NewEnergyNews More: March 2016

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  • Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    H-u-u-u-u-u-ge U.S. Solar Potential

    New NREL study details US rooftop solar PV potential at 1,118GW plus

    Mark Osborne, March 28, 2016 (PV Tech)

    “…[There is significantly more potential for US building rooftops to generate electricity from solar PV (photovoltaics) systems than previously estimated, according to Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the United States: A Detailed Assessment from the U.S. Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It shows]…the technical potential of 1,118GW of capacity and 1,432TWh of annual energy generation was possible, equivalent to 39% of current US electricity sales. This is almost double (664GW - 800 TWh) the previous analysis undertaken and reported in 2008…The significant difference was said to be attributed to increases in PV module power density, improved estimation of building suitability, higher estimates of the total number of buildings, and improvements in PV performance simulation tools that previously tended to underestimated production…NREL indicated that the latest total technical potential capacity analysis assumed a module efficiency of 16% to represent a mixture of various technology types…” click here for more

    Big Wins For Wind As It Gets Bigger

    Momentum building behind U.S. wind energy; For the first time ever, federal government uses congressional authority to join wind power program.

    Daniel J. Graeber, March 28, 2016 (UPI)

    “…[In a victory for U.S. wind energy advocates, the Department of Energy for the first time used authority mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to foster cooperation between the private and public sectors on new electricity transmission projects by joining a line…[being developed by Clean Line Energy Partners to deliver] up to 4,000 megawatts of power generated from wind in Oklahoma and Texas through a 705-mile power line that would serve the energy needs of up to 1.5 million homes in the [the Southeast]…Data released last week from the U.S. Energy Department show wind power accounted for 41 percent of all new electric generation capacity last year. On a state-by-state basis, Texas and Oklahoma were among those states leading the way…” click here for more

    At The Verge Of The EV Future

    After the Tesla Model 3 launches this week, the world will know if Elon Musk called the electric-car future correctly

    Steve leVine, March 28, 2016 (Quartz)

    “…Over the last dozen years, [serial entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk has accomplished] the improbable—erecting a globe-spanning automobile company from scratch. His Tesla Motors is the only such success in at least a half-century…[But what drove Musk into autos in 2004] was to trigger the birth of a new, mainstream [electric car] industry…Last year, Tesla sold about 51,000 cars. Musk hopes to deliver another 93,000 vehicles this year…It would equal a mere 4% of the approximately 1.9 million cars sold in 2015 by both BMW and Mercedes…On March 31, Musk will finally unveil [the Model 3, a $35,000 sedan that will go at least 200 miles on a single charge]…It’s around the average cost for new cars in the US; and the distance is thought sufficient to alleviate most cases of so-called range anxiety…[P]redictions call for the Model 3 to be crammed with technology including autonomous functionality, and to feature Musk’s usual exquisite styling…[T]he first batch of Model 3 cars aren’t likely to reach our roads until 2019…The stakes are the highest ever for Musk. If motorists buy the Model 3 in the hundreds of thousands, he will have delivered on his vow to make an electric for the general public…” click here for more

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    Artists Drive Climate Dialogue

    Talk about climate change ‘heats up’ with Percolator exhibit

    Joanna Hlavacek, March 27, 2016 (Lawrence Journal-World)

    “… [Art isn’t data-driven or objective by nature. That is why the Lawrence Percolator’s “Heating Up: Artists Respond to Climate Change”] offers room for different voices and different ways to engage the viewer in an often-politicized issue, program organizers say…[The exhibition] is part of a month-long series of cultural and educational events scheduled throughout March and April. Sponsored by the Lawrence Ecology Teams United in Sustainability (LETUS) and Lawrence field office of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, ‘Heating Up’ has been more than a year in the making…[T]here’s a nuance to this conversation that isn’t in the broader conversation happening right now. It’s not black or white. Our hearts are in it too, [one of the artists said]…Artists of varying experience and training, among them professors and students, have contributed works varying from paintings, prints and drawings to sculptures, handmade books and installations [including Geraldine Emily Walsey’s ‘Pathetique’]…” click here for more

