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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

Vestas plans to train 60 new workers per week

August 1 -- WINDSOR - Danish wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S (OMX: VWS) aims to hire and train as many as 60 new employees every week, Hans Jespersen, vice president and general manager for Vestas' Windsor blade factory, said Thursday.

"For us in Colorado right now, it's all about getting new employees in," Jespersen said. >>View Article

Solar Energy Poised to Help States Meet Air QualityTargets

August 1 -- 

Taking part in a national "listening tour" conducted by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today urged states to turn to solar energy to help meet new carbon pollution targets.

At a session this morning at EPA headquarters, SEIA's Katherine Stainken told agency officials: "SEIA generally supports the Clean Power Plan and is in support of a flexible approach that allows states to take advantage of solar as a compliance option as part of a balanced energy portfolio. Additionally, SEIA agrees with the EPA that renewable energy is part of the best system of emission reduction. Many states have proven that system-wide programs that require the implementation of renewable energy are extremely effective at reducing carbon emissions in an achievable, efficient and cost-effective manner." >>View Article

Time to revive the Michigan Dream

August 1 -- Here in Michigan, we once had our own unique version of the American Dream. This Michigan Dream was built on a set of shared values: the belief that a quality education and economic opportunity were available to anyone willing to work for it, pride in making our communities a great place to raise our families, and the opportunity for each of us to escape to and enjoy our beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and parks. >>View Article

Avoiding Conflict Through Renewable Energy Independence

August 1 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent actions threaten the financial stability of Russia's neighbors in Europe and Ukraine. Putin recently cut off liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Ukraine and may have provided Russian separatists with the rocket that shot down commercial airliner MH17.

It's not a question of whether President Putin will engage in actions that threaten the financial stability of Russia's neighbors in Europe and Ukraine, but rather when.

Although control over the Crimean Peninsula spurred the fighting between pro-Russian rebels and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Putin's meddling in Crimea could evolve into imperialism. >>View Article

Schauer economic plan includes bigger clean energy mandate

July 30 -- Democratic candidate Mark Schauer says he would come up with a road funding solution where Governor Rick Snyder and the Republicans failed. Schauer did not give specifics, but said he would do it without raising fuel taxes. It was part of an economic platform he outlined today.

It also includes boosting the state’s renewable energy, repealing the right to work law, and restoring the tax break for pension income. >>View Article

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