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The Power—and Beauty—of Solar Energy

June 13 -- Utility power plants are many things—sprawling, expensive, often polluting—but one thing they are not is beautiful. Power plants are the engines of modern society, but we’d rather they stay out of the way. The Ivanpah solar thermal plant is something different. Soon to be completed in California’s Mojave Desert, Ivanpah will provide nearly 400 megawatts of electricity. It will do so with the sun, but the not the way you might expect. Solar photovoltaic panels—the sort usually seen on rooftops—convert sunlight directly into electricity. That’s elegant, but limited—each panel produces only a little bit of power, and that power stops flowing as soon as the sun disappears. >>View Article

 

Midlands Voices: Wind energy bill to boost rural areas

June 12 -- The Nebraska Legislature has taken a momentous step forward this session to tap into one of our state’s greatest natural resources — wind energy.  My priority bill, LB 104, will add renewable energy projects, including wind energy projects, to the Nebraska Advantage Act. This legislation will allow our state to take advantage of this untapped potential and realize the significant economic activity that follows investments in renewable energy sources, especially for rural communities. >>View Article

Greenspace: Clean jobs are growing industry in Minnesota

June 12 -- Looking for a job to help you save the planet? You live in the right state for it.  According to Environmental Entreprenuers, an environmental policy group that studies Green jobs, Minnesota ranked 10th in the nation in adding new clean-energy jobs in the first quarter of 2013. The 189 new jobs, the group said in a June 4 report, come from 83 announced projects in the state as well as 106 projects that are in progress. >>View Article

U.S. solar installations jump in first quarter

June 12 -- The U.S. solar industry continued its healthy growth in the first quarter, according to a new industry report out Tuesday.  The U.S. added 723 megawatts of solar power from January through March, up 33 percent from the same period in 2012, according to the report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. >>View Article

How to Attract Private Investment in Clean Energy

June 11 -- Like a fresh wind setting in motion the blades of a giant turbine, a new idea for encouraging the development of clean energy has blown into the U.S. Congress. It is to allow renewable-energy companies to form master limited partnerships, a business structure that has long worked to attract investment capital to the oil and gas industry. Legislation in the Senate has support from Republicans and Democrats alike, not to mention the White House. We think it’s a neat idea, too. >>View Article

 

The business case for wind power: Opinion

June 11 -- People sometimes ask why an Internet company like Google has chosen to invest in the Atlantic Wind Connection — a multi-billion-dollar electric transmission “backbone” designed to carry power from offshore wind farms. The answer is simple: At Google, we believe investing in renewable energy makes business sense. >>View Article

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