TOKYO (AP) — Like other Japanese who were banking on this country's sweeping move toward clean energy, Junichi Oba is angry.
Oba, a consultant, had hoped to supplement his future retirement income in a guilt-free way and invested $200,000 in a 50 kilowatt solar-panel facility, set up earlier this year in a former rice paddy near his home in southwestern Japan.
Wells Fargo is providing $10 million in grants for clean tech startups, in an Innovation Incubator program being administered by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Denver Business Journal reports.
DETROIT (AP) — Owners of electric vehicles have already gone gas-free. Now, a growing number are powering their cars with sunlight.
Solar panels installed on the roof of a home or garage can easily generate enough electricity to power an electric or plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicle. The panels aren't cheap, and neither are the cars. A Ford Fusion Energi plug-in sedan, for example, is $7,200 more than an equivalent gas-powered Fusion even after a $4,007 federal tax credit.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is moving production of the Chevrolet Volt's electric drive unit from Mexico to a Detroit-area factory as it updates the slow-selling car to increase its electric range and make it perform better.
The Volt can go about 38 miles on battery power before a small gasoline generator kicks in. In the revamped version, coming in the second half of next year, the battery will store more energy yet be smaller, allowing the car to go farther on battery power, CEO Mary Barra said in a speech delivered at the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday.
There’s still a waiting list to get a Tesla Motors Model S sedan, but U.S. sales through September were down 26 percent compared to the period a year earlier, and the company has now launched incentives including a lower cost leasing plan and a “happiness guarantee,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
CEO Mary Barra will announce details of General Motor’s moving the manufacture of the electric drive for its Chevrolet Volt from Mexico to Michigan, during a speech Tuesday to the Detroit Economic Club, The Wall Street Journal reports.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A small start-up company said Monday it would create hundreds of jobs when it moves into a massive, former Philip Morris USA cigarette plant to build batteries that it says will help power companies save energy and work more efficiently.
North Carolina officials on Tuesday are expected to hear Alevo Group representatives discuss plans to manufacture the utility-scale batteries at the factory site in Concord, where more than 2,000 were employed before it closed in 2009, State Commerce Department spokeswoman Kim Genardo said. Alevo believes that as the U.S. and other nations work to reduce emissions of gases that are contributing to climate change, its energy-saving technology will become more valuable.
The lack of hydrogen fueling stations has been holding back any push toward fuel cell vehicles, but automakers – including Honda, Hyundai, GM and Ford as well as Toyota -- look increasingly likely to embrace the technology in the not-too-distant future, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Southern Co. subsidiary Southern Power has bought the Solar Gen 2 plant in California from First Solar Inc., and will sell the electricity from it on to San Diego Gas & Electric, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Even as the Obama administration is shutting some doors to drilling in Alaska, it plans to open up the Atlantic, with an announcement expected from the Interior Department soon, sources tell National Journal.
The industry practice of drillers using a trade secret designation to avoid disclosing which chemicals they use in fracking will get new restrictions, under a legal settlement agreed in Wyoming between environmental groups, state regulators and oilfield services company Halliburton, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.
The capital and exploration budget for Hess Corp. will drop by 16 percent to $4.7 billion in its 2015 outlay, the company said, adding that the number of rigs it plans to operate will drop by nearly half to an average of 9.5, FuelFix reports.
Oil gained in trading early Monday but failed to shoot up substantially despite a prediction from OPEC’s Secretary General that prices could end up as high as $200 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 13 cents to $45.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent increased 27 cents to $48.43, Bloomberg reports.
The drop in rig count that has followed the slide in oil prices won’t dent U.S. crude production too much in 2015, assuming that prices begin to recover in the later part of the year, according to statistics from the Energy Information Administration, The Hill reports.
Companies may be cutting back their exploration and drilling this year as a result of the drop in oil and gas prices, but those who are well positioned will likely be looking to pick off rivals instead, which could lead to an upsurge in mergers and acquisitions, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Former BP executive David Rainey has seen his request to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear his appeal in an obstruction of Congress case rejected: He stands accused of lying to lawmakers about the severity of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, Reuters reports.
The coal trade in January will be affected by winter weather, as a trade association official told Platts that at least one barge in Lake Superior was unable to load its cargo as a result of icing, and others were likely delayed.
Having spent $305 million five years ago to purchase the San Francisco-based solar company Recurrent Energy, Sharp Corp. reportedly has found a buyer for the unit above the initial purchase price, sources tell Bloomberg.
In a fresh tilt at net metering, Hawaii Electric has applied to the state’s Public Utilities Commission to phase out the existing program of issuing credits to customers with solar panels who supply electricity back to the grid, as the utility claims they are not paying their fair share of grid maintenance, E&E reports.