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Increase Focus on Energy-Efficiency

April 10 -- Last legislative session, the passage of Senate Bill 123 set a timeline to retire the Reid Gardner coal plant just 50 miles outside Las Vegas and mandated NV Energy introduce 350 megawatts of renewable energy in the next several years.

This is encouraging for Nevada’s clean-energy economy, but a glaring omission from SB123 was mention of improving Nevada’s energy-efficiency performance. The bill allows NV Energy to build up to 550MW of new flexible power. This flexible power could be anything from natural gas to solar energy, but the most cost-effective way to use that flexible power is through improved energy efficiency. >>View Article

Hawaiian Electric Gets $500k Federal Grant to Help Manage Renewable Energy

April 10 -- The Hawaiian Electric Cos. and partners have received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help the utilities develop systems to manage the impact of increasing amounts of renewable energy.

Hawaiian Electric’s partners on the project include the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Siemens, Alstom, AWS Truepower, DNV GL, and Honolulu-based Referentia Systems Inc. >>View Article

The U.S. Military Goes Green

April 9 -- The military is a huge consumer of energy and other resources. Roger M. Natsuhara is one of the people charged with helping it get greener.

The principal deputy assistant secretary of the Navy spoke with Wall Street Journal editorial-board member Kimberley A. Strassel about the Navy's efforts to run a cleaner fleet and other initiatives. Here are edited excerpts of the discussion. >>View Article

Big Manufacturers Urging Lawmakers to Keep Energy-Efficiency Benchmarks

April 9 -- A group of large Ohio manufacturers including Honda of America Manufacturing, Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) are opposing recent legislation to freeze Ohio’s renewable energy and efficiency standards at current levels.

The 11 companies sent a letter Tuesday to Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, and other government offices, urging them to spare the energy-efficiency requirements from a freeze. >>View Article

Falling Price of Solar Obscures Rise In Renewables Generation Share

April 9 -- According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 – produced by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance — the investment drop of $35bn was partly down to the falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems. The other main cause was policy uncertainty in many countries, an issue that also depressed investment in fossil fuel generation in 2013. >>View Article

Opinion: Bills Encourage Production of New Fuels

April 9 -- As a leader in wind energy and ethanol, Iowa is showing the nation that clean energy works — and it's good for more than just the environment. Bipartisan support for expanding production is helping Iowa create good jobs that strengthen our middle class. >>View Article

Crowdfunding Seen Topping $5 Billion for Rooftop Solar

April 9 -- Crowdfunding may supply the rooftop solar projects with $5 billion of investment within five years, more than 50 times the amount raised to date.

That would represent more than a quarter of all annual investment in that segment of the solar industry, said Tim Newell, vice president of financial products for San Mateo, California-based SolarCity Corp., which is the biggest U.S. solar power provider by market value. >>View Article

Congress Should Extend the Production Tax Credit, Develop a Long-Term Alternative

April 8 -- Last week, the Senate Finance Committee addressed several expiring tax provisions, including the production tax credit for wind energy. Although this provision has been extended multiple times with broad bipartisan support since 1992, it is one of several energy policies that have become unnecessarily politicized.

Fortunately, bipartisanship returned at the Finance Committee markup on April 3. Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, who was the original author of the PTC, brought their colleagues together to support an extension through the end of next year. The full Senate and the House should pass that bill. >>View Article

Study: Green Energy Drawing Investment Worldwide

April 8 -- Renewable energy is generating a greater share of the world’s electricity than ever before, as costs fall and profitability rises, according to a report released Monday.

“The fact that renewable energy is gaining a bigger share of overall generation globally is encouraging,” said Achim Steiner, the U.N. under-secretary-general and executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

“To support this further, we must re-evaluate investment priorities, shift incentives, build capacity and improve governance structures.” >>View Article

These Guys Get Paid to Play the Claw All Day

April 8 -- Remember the arcade Claw game, where you steer and drop a mechanical claw for a (negligible) chance to win a 10-cent stuffed animal? Well, that's what these guys get to do all day.

With crane-sized claws. And instead of taking home the "prize," they get to set it on fire.

The picture above is a window into the Waste-to-Energy industry (known in the biz as WTE), where cities, towns and private companies are turning trash into electricity. >>View Article

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