    DOE Backs New Wires For Wind

    Feds join wind energy transmission project

    Devin Henry, March 25, 2016 (The Hill)

    “The Department of Energy (DOE) will join a renewable energy company in planning and developing a 705-mile wind power transmission line project…The agency signed off on the Clean Line Partners' [Plains and Eastern Clean Line because]…it met all the standards necessary for a federal partnership under a 2005 law….[The line] will deliver up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power generated in Oklahoma and Texas to parts of the Mid-South and Southeastern United States. The DOE plans to help developers get the project up and running, the first time the agency has done so since Congress gave it the power to partner with transmission companies in the Energy Policy Act of 2005…[Several proposed Clean Line transmission projects] have run into local opposition [that DOE backing will help bypass]…” click here for more

    Michigan Debate On New Energy Heats Up

    Michigan Energy Policy Overhaul Pits Power Companies Against Solar Advocates

    Sam Ross-Brown, March 28, 2016 (The American Prospect)

    “…The battle between Michigan electric utility companies and renewable-energy advocates over a proposed state energy policy overhaul could deal a severe blow to the state’s small but growing solar-power sector. The regulatory overhaul, which mirrors changes being considered in states nationwide, would slash payments for solar consumers who sell excess energy back to utility companies while also significantly weakening the state’s clean-energy mandates…DTE Energy and Consumers Energy [Michigan’s two largest electrical utilities] have together spent more than $3 million over the past year on a massive media and lobbying campaign featuring media buys, campaign contributions to state lawmakers, and lobbying by industry representatives…But environmental advocates warn that the changes could decimate the sector [if lawmakers shift net metering payments from a higher retail rate to a lower wholesale rate]…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Wind Build Boosts Locals, Farmers, And Ranchers

    Wind power pays $222 million a year to rural landowners; 226 gallons of water savings a year for every American made possible by wind energy

    March 22, 2016 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “U.S. wind farms now pay $222 million dollars a year to farming families and other rural landowners…[More than $156 million dollars goes] to landowners in counties with below average incomes…[and wind energy generation] saves about 226 gallons of water for every American each year…creating another benefit for rural livelihoods that depend on significant use of freshwater to raise livestock or grow crops…The overwhelming majority of U.S. wind farms today operate in rural areas. Landowners in six states currently receive over $10 million dollars a year in lease payments, with Texas ranked number one, followed by Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Kansas. Landowners in 26 different states receive over $1 million dollars each year…About 70 percent of rural wind farms in the U.S. are located in low-income counties…” click here for more

    Community Solar Rising

    Community Solar and Virtual Net Metering; Utility Technology Disruption Report

    1Q 2016 (Navigant Research)

    “…[Utility-led community solar (CS) programs] offer solar energy to residential and commercial users in multi-story buildings and those without an adequate roof to support solar electricity generation…CS is enabled by virtual net metering, which allows consumers to offset part or all of their electricity bills with the electricity produced by the solar project. At the same time, utilities improve customer satisfaction and limit the economic and technical impact that rooftop solar generation can have on their business…By the end of 2015, 88.6 MW of capacity was deployed…representing an estimated $175 million in revenue…The total installed capacity for CS programs across the country is expected to be 1.5 GW in 2020, representing a $2.5 billion market. A number of drivers…point toward the potential for CS to capture 2% of the solar market. However, the resulting decrease in utility control and increase in retail competition will require a rethinking of current utility business models…” click here for more

    EV Industry Has Room To Improve

    New Electric Vehicle Report Card Gives Auto Industry Failing Grades in 2016

    March 22, 2016 (Lux Research)

    “…In the inaugural 2016 edition of Lux Research’s annual “EV Inflection Tracker,” the industry earned just 27 out of a possible 100 rating, mainly because of high costs and limited offerings with a driving range of over 200 miles…No carmaker has yet attained the ‘holy grail’ for EVs – 200 miles of all-electric range and a price tag below $33,000. The forthcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 should be closing in on that…Small plug-ins will continue to see the most action in the next few years…Luxury plug-ins don’t drive meaningful sales volumes but serve as early incubators of technology, providing critical ‘trickle-down’ innovation. Tesla’s Model S and the newer Model X lead this segment but Germany luxury carmakers such as Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are pouring billions into plug-in development…” click here for more

