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Wind energy seen as key commodity in Oklahoma

July 11 -- It’s no secret Oklahoma is a windy state, but now wind could be put to use to benefit other areas of the United States.

Clean Line Energy Partners is developing a project that will take advantage of the abundant wind source in Oklahoma and transfer it to other parts of the country. Christopher Hardy, Clean Line Energy Partners associate, said Oklahoma is able to generate up to 30 times its electric demand through wind power. >>View Article

Why Big Tech Companies Are Investing In Renewable Energy

July 11 -- When it was completed in 2013, the London Array was the largest offshore wind farm in the world, designed to produce a gigawatt of electricity. In April of this year, Google GOOGL +0.67% announced that it had contracted for that much renewable energy over the course of seven different purchase agreements since 2011—the largest one being the most recent purchase agreement for 407 megawatts of wind-sourced power from MidAmerican Energy Company to supply its data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

One gigawatt was almost 20 percent of the wind power capacity for the whole state of Iowa in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Renewable energy seems like a natural solution for data centers, which are notoriously electricity hungry. Not surprisingly, the purchase of large contracts and certificates by big tech companies to green their images is driving a new wave of interest in renewable energy. But will utilities need to significantly expand their capacity to meet this demand? >>View Article

Bay Area Governments Make Big Electric-Vehicle Buy

July 9 -- A group of San Francisco Bay Area cities, counties and water agencies has joined forces for what is being billed as one of the largest single government purchases of all-electric vehicles in the country.

The six cities, two counties and two water agencies have united to buy 90 electric vehicles with the help of a $2.8 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional transportation agency, officials with the Bay Area Climate Collaborative said Tuesday. >>View Article

Equal and equitable access to solar

July 9 -- Many progressive solar energy policies that have benefited 11,000 homeowners and businesses, and made Massachusetts a national leader in renewable energy, are at risk of being curtailed under a bill before the Legislature.

The proposed legislation makes two laudable changes, establishing in law Governor Deval Patrick’s goal of 1,600 megawatts of solar energy in the Commonwealth by 2020, and eliminating the net metering cap.

Other aspects of the bill, however, make solar less accessible, and often more expensive, for citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, and cities and towns. By hurting solar consumers, the legislation also hurts local solar companies and the regional economy and environment. >>View Article

Like people, eagles benefit from clean environment

July 9 -- To Americans, the bald eagle symbolizes our freedom, spirit and democracy. With National Bald Eagle Day happening every year at the end of June, we are reminded of the need to do all that we can to care for and protect our national bird across the country.

Many man-made threats to eagles exist in the landscape today, including power lines, mercury and lead poisoning, and illegal shootings — with thousands killed annually by these sources. Further, according to most in the scientific community, the single greatest threat to them, and all wildlife, is climate change. >>View Article

The Emerging Clean Energy Edge

July 9 -- Global energy markets are reaching a tipping point. A pathway has opened for climate progress, but only if governments; business and public's recognize and exploit the opportunity.

For the first time, a large fraction of the world's fossil fuels could be replaced at a lower cost by clean energy, with today's renewable technologies and prices. And virtually no further investments in fossil fuels make long-term economic sense because higher fossil fuel prices over their useful life will be exorbitant. >>View Article

Renewables can put brakes on gas prices

July 7 -- As Americans hop in their cars this summer, gasoline prices are at a six-year high. Thanks to surging demand and continued turmoil in Iraq, gas is quickly approaching $4 per gallon.

With prices rising so fast, there’s never been a more important time for America to invest in alternative sources of energy. The longer we’re dependent on oil, the longer we’re at the mercy of foreign political turmoil.

One of the most promising alternative energy sources is ethanol, a renewable fuel derived from common agricultural goods like corn, woodchips, and grasses. Ramping up America’s ethanol production would drive down demand for oil and wean this country off the volatility and sudden price swings that come along with it. >>View Article

Some Go Solar for Savings, Not the Planet

July 7 -- When San Francisco game developer Matt Householder installed solar panels on his rooftop four years ago, he wasn't thinking about saving the planet. He wanted to increase the value of his home.

“My thinking was the cost of installation was basically going to be recovered when I sold the house because it increases the value of the house as a fixture," Householder said. "It’s like adding a bathroom." >>View Article

Obama's carbon emissions reduction plan not bad for business

July 7 -- A recent Hartford Business Journal op-ed by the coal industry lobbying group "Electric Reliability Coordinating Council" declared that President Obama's plans to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants will be "bad for business." The piece said the proposal would cost consumers too much, and have little impact on global warming.

It is instructive to recall that in 1966, Henry Ford opposed mandatory seat belt installation, claiming the cost would force his company's closure. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts have saved over 255,000 lives since 1975. >>View Article

Maine business owners tout value of renewable energy, urge government support

July 7 -- A century-old farmhouse, winsome llamas, a flock of chickens, rolling fields encircled by dense woods and distant mountains.

Quaint? Yes. But look again at Maple Hill Farm, an inn and conference center in Hallowell, outside the town’s center and not far from bustling Augusta. A wind turbine rises above the woods. Solar panels line the rustic conference center’s roof. Rooms are illuminated with LED bulbs. Every aspect of the care of the facility and its guests is informed by technologies and practices related to renewable energy and other sustainable initiatives.

“It’s been a deep-rooted part of my personal philosophy,” says Maple Hill Farm co-owner Scott Cowger. “I believe we should all be doing our part, as individuals and as businesses, to counter the effects of climate change.” >>View Article

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