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Advancing Solar Power in S.C.

March 31 -- A glimmer of sunlight has appeared in the stormy debate about solar energy in South Carolina. Solar energy advocates and utility representatives, long at odds with each other, have come to a compromise, which bodes well for the state.

The deal still needs to be approved by the Legislature and checked out by the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff. Both should welcome the proposal. Indeed, it drew no criticism during a Senate subcommittee meeting last week.

In short, the compromise would make it easier for homeowners and businesses to save money on power bills by leasing and using solar panels. >>View Article

California Must Continue to Lead on Clean Energy: Guest Commentary

March 27 -- Under the leadership of Gov. Brown and his administration, California’s reputation has grown as a clean energy success story. Californians have refused to allow the nation’s stalemate on energy policies to prevent us from growing a robust clean energy economy that is driving innovation, creating jobs and stimulating investments, and helping to fuel the state’s recovery.

Our state, so far, has capitalized on our skilled workforce and renewable energy resources, putting us first in the nation on solar energy generation and second for wind-related jobs. California’s solar industry now employs more than 47,000 people who have installed enough energy to power well over a million homes and counting. In fact, according to the California Department of Labor, there are now more solar workers in California than actors. >>View Article

Study: $6 Billion Spent on Oklahoma Wind Energy

March 27 -- A study commissioned by The Wind Coalition says developers have invested more than $6 billion in Oklahoma’s wind energy industry.

The study released Wednesday says there are 26 active wind farms in the state. Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation in the amount of wind energy generated for consumers. That’s enough to power almost 770,000 homes each year. >>View Article

Guest View: Cape Wind Opponents Ignore Too Many Facts

March 27 -- Cape Wind won four major victories this month when a federal court decisively upheld the permitting of what will soon be the nation's first offshore wind farm. These wins cap a decade of legal challenges to Cape Wind, which has triumphed in each and every battle initiated by well-funded opponents to the project. Now, Cape Wind's developers finally have a clear path to completing the financing required to make offshore wind a reality in Massachusetts.

This triumph is good news for New Bedford, but it also highlights the great amount of misinformation that exists about Cape Wind. Comprehensive and rigorous permitting reviews by 17 federal and state agencies have produced an administrative record of over 400,000 pages. The key findings: Cape Wind would provide significant environmental, economic and energy benefits to Massachusetts and to the nation as a whole. >>View Article

Wind Farms Flourish Across The U.S. As Interest In Renewable Energy Skyrockets

March 27 -- In New York and many other cities across the U.S., you’re likely to have access to a program that will allow your home to be powered with wind energy through your local utility, reducing your home’s reliance on climate-changing fossil fuels for electricity.

But where are the wind farms that produce that energy?

Two new online interactive maps produced by the federal government show where the nation’s wind farms are, how quickly they were built and what impact they may have on the landscape. >>View Article

Sister Vicki Bergkamp and Stu Dalheim: RPS is Right for Our Future

March 26 -- In 2009, Kansas adopted a renewable portfolio standard, which set a goal for utilities in the state to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020. In the five years since then, Kansas’ RPS has succeeded spectacularly.

The 19 wind farms operating or under construction in the state have created more than 12,300 jobs for Kansas citizens, $13.7 million in payments to landowners annually, and $10.4 million in contributions to communities each year. And this has been achieved without any significant increases in electricity costs for customers. >>View Article

Even Oil Companies Don't Want a 'Roasted World'

March 26 -- When climate scientist Rosina Bierbaum speaks, her central theme is the "roasted world" -- a bleak picture of what the planet will probably look like if carbon pollution continues unchecked, leading to 4 degrees Celsius of warming by mid-century.

Four degrees may not sound like a lot -- but it would change our lives drastically. >>View Article

Eagle Editorial: Leave Renewable Energy Standard Alone

March 26 -- Kansas’ 5-year-old renewable portfolio standard is a proven winner in ramping up Kansas as a leader in wind energy – and undeserving of the attack underway at the Statehouse.

The RPS requires that by 2016 the utility companies regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar – a milestone already met – and that such generation reach 20 percent by 2020. Having the law in Kansas has helped attract $7 billion in investment and more than 12,000 jobs. >>View Article

Why Liberals Shouldn't Be Afraid of Big Money

March 26 -- Liberals everywhere: It is time for a different kind of climate legislation.

In order for the U.S. energy economy to power itself into the future, it must develop new relationships with Wall Street. This idea may not appeal to the populist column of renewables advocates, but there are good reasons why anyone interested in avoiding climate disaster needs to be open to this idea. >>View Article

Grid Parity: Why Electric Utilities Should Struggle to Sleep at Night

March 26 -- What’s good news for those concerned with climate change, and bad news for electric utilities? That’s grid parity, which is sometimes called socket parity. It exists when an alternative energy source generates electricity at a cost matching the price of power from the electric grid.

As grid parity becomes increasingly common, renewable energy could transform our world and slow the effects of climate change. Advances in solar panels and battery storage will make it more realistic for consumers to dump their electric utility, and power their homes through solar energy that is stored in batteries for cloudy days. >>View Article

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