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    Earth Hour Inspires Fighters Against Climate Change

    Lights out for climate change: Cities around the world mark 10th annual Earth Hour

    March 20, 2016 (AP via New Orleans Times-Picayune)

    "Cities around the world turned out the lights Saturday evening to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour, a global movement dedicated to protecting the planet and highlighting the effects of climate change…As night came on, the lights went out in cities [in 178 countries] from South Korea to the United States in what the World Wildlife Fund describes as a moment of solidarity for climate action…Lights went out for the hour-long event — from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time — in Beijing, Moscow, Beirut, Cairo, Athens, Rome, and Paris. The lights atop the Empire State Building in New York [and the Eiffel Tower in Paris] were dimmed…, and some billboards in Times Square also went dark…In Seoul, the glass-covered City Hall was among several public buildings where officials switched off the lights…In Beijing, Chinese actress Li Bingbing showed up at the iconic Temple of Confucius, which was shut dark for an hour…The first Earth Hour event was held on March 31, 2007…” click here for more

    China Goes For New Energy

    China to More Than Triple Solar Power Capacity in Five Years

    March 21, 2016 (Bloomberg News)

    “…China plans to more than triple solar power capacity by 2020 to as much as 143 gigawatts to help reduce carbon emissions…The country will add 15 to 20 gigawatts of photovoltaic power annually in the next five years…China accounted for more than a quarter of global solar additions with a record 15.1 gigawatts of installations last year…[Its] total solar capacity was 43.2 gigawatts at the end of 2015, surpassing Germany as the country with the most installed solar capacity…The world’s biggest emitter of global-warming emissions is seeking to use [renewable energy] as a means to help meet its pledge of cutting greenhouse gases…Solar energy accounted for 3 percent of the nation’s electricity mix at the end of 2015…” click here for more

    Hu-u-u-u-uge Advances In Offshore Wind

    Offshore wind turbines could soon be taller than the Empire State Building: Giant blades would generate 25% more electricity

    Abigail Beall, 21 March 2016 (UK Daily Mail)

    “Researchers in the US are designing a new wind turbine that will reach 1,574ft (479 metres) into the sky…This is 100ft (30 metres) taller than the Empire State Building…The giant blades would generate up to 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity, 25 times more than a typical turbine today…To keep them stable, the diameter of the structures would be roughly 1,312 feet (400 metres)…The turbines wouldn't face the wind but would go downwind, aligning the blades to flow with the wind instead of fighting it…Instead of a single stiff blade, each blade will be broken into segments, allowing it to be built and transported more easily…The concept would also allow the blades to spread out when the wind is blowing lightly to capture as much power as possible…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    Florida Voters Get In The Climate Fight

    Florida Republicans Demand Climate Change Solutions; Democratic and Republican mayors in the Sunshine State realize something must be done about global warming

    Erika Bolstad, March 15, 2016 (E&E News via Scientific American)

    “…As primary voters in Florida go to the polls today, scientists, business leaders and political figures all say they've seen a shift this election cycle. Figuring out how to adapt to the economic realities of 6 to 10 inches of sea-level rise over 1992 levels in the next 15 years has become a bipartisan issue in much of Florida, particularly in places most vulnerable to rising seas…Already, the city of Miami Beach is pouring money into elevated roadways and pumping systems that keep high tides from flooding city streets, just the beginning of pricey plans to protect the city's $30 billion tax base. These expensive projects aren't just municipal problems for mayors -- losses to the tax base from sea-level rise or storm surge at a tourist draw like Miami Beach could be a costly hit not just to individual homeowners but to the state economy…The numbers bear it out. The twice-yearly Energy Poll at the University of Texas, Austin, released earlier this year shows that 81 percent of Floridians think that climate change is occurring. About 9 percent say it's not happening, and another 10 percent don't know. When the poll began asking that question in March 2012, 63 percent of Floridians said climate change was occurring. Another 26 percent said it was not, and 11 percent didn't know…” click here for more

