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Cheapest Solar Ever: Austin Energy Gets 1.2 Gigawatts of Solar Bids for Less Than 4 Cents

July 1 -- A lot more cheap solar is coming for Austin, Texas.

The city's utility, Austin Energy, just released new data on developer bids for PV projects as part of a 600-megawatt procurement. The numbers show how far solar prices have come down over the last year -- and will continue to drop.

According to Khalil Shalabi, Austin Energy's vice president of resource planning, the utility received offers for 7,976 megawatts of projects after issuing a request for bids in April. Out of those bids, 1,295 megawatts of projects were priced below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. >>View Article

Wall Street Pumps Billions Into Renewable Energy

June 30 -- After years of lofty promises, Wall Street believes the renewable energy industry can produce a payoff.

In just a few years, investors have gone from zero to billions in the amount of money they’re pumping into renewable-energy companies and environmentally friendly projects.

Tax-equity funds and specialty financial tools like “green bonds” and yieldcos have become increasingly popular. And investments in the renewable-energy companies that benefit from these financial tools have far outperformed those in oil-and-gas drilling and coal mining since the start of 2013, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research arm of Bloomberg LP.  >>View Article

O’Malley: We can get all our energy from renewables

June 30 -- Last weekend, at a meeting in Sioux City, I was asked a question I’ve heard from people all across the state: As president, what would you do to support the investments we’re already making in Iowa on renewable energy?

Iowans deserve a clear answer to that question from every candidate. Here’s mine: My administration would call for 100 percent of our energy to come from renewable sources by 2050. >>View Article

Follow Google's lead in use of renewable energy

June 30 -- Google is coming to Alabama, and not just as a search engine on mobile devices.

The Internet giant, known for its search engine, is opening a data processing center in northeast Alabama at the site of a former Tennessee Valley Authority coal-burning power plant. The new data center will give the company the additional computing capacity needed to process Internet search requests, show digital video, give directions, deliver email and store photographs.

About 100 new jobs are expected to be created with the center’s completion. Google is investing $600 million in the new facility and its technology. >>View Article

Bill Gates To Help Fight Climate Change By Investing Up To $2 Billion In Green Technology

June 30 -- The Supreme Court may have dealt a crushing blow this week to President Barack Obama's efforts to curb climate change, but all is not lost.

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates announced plans to spend up to $2 billion on innovative renewable technologies over the next five years. In an interview with the Financial Times (paywall), Gates said he hopes to "bend the curve" through the cultivation of "breakthrough" technologies, doubling an already impressive billion-dollar investment. He has so far written checks to 15 green companies, he said, and has contributed venture capital funds to another 30. >>View Article

Offshore wind still the best bet for clean energy

June 30 -- The proposal for Cape Wind, which was to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm, is teetering on the edge of failure after a 14-year saga of lawsuits and regulatory hurdles. Yet a bill pending in the Massachusetts Legislature would require that large amounts of electricity come from wind turbines located offshore. How can that possibly make sense?

But the bill has it right: For the Northeast to address climate change, developing offshore wind is a necessity. That’s because nothing beats offshore wind for generating power. >>View Article

Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet

June 30 -- Sometime this summer, a United Airlines flight will take off from Los Angeles International Airport bound for San Francisco using fuel generated from farm waste and oils derived from animal fats.

For passengers, little will be different — the engines will still roar, the seats in economy will still be cramped — but for the airlines and the biofuels industry, the flight will represent a long-awaited milestone: the first time a domestic airline operates regular passenger flights using an alternative jet fuel. >>View Article

Block Island Wind Farm Could Launch New American Energy Revolution

June 22 -- Can you think of a single technology that is used extensively abroad, yet not at all here in the United States?

This summer, Rhode Island will make history by breaking ground on America’s first offshore wind project. This first domestic installation at Block Island will stand in stark contrast to Europe’s massive, decades-old offshore wind industry that includes nearly 2,500 offshore wind turbines and supports 60,000 jobs. >>View Article

Virginia Should Lead Its Neighbors to Solar Future

June 22 -- Thanks to Internet retail giant Amazon, solar energy is building its brand and influence in Virginia. The company has announced plans to build an 80-megawatt (MW) solar facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This solar installation will be the largest in the commonwealth. The investment brings into focus Virginia’s solar technology gap.

For decades, Virginia has been a hot spot of East Coast technological innovation. Nextel, one of the first cellphone giants, was based in Reston. Rosetta Stone, the popular language education software company, was founded in Harrisonburg. Opower, a pioneer in demand-side energy management software, is based in Arlington. >>View Article

Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo Launch New Clean Energy Campaign

June 22 -- Actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio has teamed up with his Shutter Island co-star Mark Ruffalo to unveil a new campaign to make renewable energy sources more affordable for the U.S. public. The stars are co-founders of the 100% movement and they launched their new project in New York City on Thursday night (18 June 15), urging fellow eco-warriors to support their cause by putting pressure on lawmakers to do more to save the planet and boost the economy at the same time. >>View Article

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