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Solar Power Is Booming and Its Biggest Component Is Dirt Cheap

November 16 -- Prices for polysilicon, the main ingredient in solar cells, have dropped to a record low amid a supply glut that won’t end soon. 

There’s so much of the shiny black stuff on the market that suppliers including Europe’s Wacker Chemie AG, Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. in the U.S. and South Korea-based Hanwha Chemical Corp. are losing money at spot prices that reached $14.76 per kilogram this month, down 31 percent in the past year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. >>View Article 

Forget Keystone XL, The Clean Energy Sector Has Jobs

November 16 -- President Obama had plenty of good reasons for rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Nov. 6, but here's one more reason that made it all the more logical: We're already creating lots of energy jobs in America: Clean, renewable energy jobs in manufacturing, construction and a myriad other fields. >>View Article 

Maryland Must Raise Its Clean Energy Standards

November 16 -- Geenhouse gas emissions threaten our physical health. Eighty-four percent of Marylanders live in areas with air quality graded D or F by the American Lung Association. No wonder only five other states have more adults with asthma and almost 12 percent of Maryland children have asthma, not to mention all the other pollution related diseases.

Climate change, due to dirty energy sources, also threatens our economic security. Extreme temperatures, droughts and storms reduce profit and jobs in tourism, shipping and agriculture throughout Maryland. Baltimore and Annapolis already lead the U.S. in increased flooding because of sea level rise. >>View Article 

As Coal Use Fades, Renewables Take Center Stage

November 13 -- As 2016 approaches, renewable energy is steadily emerging as a major player in the energy market. Meanwhile, coal is seeing a drastic fall in use around the world.

Renewables represent the world’s second largest electricity source, according to the International Energy Agency. By 2030, the agency says, it very well might replace the most polluting fossil fuel – coal. >>View Article 

Aspen, Colorado, Becomes Third US City to Run Entirely on Renewable Energy

November 13 -- For over a century, Aspen, Colorado, has been a pioneer in the renewable energy community. Earlier this year, the city achieved a new milestone in reducing its carbon footprint.

In August, Aspen became the third community in the United States to use only renewable energy as the source for electricity, joining Burlington, Vermont, and Greensburg, Kansas.

"This has been a project that was started in the mid-2000s, and there were a lot of activities over the years to get here," said Dave Hornbacher, director of Utilities and Environmental Initiatives for the City of Aspen. >>View Article 

Energy Hasn't Been This Hot Since They Invented Fire

November 13 -- Nothing in the energy business can compete with oil for volatility, geopolitical drama, or sheer utility. Its low price per barrel, currently under $50, won't last forever. But it may last through the year ahead. 

What will be changing at a historic pace in 2016? Everything else. Gas. Coal. Solar. Wind. Batteries. Cars. 

This is every energy source for itself, one clawing its way over another for markets, financing, subsidies, and friendly policies. >>View Article

The Business Guide to Green Power: 12 Ways to Invest in Renewable Energy

November 13 -- Do you want those RECs bundled or unbundled? And will your PPA be physical or virtual? Have you even thought about the annual financial implications of the ITC?

For the uninitiated, the variety of ways companies can now throw their weight into the market for renewable energy quickly starts to devolve into alphabet soup.

Still, with more companies setting sustainability targets or eyeing falling wind and solar costs with heightened interest, replicable models for businesses to invest in renewable energy projects are increasingly in demand. >>View Article 

Obama Should Let Fossil Fuels Lie

November 13 -- President Obama's rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline last week had the ring of a great victory for the environment. But even as he declared the United States a “global leader” in the transition to cleaner energy, he revealed a challenge that neither he nor his administration has confronted: “If we’re going to prevent large parts of this earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes,” the president said, “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground, rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.” >>View Article 

A Landmark Month for Utility-backed Solar Power

November 13 -- In just one month, a solar power initiative backed by major utility companies have flexed some serious muscle.Consumers for Smart Solar’s October haul: $2.3 million.

Yes, million.

That’s double what they’ve raised since forming in July, almost triple what another solar power group — Floridians for Solar Choice — raised this year (although that group’s October financials were not yet available when this post was published). >>View Article 

The Good Fight: Defend the Clean Power Plan

November 13 -- Minnesotans should be pleased that state Attorney General Lori Swanson has joined attorneys general in 17 other states to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan against those attempting to block limits on carbon pollution.

Swanson will no doubt face pushback from Republican legislators who disagree with this position, as well as others, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, that are working to block or undermine the plan. >>View Article 

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