    How To Cut Offshore Wind’s Cost By Two-Thirds

    Report on Offshore Wind in Massachusetts Confirms Outlook for Market Driving Low Cost at Larger Scale to Power State's Clean Energy Future; Study finds State's commitment to offshore wind would enable markets and technology to generate a more than 50% drop in cost – and below or at-market energy prices for ratepayers – in next decade

    March 15, 2016 (University of Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind)

    …[A] commitment by Massachusetts to develop offshore wind (OSW) energy at a scale of 2,000 MW, combined with ongoing technology and industry advances, will lower previously projected costs for the clean energy source by as much as 55 percent in the next decade. That kind of cost reduction, driven by market forces, will put offshore wind on a clear path to deliver clean power at competitive prices for millions of ratepayers in the Boston area and beyond, and make the renewable resource a key contributor to the state's clean energy future [according to a new report from the University of Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind]…The study says that costs for the first project in a 2,000 MW build-out of OSW will be [16.2¢/kWh, much lower than a one-off project cost of 24¢/kWh]. Further, costs will continue to decline and the last of these projects will reach a very competitive LCOE of 10.8¢/kWh…” click here for more

    Massachusetts Politics Slowing Solar-For-All

    New guide aims to help steer solar energy into low-income communities

    Katie Lannan, March 14, 2016 (State House News Service via WWLP-22News)

    “…[Massachusetts has been] a leader in making solar energy accessible to low-income communities…[but] that status could be at risk under legislation lawmakers are negotiating…[A new policy guide for low-income solar projects, assembled by national nonprofits Vote Solar, GRID Alternatives and the Center for Social Inclusion] examines models that open up solar access to affordable housing developments and low-income households, citing Massachusetts’ solar loan program and Green Communities Act of 2008 as successful examples…[until debates about net energy metering blocked growth because] it is not easy to keep solar projects alive while on a net metering waiting list, particularly low-income projects that tend to be more complicated and costly…” click here for more

    Monday, March 14, 2016

    Meaningful Personal Action Against Climate Change

    Wondering how you can do more to fight climate change? Check this out

    Clayton Aldern, 10 March 2016 (Grist)

    “…[Cool Effect is organizing one-time donations and/or a monthly subscription model for crowd-funding for six projects designed to cut carbon pollution and] they’re funded on a ton-by-ton basis, with the price per metric ton varying between $4.12 and $13.18. Current projects include a biogas program for animal husbandry in Vietnam, an improved cookstove program in Peru, and a conservation project targeting the Alto Mayo Protected Forest in Peru. More will be coming soon…The platform isn’t the kind of place where just anyone can upload their backyard urban garden project for funding…The nonprofit chooses the projects that its users can support…Cool Effect maintains a wholly owned subsidiary called Global Offset Research, which is staffed by scientists and financial analysts responsible for digging into potential projects’ viability…If a project falls under the Cool Effect hood, that means it has passed a detailed financial and management analysis, as well as cross-verification of its [additionality, transparency, and] scientific claims…” click here for more

    Third Party Financing For Wind Comes To The Midwest

    United Wind introduces third-party leasing to wind energy market; New York company working with Kansas farmers to capture wind

    Morgan Chilson, March 12, 2016 (Topeka Capital Journal)

    “…New York startup United Wind’s WindLease program,is pushing into the distributed wind energy market in Kansas and other Midwestern states, backed by significant international dollars and the opportunity for landowners to use third-party financing to tap into wind energy…[The financing plan] eliminates the substantial initial investment farmers and property owners would have to make to purchase a wind turbine…Instead, farmers can sign a 20-year lease agreement with United Wind, which would install and maintain the turbine…[Toronto’s Forum Equity Partners invested $200 million and Statoil Energy Ventures, an arm of Norway’s largest energy provider Statoil ASA, invested $3 million in United Wind last month.] According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2014 Distributed Wind Energy Report, distributed wind projects in the United Sates accounted for almost 1 gigawatt of energy generation from nearly 784,00 wind turbines…[but sales have] slowed after record sales in 2008 through 2012…[United Wind] hopes to change that by simplifying the process of putting in a turbine…” click here for more

