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Solar Power Heating Up in Idaho

January 20 -- Idaho is going green whether it wants to or not.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission in the last several months has approved agreements with 13 solar power projects. >>View Article

Biofuel Success Continues in WNC Mountains

January 20 -- In Western North Carolina the answer is “Wrong.” Blue Ridge Biofuels is occupying a new facility in Catawba County that will raise its capacity to 3 million gallons a year. That’s nearly 10 times the amount it produced last year at its Asheville facility. >>View Article

South Central Regional Water Authority Using Solar to Keep Cap on Customer Costs

January 16 -- A one-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy panel array that is designed to provide power for treatment and pumping capabilities at the South Central Regional Water Authority’s North Sleeping Giant well field in Hamden sat idle for nearly a year because of problems associated with the system.

Work on installing the system was completed in late February or early March, said Kate Powell, a spokeswoman for the New Haven-based Regional Water Authority. But because of problems connecting the system to the region’s electric grid, the system didn’t start being utilized until earlier this month, Powell said. >>View Article

We Make Our Own

January 16 -- At first sight the story of renewable energy in the rich world looks like a waste of time and money. Rather than investing in research, governments have spent hundreds of millions of pounds, euros and dollars on subsidising technology that does not yet pay its way. Yet for all the blunders, renewables are on the march. In 2013 global renewable capacity in the power industry worldwide was 1,560 gigawatts (GW), a year-on-year increase of more than 8%. Of that total, hydropower accounted for about 1,000GW, a 4% rise; other renewables went up by nearly 17% to more than 560GW. True, after eight years of continuous increase, the amount invested dropped steeply in 2012 amid uncertainty about future subsidies and investment credits. But thanks to increased efficiency, less money still bought more power. >>View Article

Employment is Booming in the U.S. Solar Industry

January 15 -- The U.S. solar industry continues to expand, with its workforce growing by 22 percent in the past year, according to a report the Solar Foundation released Thursday. Since 2010 solar employment has almost doubled from 93,000 jobs to 173,807. >>View Article

Wind Power is Beginning to Look a Lot More Economically Viable

January 15 -- Wind power might not only be better for the environment than offshore drilling, it might make more economic sense too. A new study from Oceana, an environmental advocacy group, calculates that if wind farms were located off the Eastern coast of America, they could generate more energy in just 13 years than all the recoverable offshore oil and gas reserves in the Atlantic Ocean. What’s more, offshore wind would create 91,000 more jobs than offshore drilling in 20 years. >>View Article

New Jersey Should Leverage Private Capital to Achieve Resilient Energy Goals

January 15 -- Superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call. It further exposed New Jersey’s and our country’s vulnerability to extreme weather events linked to climate change, alerting us to the hard reality that our central power grid is outdated and vulnerable.

New Jersey, as well as other badly hit areas, turned their attention to enhancing the electric grid’s resilience. The federal government, New Jersey, and the state’s electric utilities have invested heavily in hardening the grid and promoting clean energy technologies – such as renewable energy, microgrids, and energy storage – to upgrade to a smarter, more flexible energy system that can withstand the effects of future storms and keep people safe and warm when they need it most. >>View Article

Saving Energy

January 15 -- As everybody who isn’t in solitary confinement knows, gasoline prices are now unbelievably low. So is inflation, and as a result there is less interest in energy conservation these days. Sales of electric vehicles and even hybrids are down, and there doesn’t seem to be as much interest in them from reporters gearing up for the annual auto show in Detroit.

Nor do I hear as much concern for the heating problems of the poor and homeless as we move into this harsh winter. Yet any rational person knows these low energy prices won’t last, any more than today’s snow and ice will be around in August. >>View Article

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