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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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Target Powers Up With Wind Energy In 60 Texan Stores

Discount retail giant Target has struck a new partnership with renewables investment firm Starwood Energy Group to use 100 per cent wind power in 60 of its Texas stores.

The collaboration, announced yesterday, will see Target invest in the 211 MW Stephens Ranch Wind Project owned by Starwood Energy, a 118-turbine wind farm near the city of Lubbock in Texas, in order to offset the energy use of the 60 stores.

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Obama Administration Offers EV Charging Loan Guarantees

The White House on Thursday said it was expanding a federal loan guarantee program to include companies building electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, part of a broader effort to boost EV sales.

The U.S. Energy Department issued a notice clarifying that charging facilities, including hardware and software, are now an eligible technology. The program can provide up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

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Port Of L.A. Breaks Ground For Terminal Powered By Renewables

The Port of Los Angeles, the busiest port in the United States by container volume, and the 16th busiest in the world, is breaking ground for the world's first marine terminal able to generate all of its energy needs from renewables.

With a shared commitment to eliminate pollution and reduce emissions to zero or near-zero levels, Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals L.P. and the Port of Los Angeles have launched the Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project.

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5 Surprising States Where Commercial Energy Storage Works Today

It's easy to focus on states where the burgeoning commercial energy storage markets are already thriving.

"Everyone knows California and New York are ripe," said Ravi Manghani, GTM Research's director of energy storage.

But there are some sleeper states where the economics already work, even though rates of adoption are low. A new report from GTM Research, The Economics of Commercial Energy Storage in the U.S, outlines the states where demand charges at the largest utility in each state would create a favorable rate of return for commercial energy storage. Even if the numbers pencil out, however, there can be other factors that help or hinder behind-the-meter energy storage, from fire codes to utility regulation.

Today, the pure demand-charge economics work in seven states that all provide an internal rate of return over 5 percent. You might be surprised at which states round out the list topped by California and New York.

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Obama Plans To Expand Solar For Low-Income Homes To One Gigawatt

President Barack Obama plans to increase installations of solar power for low-income households 10-fold to one gigawatt by 2020.

Under the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative announced Tuesday, Obama combined the efforts of six federal agencies to expand or create new programs to help reduce solar energy costs for consumers who might not otherwise have access.

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30% Of The World's Vehicles Will Use Renewables By 2030

We already possess sufficient clean alternatives to take over from most fossil fuels, except the world's economies are market driven. Clean technologies need to be competitively priced before mass adoption is possible. Some argue this will change as the true cost of fossil fuels becomes more evident. A new Lux Research report uses a more conservative approach, when it predicts 30 percent of the world's vehicles will be using renewable by 2030.

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Renewable Energy's New Dance Partners: Banks, Pensions Funds

A funny thing happened on the way to the bank for the solar and wind industries. The erstwhile "alternative" energy that turned off traditional investors as too risky is now attracting traditional financing—piles of it.

As commercial customers and utilities take up solar and wind projects in big numbers, banks and even pension funds and mutual funds are increasingly seeking to finance these projects.

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California ISO Generated 8 GW Of Solar, Topping Last Year's Record By 2 GW

California's new solar production record is an impressive leap over last year's figures, showing just how quickly the state is moving to bring clean energy resources online. Solar generation in California on May 31 last year set a record of 6,078 MW. A little more than a year later, and the new record production was almost 2,000 MW more.

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