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October 16 -- As the world's largest retailer and biggest private employer, Walmart commands attention from Wall Street to Main Street. But it's not what's happening inside Walmart stores making news this week -- it's what's happening on top of them. The annual Solar Means Business Report, which identifies major commercial solar projects and ranks America's top corporate solar users, was released this week by SEIA and Vote Solar. >>View Article

October 15 -- AEP-PSO has signed agreements to purchase nearly 600 megawatts of wind energy from facilities being developed in northwestern Oklahoma and the state's Panhandle, the electric utility announced Thursday. The purchase will provide AEP-PSO's customers with energy from wind farms near Seiling, Balko and Goodwell starting Jan. 1, 2016. The 20-year agreements are subject to approval of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. >>View Article

October 15 -- The Southwest Power Pool, the eight-state regional electricity transmission organization that includes Oklahoma, set a record for wind power generation on Oct. 10, generating about 6,400 megawatts for several hours. >>View Article

October 15 -- Members of the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee heard testimony this week on two bills that would roll back Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Backed by fossil-fuel funded special interest groups and their political allies, these proposals would undermine Ohio’s emerging clean energy industries and make the state even more dependent on coal and natural gas. >>View Article

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 14:22

Loan Program Boosts U.S. Geothermal

October 15 -- U.S. Geothermal now has its 22-megawatt power plant near Vale, Ore., online, sending electricity produced from Neal Hot Springs into Idaho Power’s grid.But two years ago, the loan guarantee it got from the U.S. Department of Energy was under fire. >>View Article

October 15 -- Innovation in solar, wind and other renewable power is booming worldwide, especially in China, and is now eclipsing that in fossil fuels — an about-face that occurred in just one generation, new research shows. >>View Article

Friday, 11 October 2013 18:38

Ethanol Promotes Consumer Choice

October 11 -- It is disappointing to read your editorial "The Ethanol Enforcers" (Oct. 8) attacking ethanol producers as well as Sens. Chuck Grassley and Amy Klobuchar. These champions aren't "bullying" oil refiners; they are standing up to the oil-refiner bullies. I support consumer choice. If you want to pay higher prices for gasoline without ethanol, so be it. But the oil industry works overtime to prevent consumers from having access to inexpensive ethanol blends, limiting choice at the pump. The ethanol price discount hasn't been mentioned once in a Journal editorial or article. Nor has the Journal mentioned that the petroleum industry is the recipient of 100 years of industry-specific tax breaks.  >>View Article

October 11 -- The number of patents issued for renewable-energy technologies has risen sharply over the last decade, according to new research from MIT and the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). The study shows that investments in research and development, as well as in the growth of markets for these products, have helped to spur this dramatic growth in innovation. “We were quite surprised,” says Jessika Trancik, an assistant professor of engineering systems at MIT and a co-author of the new report, published in the journal PLoS ONE. Trancik — working with Luís Bettencourt of SFI and graduate student Jasleen Kaur from Indiana University — created a database of energy-related patents issued in more than 100 countries between 1970 and 2009, using keyword searches of the patents themselves, rather than the classifications assigned by patent offices. In all, the team examined more than 73,000 patents issued for energy-related technologies. >>View Article

October 11 -- Whatever happened to next-generation biofuels? Made from sources like corn stalks or what straw that don’t compete with food, unlike current biofuels, next-generation biofuels were going to be greener and more efficient than corn-based ethanol, which is still the dominant source of biofuel in the U.S. When Congress passed the 2007 energy bill, it expected the country to be producing over 1 billion gallons of next-generation biofuels by 2013. But the advanced biofuel industry has developed far more slowly than lawmakers predicted, leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut the 2013 mandae for cellulosic biofuels to just 4 million gallons—and even that target could be difficult to meet, given that only 142,000 gallons are available now. It’s not that companies don’t know how to make cellulosic ethanol or biofuel from algae. It’s that they’ve struggled to do so cheaply and at a scale large enough to compete with oil. “The technology just hasn’t matured yet,” says Peder Holk Nielsen, the CEO of the Danish biotech company Novozymes, which has been involved in next-generation biofuel research and development for years. “It’s simply been too expensive.”  >>View Article

October 11 -- Daniel Rice takes taxis down long desert roads in Afghanistan’s combat zones to make sales calls. He travels at night, unarmed, and when he’s dropped at the gate of a U.S. military base, soldiers often call Rice crazy before whisking him inside. The former U.S. Army officer is there to sell commanders on something he wishes the military used eight years ago when he served in Iraq and lost friends in attacks on convoys: solar panels. Rice, co-founder of SunDial Capital Partners, tells the officers that his portable solar systems can reduce fuel consumption. “Why are soldiers still dying in fuel convoys when the military could significantly reduce its fuel at remote locations and at the same time save taxpayer dollars?” he asks.  >>View Article


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