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Ohio Pressed Pause on Economic Growth When it Froze its Clean Energy Standards

March 19 -- Ohio shot itself in the foot last year and we’re only now learning just how bad the damage is.

In May of 2014, the Ohio Legislature froze the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy standards as a result of political pressure from Ohio’s largest power company, FirstEnergy, and other groups. This freeze came after efficiency measures led to more than $1 billion in savings for Ohioans, clean energy companies invested more than $660 million in 2012 alone, Ohio boasted the nation’s largest number of wind-component manufacturing facilities, and the state created 43,000 in-state jobs within the clean energy sector. >>View Article

Editorial: Energy For the Future

March 19 -- Like it or not, coal has a dwindling place in Michigan's energy future. Federal regulations assure that. Renewable forms of energy, nuclear power and natural gas will take its place, along with ramped up efforts to eliminate energy waste. >>View Article

California Could Power Itself Three to Five Times Over with Solar

March 18 -- Deserts and remote fields are popular spots for building vast arrays of solar panels, which generate dramatically more energy than individual homeowner rooftop installations. These areas are rich in sunlight while offering plenty of clear, flat land to work with. But what if we didn’t always have to go all the way out to these remote and potentially ecologically fragile areas? What if we could simply drive down the street and make use of the buildings and lands in areas we’ve already developed?

A new study suggests that such a strategy could work in a state like California, which is working aggressively to boost its renewable energy use. And it could provide a lot of power. There’s enough space suitable for solar power on or near land that humans occupy in the state to power three to five of today’s Californias, researchers report in Nature Climate Change today. >>View Article

Wind Energy Will be Cheaper than Fossil Fuels Within a Decade

March 18 -- Wind energy is growing fast. While it still accounts for less than 5 percent of the United States' total electricity mix, wind is by far the biggest source of renewable energy other than hydroelectric dams, and it accounted for 23 percent of new power production capacity built last year. Some experts think wind could provide a fifth of the world's energy by 2030. But wind in the US is always in a perilous position, thanks to its heavy reliance on a federal tax credit that is routinely attacked in Congress; the subsidy was allowed to expire at the end of last year, and its ultimate fate remains unclear. >>View Article

Green Jobs Are Growing, but Politics Get in the Way

March 18 -- The technology to produce solar and wind energy keeps getting better and cheaper, electric cars are more practical and more popular than ever, and scientists’ warnings about climate change keep getting more alarming. So you’d think that businesses producing or using renewable energy would be growing like mad, giving rise to a big surge of new jobs. >>View Article

Outlook for Solar Gets a Bit Brighter

March 18 -- Here is a trick question: Which country led the European Union last year in putting new solar panels on rooftops and in countryside energy parks? If you chose sunny Spain or balmy Italy, you were wrong. Britain, the green and pleasant land often shrouded in cloud, was the leader, according to the market research firm I.H.S. >>View Article

Texas City Pulls Plug on Fossil Fuels With Shift to Solar Power

March 18 -- A Texas city just north of Austin plans to begin weaning its residents from fossil fuels.

The municipal utility in Georgetown, with about 50,000 residents, will get all of its power from renewable resources when SunEdison Inc. completes 150 megawatts of solar farms in West Texas next year. The change was announced Wednesday. >>View Article

Strong Energy Policy Should Follow the Market

March 17 -- For decades, nearly all energy production in the United States has been dominated by the fossil fuel industry. As oil traditionally drove the rise and fall of America’s GDP, legislators reacted to demand by implementing supportive tax policies for fossil technologies, sending over $7 billion in subsidies their way every year. But the relationship between energy and America’s marketplace is changing.

Most recently, a new report from the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that wind power alone could supply 35 percent of U.S. electricity by 2050. Like others, that DOE projection is based on a growing demand for renewable power—that is, if the current demand is given the opportunity to play out. >>View Article

McConnell Can't Pick, Choose Which Laws to Follow

March 17 -- Sen. Mitch McConnell earlier this month encouraged states to defy federal environmental regulations by simply ignoring them. This was not some quote taken out of context by a pesky reporter; it was an op-ed he wrote in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The Republican Senate majority leader is protesting the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants. The agency plans to finalize the rule this summer, after which states will have a chance to submit their own plans to meet the EPA’s specific goal for the state. He writes:

“Think twice before submitting a state plan — which could lock you in to federal enforcement and expose you to lawsuits — when the administration is standing on shaky legal ground and when, without your support, it won’t be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out such political extremism. Refusing to go along at this time with such an extreme proposed regulation would give the courts time to figure out if it is even legal, and it would give Congress more time to fight back.” >>View Article

Windham Running on Renewable Energy

March 17 -- All town office buildings are powered with renewable energy, thanks to the town's latest energy contract.

For the next eight months, the town will be powered with renewable energy sources, like wind and solar. >>View Article


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