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America's first wave-produced power goes online in Hawaii

Off the coast of Hawaii, a tall buoy bobs and sways in the water, using the rise and fall of the waves to generate electricity. The current travels through an undersea cable for a mile to a military base, where it feeds into Oahu's power grid — the first wave-produced electricity to go online in the U.S. By some estimates, the ocean's endless motion packs enough power to meet a quarter of America's energy needs and dramatically reduce the nation's reliance on oil, gas and coal. But wave energy technology lags well behind wind and solar power, with important technical hurdles still to be overcome. To that end, the Navy has established a test site in Hawaii, with hopes the technology can someday be used to produce clean, renewable power for offshore fueling stations for the fleet and provide electricity to coastal communities in fuel-starved places around the world.

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Tesla Sells 80 MWh Battery Bank to Edison

Nikola Tesla, the engineer for whom the Tesla Motor company was named, once worked for Thomas Edison. In 1885, Tesla left Edison's company, prompting the famous "War of the Currents," but it looks like their "descendants" have buried the hatchet in an effort to build a greener, more prosperous future. Tesla recently announced that the company has signed a contract with Southern California Edison. Tesla will provide Edison with twenty megawatts worth of Powerpacks, with a capacity of 80 MWh, to reduce the state's reliance on "peaker" electric plants that run on natural gas. This is part of a larger trend to use batteries in place of peaker plants; California alone hopes to install 1300 MW of battery power over the next four years. This will have ramifications for related industries such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and even consumer electronics.

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GM pledges 100% renewable energy power by 2050

General Motors Co. said Wednesday it is committing to power all of its global operations completely by renewable energy by 2050. The Detroit automaker said its goal is to generate or source electrical power for 350 facilities in 59 countries with renewable wind, sun and landfill gas energy during the next three-plus decades. This year, GM expects to have 3.8 percent of electricity use come from renewable resources. “Establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal helps us better serve society by reducing environmental impact,” GM Chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “This pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs.”

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Campaign for energy deregulation picking up steam in Nevada

LAS VEGAS — Discussion is picking up on the Energy Choice Initiative, with more people taking public positions on the ballot measure that aims to deregulate electrical service in Nevada. Here are things to know about Question 3:

HOW DOES IT WORK?

If the measure passes the statewide ballot in November and again in 2018, it will enshrine in the Nevada Constitution the right for customers to choose their energy provider and to produce their own power to sell to others. It directs the Nevada Legislature to pass laws authorizing an open, competitive electricity market by mid-2023.

A “yes” vote supports changing the constitution; a “no” vote keeps it the same.

Nevadans for Affordable, Clean Energy Choices, the PAC backing the measure, announced last week that it’s assembling a team of experts to research how 14 other states have transitioned to open energy markets. Deregulation can take many forms and has had mixed results in the states where it was implemented. Experts say the devil is in the details as Nevada designs its plan.

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California OKs $133 Million For Clean Energy Vehicle Program (Part Of Last-Minute $900 Million Cap & Trade Revenue Deal)

As part of a last-minute $900 million cap-and-trade revenue allocation deal, $133 million in new funding for the state’s clean energy vehicle program has been approved by the Californian legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, according to recent reports.

This is good news for those who thought it prudent to put their names on the waiting list for the program, despite it being out of funds as of late. There are changes being made to the program in conjunction with the new funding that may affect some people, though. In particular, eligibility will be limited to those who have an income below $150,000 (single filers) or $300,000 (joint filers). The previous limits were $250,000 for single filers, and $500,000 for joint filers.

The changes will go into effect on November 1st, according to the Department of Finance.

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Energy Secretary Moniz and Interior Secretary Jewell Announce New National Offshore Wind Strategy to Drive Deployment

BOSTON - U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the publication of a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.

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Costa Rica has gone 76 straight days using 100% renewable electricity

Costa Rica is pulling off a feat most countries just daydream about: For two straight months, the Central American country hasn’t burned any fossil fuels to generate electricity. That’s right: 100 percent renewable power. This isn’t a blip, either. For 300 total days last year and 150 days so far this year, Costa Rica’s electricity has come entirely from renewable sources, mostly hydropower and geothermal. Heavy rains have helped four big hydroelectric dams run above their usual capacity, letting the country turn off its diesel generators.

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Renewable energy advocates launch campaign aimed at defeating Amendment 1

Renewable energy advocates on Wednesday launched a campaign aimed at defeating Amendment 1, a solar initiative supported by Florida's largest utilities appearing on the general election ballot. Complicating the effort by Floridians for Solar Choice, however, is the amendment's timing. Its fate will be decided less than three months after Floridians overwhelmingly approved another solar measure, Amendment 4, which appeared on the Aug. 30 primary ballot. Floridians for Solar Choice had supported that initiative, which sought to prevent property tax increases resulting from the installation of solar panels. Conditioning green energy-minded voters who approved the first amendment to vote against the second won't be easy, the group's leaders admitted. Their slogan, 'utility-backed Amendment 1 blocks the sun', was designed to cut to the heart of a complicated issue in a simplistic way.

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Eastern U.S. Grid Can Handle 30 Percent Renewable Energy — And That’s Just the Start

The Intertubes are buzzing over a new Energy Department report that predicts renewable energy can crank up the entire eastern United States power grid, to the tune of 30 percent. That’s pretty good news for businesses hoping to burnish their green cred by accessing more wind and solar energy. What’s even better news is that the figure of 30 percent is not the ceiling for renewable energy in the eastern states. It is a benchmark used by the Energy Department to predict how the gigantic Eastern Interconnection — one of the largest power systems in the world — will handle an increasing load of wind and solar power.

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OBAMA LEGACY: Quiet but Big Changes in Energy, Pollution

Mostly unnoticed amid the political brawl over climate change, the United States has undergone a quiet transformation in how and where it gets its energy during Barack Obama's presidency, slicing the nation's output of polluting gases that are warming Earth.

As politicians tangled in the U.S. and on the world stage, the U.S. slowly but surely moved away from emissions-spewing coal and toward cleaner fuels like natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar. The shift has put the U.S. closer to achieving the goal Obama set to cut emissions by more than a quarter over the next 15 years, but experts say it is nowhere near enough to prevent the worst effects of global warming.

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