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It's Time for Gov. Snyder to Lead on a Clean Energy Future

January 21 -- On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder will offer details on his agenda for 2015, and there’s good reason to believe that clean energy will be a key component of his plan.

In his first term, Snyder introduced a “no regrets” energy plan, focusing on four key areas: adaptability, reliability, affordability, and protection of the environment. Last year, Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature introduced a plan to accomplish these goals by increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy and reducing energy waste. >>View Article

There Are About as Many Solar Jobs as Coal Jobs in the US

January 20 -- Putting solar power on rooftops is pretty labor-intensive. You need people to design and manufacture the panels. Then people to market the panels to homes and businesses. Then people to come and install them.

That's a lot of jobs. Even though solar power provides just a tiny fraction of electricity in the United States — about 0.4 percent — the solar industry now employs roughly 174,000 people, according to a survey from the non-profit Solar Foundation. And the industry is expected to add another 36,000 jobs in 2015, as rooftop installations keep rising at a rapid clip. >>View Article

Solar Leading Falling Renewable Energy Costs, Says IRENA

January 20 -- The cost of solar power is falling faster than any other technology, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found.

Power from utility-scale PV plants has fallen 50% since 2010 while the cost of installation fell 65% between 2010 and 2014. IRENA noted the recent tender process in Dubai which will see a 200MW plant developed in the emirate at a cost of less than US$0.06/kWh. >>View Article

Sen. Bennet Explains Wind Energy Tax Credit

January 20 -- U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is pushing to extend the wind-production tax credit through and potentially past 2015, to help provide more stability to the wind industry.

Known as a Production Tax Credit, or PTC, it is a 2.2 cent credit per kilowatt hour given to wind farmers on electricity generated from wind, which ultimately reduces the cost of developing a wind farm and helps wind-turbine companies compete in the energy markets. >>View Article

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


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