    Sun Block In Texas

    Why the sun-drenched state of Texas isn’t No. 1 in solar energy

    Jeffrey Weiss, March 10, 2016 (Dallas Morning News)

    “…In 2015, Texas installed 207 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it ninth nationally…The 534 MW of solar energy currently installed in Texas ranks the state tenth in the country in installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 57,000 homes…Given the size of the state and the number of sunny days, that seems a bit low…And that total solar capacity is barely a static shock compared with the state energy demand. ERCOT says the peak summer load is about 70,000 MW…Compared with [wind’s 17,000 operating megawatts 5,000 planned megawatts, solar] is still barely an afterthought in the state…[But Texas is expected] to come up through the ranks in the next couple of years. There are utility-size projects in the planning stages [at cost-competitive prices]…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016


    What's the Answer to Climate Change? It’s not enough to let the market handle it or depend on geo-engineering.

    Robinson Meyer, March 8, 2016 (The Atlantic)

    “…[T]hinking about climate change requires a two-mindedness…Climate change is vast, hopeless, horrifying, anxiety-inducing, and imagination staggering. On the other, it’s a challenge without parallel in human history: a vast, fascinating, thrilling, inspiring, mind-bending opportunity…Climate change is finally getting solved…[by] the Paris Agreement…[but] it has no mechanism to force anyone to do anything…The cost of clean power is plunging…but there’s no rule preventing clean power and dirty fossil fuels from co-existing…The problem isn’t just climate change—it’s ceaseless growth…[Geo-engineering technologies are more of a threat than a solution]…This is only a tour of some of the solutions…None is both adequate and likely. So maybe it’s better to think in terms of management…As the climate warms, should we find aims other than constant growth…? What kind of society and democratic government will be best positioned to handle resource scarcity and the sequential emergencies associated with the now-inevitable consequences of climate change? How can we bring about that society? …And most important of all: Can the world both manage climate change and avoid its worst cataclysms, like hideous famines, mass migrations, surveillance-powered authoritarians, and World War III?” click here for more


    Iowa now #1 in wind energy

    March 1, 2016 (CBS Des Moines)

    "The data comes from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Officials said Iowa is now the first and only state in the U.S. to cross the 30 percent mark…[and it has the] potential to jump above 40 percent in the next five years…Iowa has 31.1 percent of wind energy as a percentage of the total energy generated in the state. South Dakota is second with 25.5 percent, Kansas is third with 23.9 percent, Oklahoma with 18.4 percent, North Dakota with 17.7 percent and Minnesota with 17.0 percent…[W]ind farms in Iowa have now attracted $11.8 billion to the state's economy…” click here for more


    Turning Windows into Solar Panels

    Victor Klimov, March 7, 2016 (Los Alamos National Labpotratory/U.S. Energy Department)

    “…While the price of solar photovoltaic cells recently has plummeted and their efficiency has gone up, challenges remain around siting vast arrays of solar-electric panels and finding ways to integrate them into buildings and other applications…[Working with quantum dots, researchers] from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy…achieved a breakthrough in solar-concentrating technology that can turn windows into electric generators and revolutionize the way we think about where and how we generate energy…Solar windows would also be practically unnoticeable while providing peak-demand period emissions-free electricity and grid independence]…Quantum dots fashioned from a light-emitting material…[are] nanocrystals roughly [10 to 50 atoms wide that] obey quantum-mechanics laws…[They] absorb light at one wavelength, efficiently convert it and re-emit it at another wavelength…By adjusting the dots’ size, we can precisely tune those wavelengths to suit our purposes…Turning windows into solar collectors is the kind of disruptive technology that can revolutionize energy generation…If this technology replaced all the glazing on the One World Trade Center building in New York City, the windows could power more than 350 apartments…” click here for more

    Monday, March 7, 2016


    More Minnesotans Believe In God Than Climate Change

    Mike Mullen, March 4, 2016 (City Pages)

