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Mark Ruffalo feels right at home bringing renewable energy message to NASCAR crowd

July 21 -- Mark Ruffalo had a big smile on his face as he signed ticket stubs and posed for pictures at Chicagoland Speedway. A steady stream of fans approached the actor from all angles, but he made it look as if it was a small party with a bunch of old friends.

Ruffalo felt right at home at his second NASCAR race.

"This culture is really familiar to me," he said. "These are like my people. I grew up an hour and a half away from here in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So this is my kind of family. This is what my people are like." >>View Article

Lower prices, more chargers make electric cars increasingly viable

July 21 -- People reluctant to buy electric vehicles have often cited their higher price tag.

But some of the major brands have dropped in price over the years, leading to higher sales growth.

Brendan Jones, director of electric vehicle sales and infrastructure deployment at Nissan Motor Corporation in Nashville, Tennessee, says the prices for their popular plug-in vehicle, the Leaf, dropped significantly and are now comparable to gas-powered vehicles. >>View Article

Tennessee ties to hydropower run deep

July 21 -- This week, more than 3,000 people will gather in Nashville for HydroVision International, the world’s largest hydropower conference.

With its deep ties to hydropower, Tennessee is certainly a fitting location for the conference.

For more than 80 years, Tennessee has been a hotbed for hydropower development and advancement, with both the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers taking leading roles in developing the region’s vast water resources and creating jobs and boosting economic development for communities across the Volunteer State. >>View Article

Colorado a hub for wind power

July 21 -- Over the years, Colorado has been a clean energy leader thanks to creative, ambitious citizens and well-designed policies. Given that legacy of innovation, the state is now a hub for clean, affordable wind power, and stands to gain immensely from wind’s continued growth. >>View Article

Clean Power, Off the Grid

July 18 -- STANFORD, Calif. — AFTER years of hype, renewable energy has gone mainstream in much of the United States and, increasingly, around the world.

Enormous wind projects are moving ahead in oil- and gas-rich Wyoming, utility-scale solar projects are sprouting up in California and Nevada and tens of thousands of homeowners nationwide are installing affordable solar panels on their rooftops.

But many communities that need small-scale renewable energy remain out in the cold — literally and figuratively. >>View Article

Gov. Dayton: Minnesota should eliminate coal use

July 18 -- MINNEAPOLIS – Gov. Mark Dayton challenged energy policy and business leaders Thursday to find a way for Minnesota to eliminate coal from the state's energy production.

Dayton, who has spoken of his aim to eliminate coal before, said it's time to start talking details so that Minnesota can lead the nation. >>View Article

Paulsboro could benefit from leases for off-shore N.J. wind-energy projects

July 18 -- A federal government announcement on Thursday regarding leases for wind power projects off the New Jersey coast could be good news for Paulsboro.

The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Thursday proposed sale of leases for nearly 344,000 acres offshore New Jersey for commercial wind energy projects.

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt says the leases could eventually generate enough electricity to power 1 million homes. >>View Article

Bringing Life to Renewable Energy

July 18 -- Renewable energy has struggled to take off in the country. Fed up of federal inaction, 30 states and the District of Columbia have instituted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). That, of course, leaves 20 states that have not done so.

An RPS makes it incumbent upon a state, or even a country, to procure a certain amount of power from renewable sources, typically within a defined time frame. One of the most stringent standards can be found in California, where one-third of all electricity needs must be met by renewables by 2020. Arizona, on the other hand, has a much more relaxed regime. It aims for just 15 percent of generation through renewables, and that too only by 2025. >>View Article

Skyscrapers reach for greener energy goals

July 18 -- Owners of some of Chicago's most prominent buildings have committed to join an effort to slash energy use, after early participants reported a 7 percent reduction in less than two years.

Though the name of the game in building skyscrapers is to make them taller and grander, for those that sign on to Retrofit Chicago, the goal is to do more with less — cut energy consumption by 20 percent within five years.

"There are some buildings that did their entire five-year commitment in the first two years," Rebecca Stanfield, the Natural Resources Defense Council's deputy director for policy for the Midwest. "One of the big barriers we see to an uptake in energy-efficiency services is that while saving money may be high on a building executive's list, this isn't always the stuff they're paying attention to." >>View Article

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