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No Renewable Left Behind

June 16 -- Throughout the country, there are more than 80,000 dams, primarily used
for flood control and irrigation. Today, just a mere three percent (roughly 2,500
dams) are equipped to generate affordable, clean power to our homes, businesses and
schools. But that three percent produces nearly 7 percent of the nation’s
electricity and serves every region of the country – with room to grow. Hydropower
has significant and real potential for increased capacity, particularly on existing
infrastructure.

This untapped potential, however, is only the beginning of the story. As America’s
largest source of renewable and emissions-free energy, hydropower helps the nation
avoid over 190 million metric tons of CO2 each year – the equivalent of over 40
million passenger cars. Yet, expanding use of this clean energy solution is
hindered by outdated regulatory and permitting barriers. >>View Article

White House Raises $4 Billion for Clean Energy

June 16 -- The White House is touting $4 billion in commitments from the private sector to invest in clean energy technologies as it convenes a Clean Energy Investment Summit Tuesday.

And the Obama administration is announcing new executive actions it hopes will make it easier for the private sector to interest in solar, wind and fuel cell technologies. The Treasury Department is releasing new guidance allowing charitable foundations to invest in for-profit companies doing clean energy research as a "mission-related investment."  >>View Article

The Promise of Wind Energy in Virginia: Look to Denmark

June 16 -- This year, the federal government said it would give nearly $47 million to each of three states hoping to develop offshore wind power – Virginia, New Jersey and Oregon.

Virginia said it would partner with Dominion Power to build a demonstration project, but the utility now says it can’t get started, because installing a couple of turbines is too expensive. Meanwhile, Denmark reports it’s getting nearly 40% of its power from wind. How did such a tiny country do that, and what could we learn from the Danes?  >>View Article

This Is What Happens When A State Seriously Invests In Clean Energy

June 16 -- Solar farms are blooming across California’s deserts, wind turbines are
climbing the Sierra, photovoltaic roofs are shimmering over suburbs, and Teslas are
the Silicon Valley elite’s new ride. A clean energy rush is transforming the Golden
State so quickly that nearly a quarter of its electricity now comes from renewable
sources, and new facilities, especially solar, are coming online at a rapid rate.
Last year, California became the first state to get more than 5 percent of its
electricity from the sun.

With its goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020 now within reach, Governor
Jerry Brown recently raised California’s bar, ordering the state to cut its
greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below the 1990 level within the next 15
years — the most ambitious target in North America. To meet the new directive,
planners say Californians will need to step up their energy transition even more:
doubling energy efficiency, boosting electric transportation, and getting at least
twice as much of their electricity from renewables. Energy experts caution that it
will take effort, but they say it’s doable.  >>View Article

Renewal of Production Tax Credit Important to Oklahoma, Nation

June 15 -- The winds of change are blowing in Oklahoma. Within two decades, wind energy here could power the equivalent of almost 2 million homes.

That’s according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. According to this report, wind energy could comprise one-fifth of the domestic electricity market by 2030. Advanced turbines will be able to reach higher and stronger winds, bringing wind energy development to every state in the nation. That rise promises to generate huge economic benefits here in Oklahoma and all across the country.  >>View Article

Biofuels are Cleaner Energy that Should be Encouraged

June 15 -- It's hard to imagine a more vulnerable time for American farmers and ranchers than the current period, in which the world is entering a period of climate change that is being felt in every state of the union today. The weather has always been one of the biggest variables in farming and ranching, and now that statement has been multiplied by a factor of 10.

Unfortunately, the inventions of the 20th Century that have improved our lives in so many ways have also greatly contributed to the declining health of the planet. One of the biggest culprits remains the burning of fossil fuels that not only provide fuel for our cars but also power for our homes.  >>View Article

Roper: Solar energy is the future

June 15 -- My 23-year-old grandson recently asked me, “How can you be so optimistic about the future?” I gave him what probably was a lame answer.

Since then an excellent book has been published, “The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy” (http://www.earth-policy.org/books/tgt), that answers my grandson’s question in great detail. I sent him a copy and he is enthralled with it. This book lays out how renewable energies are on a fast exponential rise to replace fossil fuels as energy sources for the world. There is a link on the web page for two online slide shows about “The Great Transition.” I recommend that all readers read “The Great Transition” and show one of the slide shows at their social organizations and/or church to give their friends reasons to be optimistic about the future. A recent massive study of solar energy by an interdisciplinary group at MIT (https://mitei.mit.edu/futureofsolar) concurs with “The Great Transition.”  >>View Article

Clean Energy is Inevitable

June 15 -- The question mark in the headline of the June 11 editorial “A carbon-
free future?” could be removed. We humans may be good at putting our heads in the
sand, but we are not suicidal.

While people in countries such as Germany appreciate that there is “wealth” to be
found in clean energy technologies, “good” wealth that is accompanied by job
creation, we Americans will go with fracking for a time. Our unfettered free-market
economy will see to this. Pushed by climate change and the environmental damage
caused by fracking, however, even we will look to technologies for harvesting
clean-energy sources. Faced with the inevitable, we will need to import these
technologies from countries such as Germany while playing catch-up. >>View Article

Save Resources by Funding Clean Energy for the Military

June 12 -- Members of Congress are currently divided over the question of whether the Pentagon budget should be increased or adhere to the current spending caps enforced by the 2011 Budget Control Act. However, there is a common-sense way to reduce Pentagon costs and conserve resources over the long-term that all members of Congress should unite behind. For FY 2016, Congress should fund and encourage military efforts to increase energy efficiency and the use of clean energy sources because doing so will save lives, conserve resources, and reduce conflict worldwide.

The military’s current reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable and costly. The Department of Defense (DOD) alone uses more than 80 percent of all fuel consumed by the federal government, and accounts for 1.3 percent of total U.S. petroleum consumption, the highest of any single institution. This dependence on fossil fuels can quickly turn deadly: airdrops to some remote bases in Afghanistan require seven gallons of fuel to deliver just one gallon, with each priced at up to a staggering $400. >>View Article

Solar Jobs: Growing at the Grassroots

June 12 -- For nearly a decade, first as governor of Colorado and now as the director of a clean energy policy group, I have been one of the many people working with state and federal officials to shape more sustainable energy and climate policies. It is a mission filled with the glacial pace of governments and constant competition with other priorities.

From time to time, however, I am reminded that much of the best work on America's necessary transition to a sustainable energy economy is being done at the grassroots level. The solar energy revolution is progressing community by community. >>View Article

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