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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

Editorial: A Blow to Wind Power

March 25 -- Doing away with the Kansas renewable energy standards could have a devastating effect on the state’s growing wind energy industry.

Nonetheless, the Senate Utilities Committee voted last week to repeal those standards and, as one senator put it, “let business do its thing.” The committee gutted an already approved House bill and replaced it with the repeal measure, meaning that the action could be approved by both houses of the Legislature without ever facing a public hearing that might reveal valid drawbacks to the bill. >>View Article

Solar Power is Now Just as Cheap as Conventional Electricity in Italy And Germany

March 25 -- Once all its costs are accounted for, the price of commercial solar power has pulled even with retail electricity rates in Italy and Germany, according to a new report.

The analysis is the third installment in a regular report by the consulting firm Eclareon, done on behalf of an international group of sustainable energy interests. This installment was also the first to look at solar power in the commercial sector rather than the residential sector. It looked at a standard 30 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system for your average commercial building, and the built a methodology to assess its “leveled cost of energy” (LCOE) in seven different countries: Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain. >>View Article

Energy Efficiency Aid Can Counter Utility Rate Hikes

March 25 -- South Carolinians now pay the highest electricity prices in the Southeast and have, since 2009, endured eight rate hikes from the state's investor-owned utilities.

Even more sobering, households earning less than $50,000 annually (just over half of the state's population)spend 22 percent of their take-home pay on energy; households earning less than $10,000 annually give up 75 percent of their income for energy bills. These residents are living in what's known as "fuel poverty." >>View Article

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