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Proposal to Boost Renewable Energy is an Investment in the State's Future

June 12 -- This region is in the difficult process of remaking itself from its smokestack past into a green energy hub with thousands of eagerly anticipated jobs in a growing industry.

That makeover is just one reason to support efforts by the state’s energy research authority to dedicate $1.5 billion over the next 10 years to push further development in renewable energy projects and extend the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program that began in 2004.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also wants to tweak the program to make it more efficient. The end result would be an increase in renewable generating capacity “by reducing project costs and trimming the cost of financing those developments.”  >>View Article

A Global Clean-Energy Target Worth Hitting

June 11 -- It's easy to get lost in the stultifying language, but the message from
the world’s top leaders on Monday deserves to be elevated: “Deep cuts in global
greenhouse gas emissions are required,” leaders of the Group of Seven nations
declared, “with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this
century.”

These words are a tad cumbersome and strategically vague — but nonetheless
remarkable. They project a world that uses little or no coal, oil or natural gas by
the end of the century, at least not without new anti-emissions technologies. They
foresee few or no greenhouse-gas emissions from the seemingly unending variety of
activities that produce them — power generation, cement production, refrigeration,
chemical manufacturing and air travel, to name just a few. If this vision is seen
through, humans’ complex dependency on fossil fuels would be broken.  >>View Article

Column: Brews Benefit from Clean Energy

June 11 -- At Rockford Brewing Co., we take pride in the quality of our traditional
and inventive — not to mention delicious — beer, much of which is made from
ingredients sourced from local Michigan agriculture. We take equal pride that our
beers are produced in the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly manner,
and we are proud Michiganians.

That’s why we support Michigan moving ahead aggressively with renewable energy and
energy-efficiency goals.  >>View Article

Setting the Record Straight on the Wind Energy Tax Credit

June 11 -- Don Nickles recently misrepresented the position of the American Wind
Energy Association on the Production Tax Credit (PTC). Let us be clear: As AWEA has
consistently stated, and as the Government Accountability Office recently
confirmed, without a long-term PTC extension U.S. wind power installations will
drop, many communities will miss out on the economic opportunities that come with
new wind farms, and American consumers will lose out.

This one tax credit is the primary federal incentive for wind energy, and provides
initial tax relief that has allowed wind industry to scale up against mature
industries that continue to get a wide variety of permanent subsidies after up to
100 years. A typical wind farm more than repays all of this short-term tax relief
in local, state, and federal taxes over the life of the project.  >>View Article

Your Netflix binges could soon be fueled by solar power, thanks to Amazon

June 11 -- Introverts rejoice: Your bleary-eyed, 3 a.m. blogging and TV binge-
watching just got a bit greener.

Amazon officials announced this week that it will purchase energy from a new solar
farm to be built in Virginia, Forbes reports. The state is home to many Amazon Web
Services cloud data centers, which power sites such as Netflix, Tumblr, Hootsuite,
and Change.org.

The new facility will produce about 80 megawatts of energy — enough to power a
large data center, according to Forbes. Last year, Amazon’s cloud storage was
accused of being especially dirty because much of it is powered by fossil fuels.
>>View Article

Amazon Backs $150 Million Solar Project in Virginia

June 11 -- Amazon Web Services, the e-commerce giant's cloud-computing business,
will support the building and operation of a roughly $150 million solar farm
planned in Virginia, with the project being named Amazon Solar Farm US East.

An Amazon representative declined to specify Amazon's financial commitment to the
project, saying the company wouldn't comment beyond a press release sent out
Wednesday.  >>View Article

Residential Solar Installs Post Largest Quarterly Growth Ever

June 10 -- Residential installations of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels in the U.S. led the solar power market in the first quarter of this year, posting a record sequential 11% growth rate. That's the largest such uptick in history.

Residential systems were up 76%, compared with the first quarter of 2014, according to a U.S. Solar Market Insight report released today. >>View Article

EPA Wrong to Diminish Biofuels Mandate

June 10 -- The Environmental Protection Agency has once again shown that it doesn’t understand rural America and the importance of agriculture to the country and the economy.

The EPA announced it is lowering the amount of biofuel needed under the 2007 renewable fuels law by more than 4 billion gallons in 2015 and by more than 3 billion gallons in 2016. EPA has proposed requiring refiners to use 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuel this year and 17.4 billions gallons next year. The proposed amounts, though, are lower than the levels established in the law, which called for using 20.5 billion gallons of biofuel this year and 22.25 billion gallons next year.

This is a blow to the rural economy and a shortsighted decision that will harm the country. >>View Article

The IMF Just Destroyed the Best Argument Against Clean Energy

June 10 -- For more than a decade, fossil fuel supporters have insisted that new clean energy technologies like wind and solar are far "too expensive" to replace our traditional fossil fuel dominated energy industries. A recent report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put a price on the direct and indirect subsidies that support fossil fuels as a counter argument to the renewables are "too expensive" message.

The numbers are staggering. The expected subsidy for fossil fuels during 2015 is projected to be $5.3 TRILLION - for one year! This means that approximately 6.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) will be dedicated in 2015 to just subsidizing our use of fossil fuels. Or as The Guardian pointed out in its summary of the IMF report, taxpayers are paying $10 MILLION per minute globally in subsidies for fossil fuels.  >>View Article

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