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Solar Sales Moving From Sofa to Websites to Speed Orders

July 25 -- U.S. solar companies are borrowing sales techniques from online retailers to make paying for power as easy as buying an airplane ticket.

The $3.5 billion U.S. residential solar industry is seeking to automate a sales process that often requires representatives to visit prospective customers’ homes. Websites now predict how much power a rooftop system will produce and let homeowners compare prices from multiple installers. >>View Article

Electric Cars Finally Come Into Their Own

July 25 -- The auto industry has danced around the idea of electric cars for more than a century.

You can see some of the first incarnations this weekend at the annual Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth, where an 1899 prototype Oldsmobile electric will be on display.

It survived a 1901 factory fire, only because company founder Ransom Eli Olds liked driving it so much, he had it parked safely at home. >>View Article

Treat All Producers of Energy the Same

July 25 -- Critics, including big oil companies, say the ethanol industry shouldn't get federal support, like the Renewable Fuel Standard through which transportation fuel must be blended with renewable fuel. It should have to stand on its own two feet, they say.

OK, fine, but the federal government then should end all forms of support, like tax writeoffs, for all energy producers, including the oil industry.

Seems fair, right? >>View Article

Turning Heat Into Power in America's Heartland

July 25 -- In Ohio, as in many other states, most power plants operate at efficiency levels of just 33 percent to 45 percent. That means as much as two-thirds of the fuel used to produce electricity is released into the atmosphere and wasted.

As consumers, it's hard to imagine paying for 10 gallons of gas and being able to use only three. But that's exactly what our local businesses are experiencing as they pay their utility bills. Wasted fuel (coal, natural gas, or biomass) at power plants hurts Ohio's ratepayers and makes our manufacturers less competitive. By finding ways to deploy technologies that reduce waste and promote efficiency, we can help businesses save money on energy, achieve Ohio's clean energy goals, and grow Ohio's manufacturing sector, which employs more than 660,000 people. >>View Article

Hydropower And The Dams

July 24 -- To the Editor: In “Down Comes Another Dam” (editorial, July 22), you applaud the removal of a dam on the lower Penobscot River in Maine. >>View Article

Putting Real Energy In Tax Reform

July 24 -- "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" -- L.M. Montgomery.  Indeed, in life and strangely enough finally with this country's tax code, this country later this month is getting a fresh start on expanding what is possible as a nation in that arcane of all government endeavors. >>View Article

Electric Vehicle Sales Are Skyrocketing

July 23 -- Americans bought 40,000 new electric vehicles in the first six months of this year — more than twice the number purchased during the same period last year. And that was after sales of plug-in cars tripled from 17,000 in 2011 to 52,000 last year. >>View Article

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