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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

Revive the Power of Wind

June 8 -- The wind power industry warned that language hustled into a
mid-biennium budget bill last year would all but shut down its
expansion in Ohio. And that has been the case. Eleven wind farm
projects, already approved by the state Power Siting Board, have come
to a standstill. That means the state is forgoing $2.8 billion in
investment, not to mention the ripple effect in economic activity, plus
roughly 1,400 megawatts of clean energy.

The state once was positioned to become a leader in renewable and
advanced energy. Then, state lawmakers placed a two-year freeze on the
renewable portfolio and did the same for advancing energy efficiency.
The provision slipped into the budget bill — without legislative
hearings or anything resembling deliberation — dramatically altered the
setback requirements for wind turbines, rendering the projects
economically unfeasible. >>View Article

Let's Keep the Turbines Turning

June 8 -- The winds of change are blowing in Pennsylvania. Within two
decades, wind energy here could power the equivalent of more than 1.5
million homes.

That's according to a new report from the federal Department of Energy,
"Wind Vision." Researchers found that the American wind industry could
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
promises to generate huge economic benefits in Pennsylvania and across
the country.  >>View Article

Nebraska Wind Energy to Help Power 2015 CWS

June 5 -- Nebraska wind energy will help power the College World Series, organizers say.

The Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority and Omaha Public Power District announced a partnership Thursday to make the CWS a “green powered event.” >>View Article

Lester Brown: Sustainable Energy is Here

June 5 -- Fracking for oil and gas is booming across the United States. Low gasoline prices are making it affordable to wheel around in an SUV that gets 15 miles per gallon, at least for now.

But out of sight of most consumers there’s an energy revolution brewing, says Lester Brown. >>View Article

SD ranks among top states for renewable energy

June 5 -- South Dakota ranked fourth nationally in percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and hydropower during 2014, according to an annual index released this week by a consulting firm.

When measured only for wind-generated electricity, South Dakota finished second with 25.29 percent. Iowa led the way at 28.53 percent. Kansas was third at 21.67 percent. >>View Article

Ikea pledges €1bn on renewable energy and climate change efforts

June 5 -- Ikea, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, plans to spend €1bn ($1.13bn) on renewable energy and steps to help poor nations cope with climate change, the latest example of firms upstaging governments in efforts to slow warming.

Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall said the measures would “absolutely not” push up prices at the Swedish group’s stores. The investments will be “good for customers, good for the climate and good for Ikea too,” he told Reuters. >>View Article

 

Alabama on Track to Meet EPA Standards State Has Sued to Block

June 4 -- A national science watchdog group says Alabama is more than 85 percent compliant with new federal emissions standards.

The "Clean Power Plan" standards proposed last year by President Obama through the Environmental Protection Agency have been criticized by Alabama officials and Attorney General Luther Strange joined in a lawsuit with 11 other states seeking to block the standards. >>View Article

 

Why You Should Think Seriously About Going Solar

June 4 -- If you’ve been noticing more solar panels lately, you’re onto something. While only one in 100 houses has them, says David Feldman, senior financial analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, that’s 46 times as many as a decade ago. Some of that fast growth is due to a federal tax credit that is worth 30% of installation costs (and which is set to expire at the end of 2016). Some is owed to the fact that Chinese factories are churning out photovoltaic panels nearly as fast as flat-screen TVs. And a third catalyst is a new breed of financing options that virtually eliminate the tens of thousands of dollars in upfront costs of going solar. >>View Article

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