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Empowering New England with Clean Energy

August 6 -- New England is well on its way to a clean energy future. In some parts of the country clean energy is subject to debate, but in New England, it is a clear opportunity. >>View Article

My View: Good for Business, Good for Economy

August 6 -- Some national business organizations have hammered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for proposing new rules on carbon pollution from existing power plants, cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, using 2005 levels as a baseline. These arguments are not tenable. >>View Article

Every State Can Be a Solar State

August 6 -- The toxic politics of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rules on coal plants were on full display last week, with protests at public hearings in Denver and Pittsburgh. Behind those fights is a more interesting policy question: How much more power can the country reasonably hope to get from renewable energy, without making electricity unaffordable? >>View Article

Protecting Our Climate and the Middle Class

August 6 -- Two of the most pressing issues facing us today are the need to address the economic costs and public health risks associated with climate change and strengthening the middle class.

Over 97 percent of climate scientists agree that our planet is warming, primarily as a result of fossil fuel combustion, and that this warming is already causing more frequent, dangerous, and expensive extreme weather events. At the same time, our middle class is struggling. While the productivity of our economy increased by 75 percent between 1979 and 2012, wage growth for middle class workers increased by only 5 percent during the same period. >>View Article

General Motors: Why Companies Should Buy More Renewable Energy

August 5 -- When the World Wildlife Fund and World Resources Institute approached General Motors, along with 12 other companies, to collaborate on renewable energy, my first thought was: “We’re in.” Even though GM is already halfway to its public goal of using 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020, there are still major roadblocks along the way.

Working with these NGOs and other big corporate buyers, I thought, could help enable us to stop reinventing the wheel every time we try to buy more renewable energy. The opportunity was to frame up the needs and challenges for buyers, then provide solutions to make renewables more affordable and accessible for all companies, not just GM. >>View Article

Home Solar Panels Make Gains in America, Even in Rainy Seattle

August 5 -- Going solar is expensive, but a confluence of plummeting equipment prices, rising utility bills, new financing schemes and a raft of federal, state, and local incentives are encouraging homeowners across America to take the plunge and put photovoltaic panels on their roofs, even in rainy Seattle.

In 2013, 792 megawatts of solar capacity was installed on homes. That figure is expected to increase 61 percent in 2014 and another 53 percent in 2015, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington-based trade group. A megawatt of solar capacity is typically enough to power 200 average U.S. homes, though the number varies depending on factors such as available sunlight and panel orientation. >>View Article

Geothermal Power Growing in Nevada

August 5 -- Geothermal energy is a growing type of clean energy, and nowhere is that more true than in Nevada. Ormat Technologies has built a geothermal plant every year since 2005. Most of those are in the Silver State. Ormat's Steamboat facility may look like a large mess of pipes and gauges, but it produces enough geothermal energy to power the entire residential load of Reno. Karl Gawell is the Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association, visiting Reno for Tuesday's annual National Geothermal Summit.

"This is what the future is going to bring," Gawell said. "You will see more and more of this in years ahead and it is already a boom for Reno." >>View Article

A 131-Year First: POWER Mag Plant of the Year for Ivanpah Solar

August 8 -- For the first time in its 131-year history, POWER Magazine has conferred its prestigious “Plant of the Year” award on a renewable energy electricity plant. That would be the Ivanpah concentrating solar power plant in California, which just went online as one in a set of five such utility scale power plants supported partly by the US Department of Energy. Ivanpah also had a substantial investment from Google, so it looks like the company’s bet on concentrating solar power has paid off. >>View Article

Nuclear is Generating Less of World's Power; Renewables are Accelerating

August 8 -- At best, nuclear power accounted for only 10.8 percent of the world's electricity last year — down from a peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 — and faces a difficult future in at least the short term because the world's reactor fleet is aging, while new projects are burdened by high costs and construction delays. >>View Article

FERC Commissioners: Clean Power Plan Doesn't Spell Doom for Grid Reliability

August 1 -- All five members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) agreed yesterday that acting on climate change is critical and none of them offered any indication that the U.S. EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants would hamper the reliability of America’s electric transmission grid.

A federal statute requires FERC to protect grid reliability and that was the subject of yesterday's hearing by the House Subcommitee on Energy and Power chaired by Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. >>View Article

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