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Residential Solar Installs Post Largest Quarterly Growth Ever

June 10 -- Residential installations of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels in the U.S. led the solar power market in the first quarter of this year, posting a record sequential 11% growth rate. That's the largest such uptick in history.

Residential systems were up 76%, compared with the first quarter of 2014, according to a U.S. Solar Market Insight report released today. >>View Article

EPA Wrong to Diminish Biofuels Mandate

June 10 -- The Environmental Protection Agency has once again shown that it doesn’t understand rural America and the importance of agriculture to the country and the economy.

The EPA announced it is lowering the amount of biofuel needed under the 2007 renewable fuels law by more than 4 billion gallons in 2015 and by more than 3 billion gallons in 2016. EPA has proposed requiring refiners to use 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuel this year and 17.4 billions gallons next year. The proposed amounts, though, are lower than the levels established in the law, which called for using 20.5 billion gallons of biofuel this year and 22.25 billion gallons next year.

This is a blow to the rural economy and a shortsighted decision that will harm the country. >>View Article

The IMF Just Destroyed the Best Argument Against Clean Energy

June 10 -- For more than a decade, fossil fuel supporters have insisted that new clean energy technologies like wind and solar are far "too expensive" to replace our traditional fossil fuel dominated energy industries. A recent report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put a price on the direct and indirect subsidies that support fossil fuels as a counter argument to the renewables are "too expensive" message.

The numbers are staggering. The expected subsidy for fossil fuels during 2015 is projected to be $5.3 TRILLION - for one year! This means that approximately 6.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) will be dedicated in 2015 to just subsidizing our use of fossil fuels. Or as The Guardian pointed out in its summary of the IMF report, taxpayers are paying $10 MILLION per minute globally in subsidies for fossil fuels.  >>View Article

A Charlotte Entrepreneur's $175M Effort to Change GOP Minds on Climate Change

June 10 -- Jay Faison, founder and chairman of Charlotte’s SnapAV and managing director of the ClearPath Foundation, plans to spend $175 million to get Republicans to deal with the issue of climate change, says Politico.

Faison’s ClearPath will run a $165 million social media and online advertising effort “to get the Republican Party to shift its skeptical view of climate change and green energy, topics that usually fall to the bottom of its list of priorities when they don’t generate outright opposition among conservative voters.”  >>View Article

My Voice: Wind Energy Can Power S.D.'s Economic Future

June 9 -- The winds of change are blowing in South Dakota. Within two decades, wind energy here could power the equivalent of over 900,000 homes.

That’s according to a new report from the federal Department of Energy. Researchers outlined that the American wind industry can rapidly expand over the next two decades, comprising one-fifth of the domestic electricity market by 2030. Advanced turbines will be able to reach higher and stronger winds, according to a companion report, bringing wind energy development to every state in the nation. That rise promises to generate huge economic benefits here in South Dakota and all across the country.  >>View Article

Here's What it Would Take for the U.S. to Run On 100% Renewable Energy

June 9 -- It is technically and economically feasible to run the US economy entirely on renewable energy, and to do so by 2050. That is the conclusion of a new study in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, authored by Stanford scholar Mark Z. Jacobson and nine colleagues.

Jacobson is well-known for his ambitious and controversial work on renewable energy. In 2001 he published, with Mark A. Delucchi, a two-part paper (one, two) on "providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power." In 2013 he published a feasibility study on moving New York state entirely to renewables, and in 2014 he created a road map for California to do the same.  >>View Article

Will Congress Help the Greenest Generation?

June 9 -- Today’s generation of students may not be the Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw famously coined, but it can certainly be the greenest generation.

Those who grew up in the Great Depression and went on to fight WWII confronted a long series of challenges and worked diligently—even creatively—to find solutions to the world’s greatest struggles. Though our current generation of students aren’t fighting economic depression or world war, they are in fact building solutions to today’s problems in a very similar way.  >>View Article

From Ohio, a Warning on Freezing Renewable Energy Standards

June 9 -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was famous for saying that a state may, if the citizens choose, serve as a laboratory and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.

It is in this spirit that I warn N.C. legislators of the potential deleterious effects of freezing the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. Two bills before the N.C. Senate would cut the state’s clean energy goals in half and stall them at 6 percent of public utility retail sales.

In the past year, Ohio has already felt the adverse effects of experimenting with a REPS freeze and taking similar steps to move backward in energy policy.  >>View Article

California Setting New Solar Records at Rapid Pace

June 8 -- California generated a record amount of solar power last week — but don't expect the high mark to last long.

The state has already set 14 solar records this year, including the latest high of 6,078 megawatts of simultaneous solar generation. And experts expect a steady clip of new records over the next few months, as sunny summer weather kicks into full gear.

"We've had moments where the whole state was over 50 percent powered by renewable energy," said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar, a national advocacy group. "Think about that: the seventh-largest economy of the world running on what was formerly an empty pipe dream. It's absolutely amazing."  >>View Article

Solar Tax Credit Would Benefit State

June 8 -- With the special legislative session on the horizon, we have a great opportunity to support one of the fastest-growing industries in New Mexico, the solar industry.

The solar industry has grown at a rapid pace over the past few years. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of solar-related jobs in New Mexico grew 45 percent, to 1,600 employees. These are good jobs that pay high wages, $20 to $23.50 an hour, and cannot be outsourced to China or elsewhere.

Unfortunately, during the regular legislative session, a bill to support the solar industry in New Mexico was rejected by the governor after it passed with strong bipartisan support.  >>View Article


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