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Alliant Energy Plans To Add $1 Billion Of Wind Power In Iowa

Madison-based Alliant Energy Corp. says it will invest $1 billion into building more wind power in Iowa over the next five years.

Alliant said Wednesday it is seeking approval to expand its Whispering Wilow Wind Farm in Franklin County, in north-central Iowa, and it may develop wind farms in other parts of Iowa, as well.

The utility plans to add up to 500 megawatts of wind energy.

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Georgia Power Signs Off On Major Renewable Energy Commitment

Georgia Power Co. will add 1,600 megawatts of renewable energy to its portfolio by 2021 under an agreement approved Thursday by the state Public Service Commission (PSC).

That's three times what the Atlanta-based utility proposed in January when it filed its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the PSC. Georgia Power submits an IRP every three years outlining the mix of energy sources it intends to rely on to meet customer demands during the next two decades.

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Renewable Energy Is Key To Fighting Climate Change

Renewable energy is one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against climate change, and there is every reason to believe it will succeed. A recent New York Times column seems to imply that renewable energy investments set back efforts to address climate change—nothing coujld be further from the truth. What's more, renewable technologies can increasingly save customers money as they displace emissions from fossil fuels.

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Corporate Demand For Renewable Energy Could Rock The Grid

Renewable energy is good for customers, the environment and the bottom line of corporations that run their operations with it. In the United States, though, renewables (including solar, wind, hydropower and biomass) account for only about 10 percent of all energy used and 13 percent of total electricity generated—even as corporate contracts for renewable energy nearly tripled from 2014 to 2015. If there are challenges now, when capacity and use are low, what will happen when renewable penetration reaches 30, 40 or even 50 percent of the U.S. market?

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D.C. Mayor Signs New Clean Energy Bill Into Law

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has signed into law a bill that increases the district's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from 20% by 2020 to 50% by 2032.

The District of Columbia City Council unanimously passed the legislation in June, and according to a press release, Bowser says the new law will expand access to clean energy for D.C. residents and create a long-term pipeline for green jobs and business creation. As the RPS is implemented, the release adds, demand for solar will rise dramatically.

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Chernobyl's Atomic Wasteland May Be Reborn With Solar Energy

Ukraine's looking toward the sun to put a radioactive wasteland back into business.

Thirty years after atomic fallout from the Chernobyl meltdown rendered an area the size of Luxembourg uninhabitable for centuries, Ukraine is seeking investors to develop solar power near the defunct Soviet reactors.

Sunshine is one of the only things that can be harvested from Chernobyl's 1,000 square mile exclusion zone, where long-lasting radiation makes farming and forestry too dangerous. Save for the guards and workers who maintain the roadblocks and barriers, the area about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Kiev remains devoid of productive activities.

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Solar Impulse 2: Around The World With Zero Fuel

The first aircraft powered solely by the sun made its landing into history, reachng Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and completing a 25,000 mile, round-the-world journey that began over a year ago.

The Swiss-engineered Solar Impulse 2 was piloted by Bertrand Piccard on the final part of the epic expedition that took off from Cairo earlier this week. The final stop complete its 17-leg, milestone journey that used only the power of the sun's rays.

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The Public Health Case For Energy Storage

We've heard about the value of energy storage for integrating renewables, shaving peak demand and regulating frequency, but there's another service it can provide: combating air pollution

When sited and deployed according to air quality data, energy storage can strategically replace more polluting energy services in the areas most susceptible to poor air quality, researchers at UC Berkely and nonprofit research institute PSE Healthy Energy found. In this way, storage can address decades-old discrepancies in environmental justice, whereby poor neighborhoods have been more likely to sit near the dirtiest power plants.

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Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

At Green House Data in Cheyenne, Wyo., energy efficiency is an obsession.

When someone enters one of the company's secured data vaults, they're asked to pause in the entryway and stomp their shoes on a clear rubber mat with a sticky, glue-like finish.

"Dust is a huge concern of ours," says Art Salazar, the director of operations.

That's because dust makes electronics run hotter, which then means using more electricity to cool them down. For data centers, the goal is to use as little electricity as possible, because it's typically companies' biggest expense.

In 2013, data centers consumed 2 percent of all U.S. power—triple what they consumer in 2000. Wendy Fox, Green House Data's communications director, says the sector has a responsibility to source that electricity sustainably.

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Off-Grid LED Lighting Could Create 2 Million Jobs

There is an intensifying move in the developing world to bring modern energy services to the more than 1 billion people who live without them.

Often the starting point is solar-powered light-emitting diodes. The bright, low-energy lights can replace far more dangerous forms of lighting, including candles and kerosene lanterns.

Besides lowering indoor pollution and providing better light, the move to solar LEDs could also create approximately two million new jobs, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study was published in the journal Energy for Sustainable Development.

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