    “…A new poll from the Pew Research Center ranks Minnesota in the bottom half of American states in self-proclaimed faith…[Minnesota's] 56 percent belief in God stands 39th [in the U.S.], and the 47 percent daily prayer rate comes in 43rd…The South has a stranglehold on the top of the leaderboard...Mother Jones dug out the shameful fact that a majority of respondents in 10 of the 14 states voting in…[the] Super Tuesday primaries do not believe climate change is "mainly caused by humans." Those results, from a 2014 study by Yale, capture a bunch of the southern states that voted…[But only 48%] of Minnesotans believe in man-made climate change, tying…[with Georgia and] one point below Texas…[Over 95% of scientists accept humans are] to blame for most global warming observed since the 1950s…[Minnesotans] are 8 percent more likely to believe in God than to believe the scientists…” click here for more


    Solar energy is poised for an unforgettable year

    Chris Mooney, March 2, 2016 (Washington Post)

    “…[I]n the coming year, the booming solar sector will add more new electricity-generating capacity than any other — including natural gas and wind…EIA reports that planned installations for 2016 include 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar — followed by 8 gigawatts (or 8 billion watts) of natural gas and 6.8 gigawatts of wind. This suggests solar could truly blow out the competition, because the EIA numbers are only for large or utility-scale solar arrays or farms and do not include fast-growing rooftop solar, which will also surely add several additional gigawatts of capacity in 2016…U.S. solar seems poised for not just a record year but perhaps a blowout year…[Solar Energy Industries Association numbers, expressed in direct current (DC) versus alternating current (AC), are] 11.8 gigawatts of utility-scale solar photovoltaic installations [and 4 gigawatts of residential and commercial solar additions, for over 15 gigawatts in total, consistent with the EIA AC numbers. The main driver of this yerar’s boom is the extension of the 30% federal] investment tax credit…” click here for more


    Wind energy boom spurs $77.4M expansion

    Kevin Welch, March 3, 2016 (Amarillo Globe-News)

    “…[After already building an over $1 billion transmission projectto deliver Panhandle winds] to the more populated areas of Texas…[Sharyland Utilities filed a request for a $77.4 million project] to double its capacity…[I]it would string a second high-voltage line on the towers it installed for the first line, which covered about 300 miles in the western and central Texas Panhandle and into the South Plains at a cost of about $630 million…[The Public Utility Commission of Texas agreed that because of] the dramatic and continued expansion of wind generation in the region, Sharyland should proceed with installation of the second circuit…” click here for more

    Wednesday, March 2, 2016


    Can Miami Beach survive climate change?

    John D. Sutter, February 29, 2016 (CNN)

    “…At even 2 to 4 feet of sea level rise, [Miami Beach, an island off South Florida,] will be considerably flooded. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 6 feet of sea level increase is possible by century's end. These are long-term trends -- measured in decades and generations -- but they're certainly frightening…[Some are leaving but the city] is regarded by many as a proactive leader in efforts to hold back the threats of rising tides…Susanne Torriente, assistant city manager and "chief resiliency officer" for Miami Beach, said the city has started an] incremental adaptation…[with] an aggressive stormwater program that includes installing pumps…[that] take the water and push it out…[It is also] elevating roads…[and improving its seawalls though. because Miami sits on limestone, which is porous, the water could] just go under them…[She said the important message is: Climate change is here and sea level is rising]…” click here for more


    Great Lakes Bay Region Seeks To Increase Its Solar Energy Footprint

    February 29, 2016 (WSGW-AM)

    “Solar manufacturers Suniva, Hemlock SemiConductor, Dow Chemical and Dow Corning are a big part of the Great Lakes Bay Region economy. Now a coalition is working to make the region a big solar energy user…The area’s economic development agencies Bay Future, Midland Tomorrow and Saginaw Future, with the Institute for Energy Innovation are starting the campaign to ‘Solarize Michigan’…Suniva will be the exclusive source of solar panels for the projects. Dow ‘PowerHouse’ shingles are also available at a higher cost. Three contractor firms have been chosen to install the equipment. The use of solar panels will cut energy costs and reduce the stress on the electrical distribution grid, especially during peak summer time use periods…Home owners and small businesses can take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit and the solar system, often good for up to 30 years, can pay for itself, through lower energy costs, in about eight years…” click here for more


    How much does electric-car range cost per mile?

