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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 

Renewables Accounted for Half of All New Power Plants Installed Globally Last Year

November 13 -- Renewable energy accounted for almost half of all new power plants in 2014, representing a “clear sign that an energy transition is underway,” according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Green energy is now the second-largest generator of electricity in the world, after coal, and is set to overtake the dirtiest fossil fuel in the early 2030s, according to the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 report, published on Tuesday >>View Article 

This is Why Solar Panels Will Boom Early Next Year

November 13 -- The global market for solar panels is expected to soar to a record high in the first half of 2016 because of strong demand as well as favorable policies in the U.S. and China, says a new report from research firm IHS Technology.

However, in the second half of 2016 and into 2017, growth is expected to slow after the U.S. lowers its solar tax credits and a push by China to install more panels ends. >>View Article 

Walmart Makes Good on its Massive Clean Energy Promises

November 13 -- When Walmart hits the headlines, it's often not for the most positive reasons. From allegations of predatory pricing and poor working conditions to low wages, the company has been involved in so much controversy that when it pledged in 2005 that its business would one day be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, there was healthy skepticism that the company was engaged in greenwashing.

As recently as last year, skepticism still held sway, with a nonprofit advocacy group reporting that the company’s sustainability initiatives "are heavy on admiration-inducing goals and astonishingly light on execution." >>View Article 

Climate Change is the ‘Mother of All Risks’ to National Security

November 13 -- Serving at Pentagon, I worked with leaders who studied threats ranging from insurgent groups to rogue states. One of the U.S. military’s less-noticed findings, however, is that there is clear consensus that climate change poses an immediate risk to national security.

Military leaders recognize that they must lead by example and address the threat of climate change, and they are actively pushing goals to dramatically scale up renewable energy. The U.S. must replicate this leadership and seize the opportunity when countries meet this December in Paris to finalize a global deal on climate change. >>View Article 

61 Percent of Public Supports Clean Power Plan in States Suing to Stop It

November 6 -- Across the 26 states suing to stop the landmark rule – the first ever to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants – an average 61 percent of adults say they support the policy, according to an analysis released Monday by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

In only three of those states do most voters oppose the Clean Power Plan: West Virginia and Wyoming, the nation's top two coal producers, as well as North Dakota, which has seen a boom in unconventional oil and natural gas production, commonly referred to as "fracking." >>View Article 

Goldman Sachs Targets $150 Billion in Clean-Energy Deals by 2025

November 6 -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a goal of arranging financing or investments in $150 billion worth of clean-energy projects by 2025, part of a promise to “harness market-based solutions” to address climate change.

The new target almost quadruples the $40 billion goal Goldman Sachs set in 2012. The New York-based investment bank also said it expects to spend $2 billion to make its operations more environmentally friendly and will seek to get all of its own electricity from renewable sources by 2020, according to a statement Monday. >>View Article 

Researcher Says Michigan Could Get to 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

November 6 -- A study by Stanford University professor Marc Jacobson says every state in the U.S. could get 100% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050 – and save money in the process.

In Michigan, most of that power would come from the state's most abundant renewable resource: wind. Forty percent of the state's electric needs could be met with on-shore wind power, according to Jacobson's analysis, and 31% from off-shore wind power. >>View Article 

Solar Power Can Have a Major Impact Without Major Harm

November 6 -- In the rush to site solar energy to combat climate change, we got it half right. Building a clean energy future does not have to come at the expense of the environment. We can have it all.

Solar energy facilities can spread across thousands of acres, and if not put in the right places, can destroy pristine natural lands, inhibit the ability of those lands to store carbon, and disrupt habitat for imperiled wildlife such as the desert tortoise, bighorn sheep and giant kangaroo rat. Fortunately, as compared to conventional energy sources, solar has the potential to harness large amounts of energy and reduce impacts on land, water, human health, and climate, through better siting in places such as rooftops, parking lots, and lands with fewer natural resources. >>View Article 

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