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Federal Energy Use Drops to Lowest Level On Record, Thanks to Major Energy-Efficiency Push

February 5 -- Energy use in federal post offices, court houses and military bases has dropped to its lowest level on record. The sharp decline is largely thanks to a Bush-era push to slash electricity and fuel consumption in thousands of facilities and vehicles, energy analysts say.

Total delivered-to-site energy use by the federal government fell to 0.96 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in fiscal 2013, the lowest amount since record keeping began in 1975, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Department of Energy’s statistics arm, reported Wednesday. Roughly half that total came from jet fuel, while the rest came from other liquid fuels and electricity in buildings. >>View Article

Wind PTC Opposition Seeks Skewed Energy Market

February 5 -- Former Sen. Don Nickels’ (R-Okla.) piece in The Hill last week, Allowing wind to thrive without the PTC, is just the latest salvo in the fossil fuel industry’s self-serving effort to eliminate the wind energy production tax credit (PTC).

Some of these attacks argue, as Nickels does, that wind energy is a mature industry no longer needing a tax credit, while others claim it is a failed industry undeserving of one. Anti-PTC rhetoric over the past several months have run the gamut, from accusing the tax credit of undermining the free market, to claiming wind turbines bombard “our flesh” with “subsonic vibrations.” >>View Article

EDITORIAL: County Should Approve Calhan Wind Farm

February 5 -- Just as the White House obstructs the Keystone XL pipeline with every environmental objection activists can contrive, slowing North America's march toward energy independence, a few in El Paso County want to stop a wind farm and transmission lines that will power 62,000 homes. >>View Article

Is Solar the Next Shale?

February 4 -- Just as shale extraction reconfigured oil and gas, no other technology is closer to transforming power markets than distributed and utility scale solar.

Since the late 2000s, a widespread collapse in the price of solar modules has altered the economics of solar energy, putting it in a strong position to compete with other forms of power in the United States. >>View Article

Clean Energy Advocates Push for 100 Percent Renewables

February 4 -- Hawaii could become the first state in the country to adopt energy mandates requiring the state’s utilities to derive 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal, if a bill backed by clean energy advocates is approved. >>View Article

Leaders Should Back Clean Power Plan

February 4 -- An overwhelming majority of U.S. senators agreed Jan. 21 that climate change is not a hoax and poses a serious threat globally. Although there was consensus on the occurrence of climate change, senators were divided on the actual causes of the issue; whether it is ultimately caused by humans or not. >>View Article

California Creates Most Clean Tech Jobs, Paying Investors

February 3 -- California’s bet on green energy is paying off, with clean technology companies creating more jobs and investing more money than competitors in any other state.

As Governor Jerry Brown pushes the nation’s largest state to wean itself from fossil fuels, that policy also is rewarding investors. Shares of California companies in the NYSE Bloomberg Americas Clean Energy Index will climb 96 percent in the next 12 months, compared with the 47 percent forecast for all U.S. members, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. >>View Article

Apple to Build $2B Solar-Powered "Command Center" Data Center at Arizona Factory Site

February 3 -- The question of what Apple plans to do with its factory in Mesa, Arizona, which it was going to lease to now-bankrupt former partner and sapphire glass maker GT Advanced Technologies, is now answered. On Monday Apple and the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, announced that the iPhone giant plans to spend $2 billion building out a huge data center facility that will act as “a command center” for its global data center network. >>View Article

Can Sun and Wind Make More Salt Water Drinkable?

February 3 -- The oceans have long taunted those who thirst.

Records dating to A.D. 200 show that sailors boiled seawater and used sponges to absorb fresh water from the steam. Today, desalination is more sophisticated: multistage flash distillation, reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, and more. >>View Article

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