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The Best Idea in a Long Time: Covering Parking Lots with Solar Panels

January 29 -- America is a nation of pavement. According to research conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, most cities’ surfaces are 35 to 50 percent composed of the stuff. And 40 percent of that pavement is parking lots. That has a large effect: Asphalt and concrete absorb the sun’s energy, retaining heat — and contributing to the “urban heat island effect,” in which cities are hotter than the surrounding areas.

So what if there were a way to cut down on that heat, cool down the cars that park in these lots, power up those parked cars that are electric vehicles (like Teslas), and generate a lot of energy to boot? It sounds great, and there is actually a technology that does all of this — solar carports. >>View Article

Watch People Freak Out Over Tesla's New 'Insane Mode'

January 29 -- Tesla’s all-wheel drive Model S P85D was designed as a sports car for the electric age. To convince car buyers that electric vehicles could be quick and powerful, Tesla designed the P85D to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds and reach top speeds of 155 mph. >>View Article

Low Oil Prices Won't Hurt Renewable Energy, Says US EIA

January 29 -- Cheap oil is not about to kill off wind and solar power as some experts have claimed, the US government’s chief energy analyst said on Wednesday.

The historic drop in crude oil prices, with Brent crude trading at $49.04 a barrel in London on Wednesday, had raised fears that renewable energy sources would struggle to compete. >>View Article

Offshore Wind Power Means Better Business, Better Beaches

January 28 -- The push by some politicians and the oil industry to expand offshore drilling to the Atlantic is the wrong way to create jobs and lower gas prices. In fact, offshore wind development off the East Coast could produce twice as many jobs and energy as offshore drilling while alleviating the risk of catastrophic oil spills.

Oceana's recent report, Offshore Energy by the Numbers, An Economic Analysis of Offshore Drilling and Wind Energy in the Atlantic, considered the amount of economically recoverable oil and gas in the Atlantic and made conservative estimates of offshore wind development to compare these two activities. We found that offshore wind development in the Atlantic would produce roughly 91,000 more jobs and could generate enough energy to power over 115 million homes in the next 20 years, which is almost double the job creation and energy potential of Atlantic oil. >>View Article

Pa. Must Work Toward Carbon Neutrality

January 28 -- The world must become carbon neutral by mid- to late century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to a United Nations report released in November.

And with Pennsylvania producing almost 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, it has a duty to work toward carbon neutrality. >>View Article

Wind Energy to Power Portion Of Whirlpool's Ohio Facility

January 28 -- Add Whirlpool to the list of corporate purchases of wind power that have come to the realization that on-site wind generation can significantly reduce electricity usage.

According to Whirlpool, the $18 million Finday Wind Farm, powered by five Goldwind GW 87/1500 wind turbines, is expected to begin in the spring. One Energy provided financing for the project. >>View Article

Go With the Wind

January 27 -- Scientists who tested a floating windmill off the coast of Maine a year ago have gathered enough data to build a full-size model that can be moved to take advantage of high winds.

The U.S. Department of Energy is using lasers attached to buoys to measure wind speeds at differing altitudes off the coast of Virginia Beach to learn how cost-effective it would be to harness the higher winds above sea level to power wind turbines. >>View Article

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