    Stephen Edelstein, March 1, 2016 (Green Car Reports)

    “…[For] electric cars, range is a commodity…We looked at every electric car currently on sale, as well as the upcoming 200-mile 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3, and some of the longer-range plug-in hybrids…With anticipated base prices under $40,000, the Bolt EV and Model 3 appear ready to lower the cost of range drastically…[P]lug-in hybrids proved significantly more expensive per mile of range than battery-electric vehicles--likely due to their two powertrains…If Tesla can achieve its claimed $35,000 base price and 200-mile range, the Model 3 will offer the cheapest range of any electric car…Add in the $1,200 destination charge Tesla applies to all of its other cars, and the Model 3 achieves an impressive $181 per mile…That shows just how powerful a force a 200-mile electric car could be in the market…Right behind the Model 3 is the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which will also have a 200-mile range…[T]he Bolt EV will start at $37,500 before any Federal, state, or local incentives…That price includes destination, bringing the estimate for the Chevy to $187 per mile…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016


    Democrats Slam GOP Candidates on Climate Change: ‘Do Your Job’

    Cole Mellino, March 1, 2016 (EcoWatch)

    “…A new Democratic Party video slams] GOP presidential candidates for their stances on climate change…While Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both laid out plans to address climate change, all five remaining Republican candidates have either denied man-made warming or discounted the scope of the issue,’ Reuters reported…The video features clips of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio denying climate change, while several Democratic members of Congress explain how extreme weather—including flooding, drought and wildfires—is on the rise due to climate change…The group of Democrats draw a link between these environmental issues and the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month. They called on Republicans to ‘do your job’ and fill the vacancy…President Obama said he plans to appoint a successor for Scalia ahead of the November election, but Republicans have vowed to block that effort.” click here for more


    Solar, natural gas, wind make up most 2016 generation additions

    Tim Shear and Sara Hoff, March 1, 2016 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    “Electric generating facilities expect to add more than 26 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale generating capacity to the power grid during 2016. Most of these additions come from three resources: solar (9.5 GW), natural gas (8.0 GW), and wind (6.8 GW), which together make up 93% of total additions…[It would be] the first year in which utility-scale solar additions exceed additions from any other single energy source…[Planned utility-scale solar additions] is substantially higher than the 3.1 GW of solar added in 2015 and would be more than the total solar installations for the past three years combined (9.4 GW during 2013-15)…Most capacity additions over the past 20 years have been natural gas-fired units. About 8 GW is expected to be added this year, slightly above the 7.8 GW average annual additions over the previous five years…Additions of wind capacity are expected to be slightly lower than in 2015 [because of the longer term certainty provided by the just approved 5-year extension of the production tax credit…” click here for more


    Coalition seeks loosened wind energy regulations

    Kevin Abourezk, February 29, 2016 (Lincoln Journal Star)

    "…[A coalition of business, labor and civic leaders are calling] on Lancaster County leaders to approve policies that will allow wind energy development…The group has begun collecting signatures for a petition that expresses support for ‘balanced policies that allow wind development’ in Lancaster County…[instead of newly approved rules that establish noise limits of 40 decibels in the day and 37 at night for wind turbines…[which is similar to the sound of a library interior when no one is talking and makes it too difficult] to develop wind energy…[The coalition wants limits closer to [50 decibels during the day and 42 at night so that the county will not lose a planned Volkswind USA project and] $500,000 in new property tax revenue for local governments…Nebraska ranks third in the nation for potential wind energy development but only 20th in actual production…[Wind] energy projects in Nebraska are generating $5.3 million in annual income for farmers and landowners who rent land to wind energy companies, $8.6 million in annual local tax revenue and $2.3 billion in total capital investment…” click here for more