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October 2 -- Utility Xcel Energy last month submitted a proposal to Colorado regulators that identifies 170 megawatts of solar and 450 megawatts of wind as the most cost-effective resources. It's the first time that Xcel Energy, which serves eight states in the West and Midwest, chose solar and wind in its planning process strictly for economic reasons, rather than to meet the state's renewable energy standard, according to the company. “This is the first time that we’ve seen, purely on a price basis, that the solar projects made the cut -- without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard -- strictly on an economic basis,” David Eves, CEO of an Xcel subsidiary, told the Denver Business Journal.  >>View Article

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:02

Ford EV, Hybrid Sales Juiced Up

October 2 -- One year ago, Ford Motor Co. officially staked its flag in the U.S. electric vehicle circle when it began to launch three new hybrids and two plug-in hybrids. And a year later, despite backlash over inflated fuel efficiency claims for the Ford C-Max Hybrid and a delayed launch of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, the Dearborn automaker has managed to lift its share of the electric and hybrid market from 3 percent to 15 percent. Ford also has been able to steal customers from its chief competitor, Toyota Motor Corp., which it has brazenly viewed as an equal competitor since before any of Ford’s new hybrid vehicles hit dealer lots.  >>View Article

October 1 -- Five years ago, Ohio lawmakers enacted a comprehensive energy plan that included a commitment to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency. The law set a goal to diversify our energy sources to 12.5 percent renewable energy by 2025 and to provide homeowners, small businesses and others with options to meet their energy needs by using less electricity. Two years ago, Gov. John Kasich strengthened the law by providing more clean-energy options for manufacturers. What have been the results? Quite simply, more money in peoples’ pockets, innovation, job creation and local economic development here in Northeast Ohio.  >>View Article

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:16

Portman Bill Would Reduce Energy Costs

October 1 -- At a time when so many Americans are having a tough time paying the bills, Sen. Rob Portman is reaching across the aisle to help struggling families and communities. Sen. Portman, a Republican, has joined Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire to propose the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. This energy-efficiency bill will help everyday Americans in Ohio and across the country to save money and better take care of their families. >>View Article

October 1 -- Congress and the American people have been told a number of stories about the causes of rising prices for Renewable Identification Numbers — the credits oil refiners and importers use to demonstrate compliance with the renewable-fuel standard. What’s really behind this year’s rapid rise in the price of RINs? And will their cost be passed to consumers at the pump? >>View Article

October 1 -- The Hill recently carried on its blog an attack on wind power by Christine Harbin of Americans for Prosperity, a group which is funded by competing energy industries and which, not surprisingly, strongly supports them instead.  If there is a sense of déjà vu from reading Harbin’s column, which calls for ending the federal wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), it’s because her claims are the same misinformed chatter about wind power and the tax credit that we’ve had to get used to in recent years from other special-interest groups.  >>View Article

October 1 -- Hybrid vehicles may have had pole position so far in the race to a sustainable transportation future, but electric-only vehicles are about to pull even – and they’re both becoming a significant part of global vehicle sales. Combined worldwide sales of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles will reach 6.6 million annual units by 2020 and become almost 7% of the total light-duty vehicle market, according to Navigant Research’s 2013-2020 Electric Vehicle Market Forecast. >>View Article

September 30 -- The Western U.S. could reap huge benefits in pollution savings and reduced spending on fossil fuels by installing more wind and solar power plants, according to a comprehensive new analysis released today by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The study found that obtaining 25 percent of electricity in the Western U.S. from renewable energy will reduce carbon dioxide pollution by up to 34 percent and save $7 billion annually in fossil fuel costs. The NREL report also conclusively puts to rest the fossil fuel industry myth that wind energy’s pollution savings are smaller than expected because fossil-fired power plants run at lower efficiency when wind is generating electricity. Even at the very high level of renewable energy use examined in the report, the impact on the efficiency of fossil-fired power plants was found to be “negligible,” reducing the carbon emissions reduction benefits of wind and solar by only 0.2 percent, so that on net wind and solar produced 99.8 percent of the expected emissions savings. >>View Article

Monday, 30 September 2013 15:14

Google Nearly Doubles Wind Energy Portfolio

September 30 -- For the past few years, Google has been at the forefront of some of the largest projects between the renewable energy industry and the private sector. Collectively, the company has committed over $1 billion to renewable energy projects since 2010. But efforts to mitigate its carbon footprint started years before. In 2007, for example, Google installed thousands of solar panels on the rooftop of its Mountain View, California corporate headquarters. The panels greatly contribute to the power at the facility, offering 1.9 megawatts of solar capacity at any given time. On their Google Green webpage, the company touts that it has covered over a third of its operations’ electrical draw through renewable energy resources. >>View Article

Monday, 30 September 2013 14:58

A Reasonable Model For Clean Energy Leadership

September 30 -- In a week full of crazy Republican extremism, a common-sense moderate feels like a breath of fresh air. One of those welcome breezes is blowing out of Michigan, where Governor Snyder has made it clear that threats of a Tea Party primary challenge won't distract him from doing what is best for his state. >>View Article

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