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Gov. Cuomo to Order Large Increase in Renewable Energy in New York by 2030

November 23 -- Frustrated by the pending shutdown of two nuclear power plants on Lake Ontario, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plans to order state regulators to mandate that, by 2030, half of all power consumed by New Yorkers be generated from renewable sources that emit much less carbon dioxide, people briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, has already declared a goal of having 50 percent of the state’s power come from solar, wind, hydroelectric or other renewable sources in 15 years, but the state has had no means of enforcing that directive. The governor intends to have the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the state, codify the requirement, these people said. Some of them, including a Cuomo administration official, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not have permission to discuss the proposed mandate. >>View Article 

Texas Wind and Solar Power Could Compete with Fossil Fuels in Just a Few Years

November 23 -- Wind and solar power competing evenly with their fossil fuel counterparts without federal subsidies could come in just a few years in Texas and other areas, while it may take another 15 years or more in other parts of the country, according to reports released this week.

The “paradox” slowing renewable power growth somewhat is that the regions with the greatest natural resource potential for wind and solar, like the southwest and mid-continent, already have relatively cheap power prices that make it harder for wind and solar to compete, while the northeastern part of the country with more expensive power has weaker resource potential, according to the “Journey to grid parity” report from the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions. >>View Article 

She Leads the Solar Industry's Expansion Push in California

November 23 -- Bernadette Del Chiaro, 43, is executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Assn., the industry group pushing expansion of solar power in California on rooftops and with power plants in the desert. The native of Sonoma Valley has held the post since July 2013.

In eighth grade, Del Chiaro visited Yosemite National Park in California's Sierra Nevada and marveled at its beauty. "I literally had a crush on that place," she said. "I fell in love with the Sierra Nevada." She pondered the musings of Scottish American naturalist John Muir and the idea that "our air and our water and our earth is a common good that we all share. If we're not careful we will hurt ourselves and all of the other little creatures."

Del Chiaro bristles at the notion that she's just a tree hugger. She has seen herself as a political activist, working to organize people to push for sensible environmental policy. In the 1980s and 1990s, "I didn't find much camaraderie in a lot of the other environmental activists at the time. A lot of them were angry white men. I didn't see role models in that." >>View Article 

Big Corporations Are Using a Record Amount of Clean Energy

November 23 -- On November 30, world leaders will flock to Paris to hammer out an international agreement to slow global warming. The agreement is likely to give a boost to the clean energy industry, as countries around the world pour money into wind and solar projects as a way to cut their greenhouse gas footprints.

In the United States clean energy is already a booming business. Solar is the fastest-growing energy source in the country, and in 2015 total investment in renewable energy projects here reached nearly $40 billion. Here's some more good news: Big corporations are signing up for a record amount of clean energy for their offices, data centers, warehouses, and other facilities, according to a new analysis by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit environmental research outfit. >>View Article 

Clinton Promises ‘Enough Clean Energy to Power Every Home in America’

November 23 -- If elected president, Democrat Hillary Clinton says she can create enough green energy to power every home in America by the end of her second term.

“By the end of my first term, we will have installed a half a billion more solar panels, and by the end of my second term, enough clean energy to power every home in America,” Clinton said at the Blue Jamboree in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.

The Democratic presidential front-runner said her plan to subsidize alternative sources of energy would not entail a middle-class tax hike. >>View Article 

Amazon Web Services Planting Another Wind Farm to Power Data Centers

November 20 -- As the Amazon Web Services cloud gets bigger, so must its data center shadow.

But planting those data centers around the world is a costly effort on both the balance sheet and the environment.

Thus, the Internet giant is plotting another wind farm, touting renewable energy technologies as the backbone and power source for both current and future AWS data centers.

The next wind farm will be constructed in Paulding County, Ohio. Code named Amazon Wind Farm US Central, it is scheduled to launch operations in May 2017. >>View Article 

Clean Power Plan Cuts Costs for Low-income Communities

November 20 -- At all levels of government ­— federal and local alike — the Clean Power Plan has faced serious backlash because of cost concerns. Politicians fear spending money on environmental policy, while citizens are wary of spikes in their electricity bills — both points that critics have been quick to tout. The emphasis on minimal upfront costs undervalue the plan’s climate benefits, estimated to be worth billions, and divert attention from its true impacts on electric bills, which are expected lowered in the years following its implementation.

Opponents of the Clean Power Plan have claimed that it will disproportionately harm low-income communities who are particularly vulnerable to higher energy costs. Much of these claims come from a study conducted by Management Information Services, a consulting firm whose clients include American Electric Power, the Southern Company, and Private Fuel Storage. >>View Article 

BNP Says Will Double Renewable Energy Investments, Cuts Carbon

November 20 -- French banking group BNP Paribas will double its investment in renewable energy projects to 15 billion euros ($16.07 billion) by 2020 from 6.9 billion euros and will no longer finance coal extraction projects, it said on Thursday.

The bank also said it would continue to promote green bonds among institutional investors. "Doubling our funding for renewable energy and strengthening our carbon risk management system is an environmental requirement. It is also an economic requirement," BNP said in a statement.

BNP Paribas said it had "taken the decision to no longer fund the extraction of coal either through mining projects or coal mining companies that do not have diversification strategies". >>View Article 

In 15 years, Renewables Will be the World’s Biggest Source of Electricity

November 20 -- Coal is the biggest source of electricity worldwide. But not for much longer. In a comprehensive report on the future of energy, the International Energy Agency, a policy and research group, said that renewables now sit in second place in the global electricity production mix. By the 2030s, they will become the biggest source. 

Falling coal demand from China and a glut of American supply hitting the market pushed prices down in recent years. Even so, coal use is being restrained by policy decisions—like the EU closing coal plants to meet its emissions objectives. >>View Article 

Decade of Success Under the RFS

November 20 -- Ten years ago, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. This year, we are not only commemorating the creation of our nation’s most successful energy policy in the past 40 years. We are also celebrating a decade of job creation, clean air, innovation, increased energy independence and consumer choice.

But even as we are celebrating these victories, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is deliberating the fate of the RFS. In its latest RFS proposal for 2014-2016, EPA unfortunately chose to side with the obligated parties who have deliberately refused to live up to their obligation to provide consumers with a lower cost, higher performing, homegrown renewable fuel option at the pump. >>View Article 

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