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Study: Wind Farms are a Smart Long-Term Investment

February 24 -- There has been some debate about whether wind turbines have a more limited shelf life than other energy technologies. However, a new study suggests that wind turbines can remain productive for up to 25 years, making wind farms an attractive long-term choice for energy investors. >>View Article

Megan Palmer: R.I. Wind Power Leads Way for U.S.

February 24 -- Rhode Island expects to obtain 16 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2019. The state’s plan also requires that Rhode Island diversify its energy sources and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. These standards reflect Rhode Island’s commitment to providing secure, clean, cheap energy while making efforts to respond to climate change.

But we’re not there yet. Instead, over 90 percent of the state’s power needs are provided for by natural gas. The time is now to refocus on our statewide goals for the production of clean energy and to lead the way for the nation in support of renewable-energy technologies. Rhode Island is at a distinct advantage: An offshore wind farm is already in the works. >>View Article

Bill Jones: Ethanol is Asset to State, Nation

February 20 -- The Bee published a commentary on Feb. 14 by Tom Tanton titled "Making Ethanol is Wasting California's Water." The premise of the opinion piece was that the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that sets a minimum level of renewable fuel to be used in America should be done away with because ethanol consumes too much water in California. That opinion doesn't square with reality and the facts.

The RFS has reduced gasoline demand, decreased our reliance on foreign oil and improved our environmental impact. On a cumulative basis, ethanol has accounted for 8 out of every 10 barrels of new liquid fuel from U.S. sources from 2005 to 2011. >>View Article

Tesla Projects Big Increase in Production

February 20 -- Tesla Motors Inc. had a wildly successful run as a niche auto maker over the past year, capped by fourth quarter results that exceeded its projections. Now, Chief Executive Elon Musk must navigate the even trickier road to becoming a high-volume, global player. >>View Article

Efficiency Gets Credit for Milestone Drop in Midwest Demand

February 20 -- Clean energy advocates are pointing to recent reports on electricity use in the Midwest as clear evidence that state efficiency programs and technological advances are paying dividends in the region and fundamentally altering the landscape for utilities, regulators and consumers.

One example is a recent projection from the Midwest’s grid operator that showed electricity demand in the region is expected to decline almost 1 percent annually through 2016. >>View Article

POET-DSM says Iowa Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Running by June

February 19 -- An Iowa ethanol plant that will be one of the first producers of biofuels made from crop waste will be operating by June, a general manager of the plant said in an interview on Tuesday.

POET-DSM, a joint operation between leading U.S. ethanol maker POET LLC and Dutch food and chemicals group DSM, will be among the largest to make so-called advanced biofuels on a commercial scale. >>View Article

Operation Free says the Military's Investment in Clean Energy will Keep America Safe

February 19 -- It's tempting to think of Operation Free as a David challenging the U.S. military's Goliath.

The group of vets and national security experts formed in 2009 as a campaign of the Truman National Security Project, to raise awareness of, and advocate for, legislation that encourages investments in clean technology, with emphasis on protecting and expanding the military's investments in green tech.

But the organization's Brett Hunt, a 33-year-old former Army captain who served in the invasion of Iraq, says the military doesn't need to be convinced of the benefits of clean energy — it's already on board. Rather, he says, Operation Free spends most of its time convincing legislators that clean energy saves lives and protects the country. >>View Article

Atkinson, Brack: Energy Efficiency Yields More than Lower Utility Bills

February 19 -- Improving the energy efficiency of your home saves you money on your utility bill.

But there are broader benefits that accrue as consumers and businesses weatherize and retrofit their homes and buildings.

For example, using less energy in the home reduces the need for government fuel subsidies, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a federal program that helps pay for home heating and cooling for the most vulnerable and low-income residents. >>View Article

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