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Your Netflix binges could soon be fueled by solar power, thanks to Amazon

June 11 -- Introverts rejoice: Your bleary-eyed, 3 a.m. blogging and TV binge-
watching just got a bit greener.

Amazon officials announced this week that it will purchase energy from a new solar
farm to be built in Virginia, Forbes reports. The state is home to many Amazon Web
Services cloud data centers, which power sites such as Netflix, Tumblr, Hootsuite,
and Change.org.

The new facility will produce about 80 megawatts of energy — enough to power a
large data center, according to Forbes. Last year, Amazon’s cloud storage was
accused of being especially dirty because much of it is powered by fossil fuels.
>>View Article

Amazon Backs $150 Million Solar Project in Virginia

June 11 -- Amazon Web Services, the e-commerce giant's cloud-computing business,
will support the building and operation of a roughly $150 million solar farm
planned in Virginia, with the project being named Amazon Solar Farm US East.

An Amazon representative declined to specify Amazon's financial commitment to the
project, saying the company wouldn't comment beyond a press release sent out
Wednesday.  >>View Article

Residential Solar Installs Post Largest Quarterly Growth Ever

June 10 -- Residential installations of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels in the U.S. led the solar power market in the first quarter of this year, posting a record sequential 11% growth rate. That's the largest such uptick in history.

Residential systems were up 76%, compared with the first quarter of 2014, according to a U.S. Solar Market Insight report released today. >>View Article

EPA Wrong to Diminish Biofuels Mandate

June 10 -- The Environmental Protection Agency has once again shown that it doesn’t understand rural America and the importance of agriculture to the country and the economy.

The EPA announced it is lowering the amount of biofuel needed under the 2007 renewable fuels law by more than 4 billion gallons in 2015 and by more than 3 billion gallons in 2016. EPA has proposed requiring refiners to use 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuel this year and 17.4 billions gallons next year. The proposed amounts, though, are lower than the levels established in the law, which called for using 20.5 billion gallons of biofuel this year and 22.25 billion gallons next year.

This is a blow to the rural economy and a shortsighted decision that will harm the country. >>View Article

The IMF Just Destroyed the Best Argument Against Clean Energy

June 10 -- For more than a decade, fossil fuel supporters have insisted that new clean energy technologies like wind and solar are far "too expensive" to replace our traditional fossil fuel dominated energy industries. A recent report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put a price on the direct and indirect subsidies that support fossil fuels as a counter argument to the renewables are "too expensive" message.

The numbers are staggering. The expected subsidy for fossil fuels during 2015 is projected to be $5.3 TRILLION - for one year! This means that approximately 6.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) will be dedicated in 2015 to just subsidizing our use of fossil fuels. Or as The Guardian pointed out in its summary of the IMF report, taxpayers are paying $10 MILLION per minute globally in subsidies for fossil fuels.  >>View Article

A Charlotte Entrepreneur's $175M Effort to Change GOP Minds on Climate Change

June 10 -- Jay Faison, founder and chairman of Charlotte’s SnapAV and managing director of the ClearPath Foundation, plans to spend $175 million to get Republicans to deal with the issue of climate change, says Politico.

Faison’s ClearPath will run a $165 million social media and online advertising effort “to get the Republican Party to shift its skeptical view of climate change and green energy, topics that usually fall to the bottom of its list of priorities when they don’t generate outright opposition among conservative voters.”  >>View Article

My Voice: Wind Energy Can Power S.D.'s Economic Future

June 9 -- The winds of change are blowing in South Dakota. Within two decades, wind energy here could power the equivalent of over 900,000 homes.

That’s according to a new report from the federal Department of Energy. Researchers outlined that the American wind industry can 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 rise promises to generate huge economic benefits here in South Dakota and all across the country.  >>View Article

Here's What it Would Take for the U.S. to Run On 100% Renewable Energy

June 9 -- It is technically and economically feasible to run the US economy entirely on renewable energy, and to do so by 2050. That is the conclusion of a new study in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, authored by Stanford scholar Mark Z. Jacobson and nine colleagues.

Jacobson is well-known for his ambitious and controversial work on renewable energy. In 2001 he published, with Mark A. Delucchi, a two-part paper (one, two) on "providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power." In 2013 he published a feasibility study on moving New York state entirely to renewables, and in 2014 he created a road map for California to do the same.  >>View Article

Will Congress Help the Greenest Generation?

June 9 -- Today’s generation of students may not be the Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw famously coined, but it can certainly be the greenest generation.

Those who grew up in the Great Depression and went on to fight WWII confronted a long series of challenges and worked diligently—even creatively—to find solutions to the world’s greatest struggles. Though our current generation of students aren’t fighting economic depression or world war, they are in fact building solutions to today’s problems in a very similar way.  >>View Article

From Ohio, a Warning on Freezing Renewable Energy Standards

June 9 -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was famous for saying that a state may, if the citizens choose, serve as a laboratory and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.

It is in this spirit that I warn N.C. legislators of the potential deleterious effects of freezing the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. Two bills before the N.C. Senate would cut the state’s clean energy goals in half and stall them at 6 percent of public utility retail sales.

In the past year, Ohio has already felt the adverse effects of experimenting with a REPS freeze and taking similar steps to move backward in energy policy.  >>View Article

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