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Michigan-made biofuels the way to increase energy security

July 2 -- In a recent guest column in the Kalamazoo Gazette, Michael Miller thanked Congressman Fred Upton for working to allow exports of oil drilled in the United States.

Rather than looking for new ways to make money by drilling for oil, we should be looking at ways to further boost Michigan's growing biofuels industry – a sector that already fosters job creation and economic opportunity in our rural communities. >>View Article

There's a lot more solar power in the US than we thought

July 2 -- How much solar photovoltaic (PV) power is generated in the United States? According to a new report, official government figures may be understating the total by as much as a third. That's a pretty big deal!

Here's the problem: the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and other energy agencies can easily gather data on electricity from big, utility-scale solar power plants that sell into wholesale markets. But it's much, much more difficult to get data about electricity from solar panels on the customer side of the meter. That means that rooftop solar power on homes and businesses gets overlooked and undercounted. >>View Article

Lyon: Dark money clouds energy debate

July 2 -- Voters are long familiar with Michigan’s big issues each election — jobs,
education, infrastructure and taxes are perennial defining platforms for Michigan
candidates. Energy is poised to join that short list, with issues surrounding energy choice,
oil and gas development, renewables, and environmental stewardship top-of-mind for a growing percentage of legislators, corporate interests and voters. And with energy issues come
“front groups” paid for by energy companies. >>View Article

In Colorado, more jobs, less carbon

July 2 -- Earlier this month, a new report titled "Winds of Change" highlighted the major positive impact Colorado's booming wind energy industry is having on our economy. The report, which was rolled out by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) at the Alliance Center in Denver, found that Colorado is home to nearly 10 percent of the entire nation's wind energy workforce, with more than 2,500 jobs announced in the state's wind sector the past three years alone.

These are good jobs at 22 manufacturing plants and nearly 30 wind farms. They're jobs at wind turbine servicing companies like the Boulder-based business that I co-founded. They're jobs running financial analyses to maximize private-sector profits. >>View Article

PUC needs to push Idaho Power toward more wind, solar

July 2 -- This week Idaho faces a critical moment for its future prosperity and security. What is at stake? Hundreds if not thousands of jobs, income for farmers and other property owners, attracting new industries to the state, reduced and more stable power prices, and a larger tax base.

I am an energy strategist, having worked for global corporations and governments for more than 20 years, including Duke Energy, Google, Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Energy. Five years ago I moved back to Blaine County, bringing my work home, and I have been distressed to watch Idaho miss a vast economic, security and environmental opportunity: homegrown renewable energy. >>View Article

United Airlines Investing $30 Million in Biofuels Producer

July 1 -- United Airlines says it is investing $30 million in a biofuels company to reduce
its vulnerability to oil-price shocks and limits on carbon emissions from planes.

United officials said Tuesday that they expect to begin receiving fuel from Fulcrum
BioEnergy Inc. in 2018 and could be taking 90 million gallons a year by 2021.

That's enough fuel for 20,000 flights a year but just a drop in United's fuel bucket. The
nation's second-biggest airline burned 3.9 billion gallons last year, including United
Express flights. >>View Article

Report: Georgia No. 1 for clean energy jobs

July 1 -- In the ­first quarter of 2015, Georgia was the No. 1 job creator in the clean energy industry, according to Environmental Entrepreneurs, a nonpartisan group of business leaders and investors that promotes environmental policies.

Georgia’s growing solar industry helped propel the state to the ranking. >>View Article

Largest Southern Co. subsidiary enters rooftop solar market

July 1 -- The largest Southern Co. subsidiary will start selling and installing solar panels on homes Wednesday, a move that could broaden the alternative energy market and also worry the utility's competitors.

The decision is perhaps as symbolic as it is financial. Southern Co. is one of the largest U.S. utilities, burns significant fossil fuels and is led by a CEO who once dismissed the importance of small-scale solar energy. >>View Article

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

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