a certain way on-site to receive the peak amount of solar energy, but this optimal placement also means the panels’ performance will plummet at other times of the day…[whereas Cameron decided] the design needed to be able to track with the sun’s movement throughout the day, increasing productivity, and not rely on a roof’s pitch for optimized installation…[Cameron] chose a sunflower…

    “Cameron then worked with the solar company Sonnen…The first Sun Flowers were installed last month on the Malibu campus of the MUSE School, a nonprofit school focused on environmental learning which was cofounded by his wife Suzy Amis Cameron…The grid-tied system is currently generating about 260 kWh per day, which provides about 75 to 90 percent of the school’s power needs, but Cameron believes in the upcoming summer months the panels could supply the full 100 percent…” click here for more


    Vestas racking up big orders for new U.S. wind farms

    Cathy Proctor, June 30, 2015 (Denver Business Journal)

    "Vestas Wind Systems is racking up more orders from customers eager to put the Danish manufacturer’s wind turbines to work across the United States…[It has] orders for more than 250 of its wind turbines for U.S. wind farms. And Vestas’ factories in Colorado will be building components for those wind farms…Vestas employs nearly 3,000 people in the state and has four factories…The wind industry has been revving lately in the United States, following an extension of the federal wind Production Tax Credit, worth $23 for every megawatt-hour of power produced for 10 years. New wind farms where at least 5 percent of the budget was spent in 2014 will qualify for the credit…” click here for more


    In Battle to Produce World’s First Truly-Affordable Long-Range Electric Car, VW Throws its Hat into the Ring

    Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, June 30, 2015 (Transport Evolved)

    "With the exception of the high-end, high-priced Tesla Model S electric sedan, the majority of mass-market electric cars on sale today still offer a real-world range of between 60 and 110 miles…[M]ost advocates and automakers alike all quietly agree that in order to accelerate the mass-adoption of electric vehicles beyond their already-positive levels, cars need to be developed which are both affordable and offer double or even triple [the battery range] of today’s vehicles…Consequentially, Nissan, General Motors and Tesla Motors are all racing to bring next-generation electric models to market in the next few years which offer a price point of around $35,000 as well as real-world, achievable [200 miles per charge] ranges…Now German Automaker Volkswagen has thrown its hat into the ring…” click here for more