Renewable Energy

Vermont loves renewable energy, except when it arrives

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Getting energy from the sun, wind and forests fits with Vermont's sense of itself as clean, green and independent. But when it comes time to build and live with the projects that make it possible, things can get complicated.

The state's own comprehensive energy plan contemplates a future of electric cars and renewable sources providing 90 percent of its energy needs. And Vermont was recently rated No. 1 in solar industry jobs per capita.

But strong opposition from citizens' groups to a wind-power project in Lowell, the recent vote by property owners to reject a proposed wind farm in northeastern Vermont, and a ruling by state regulators against a proposed wood-burning power plant in southern Vermont have some questioning the state's willingness to turn talk into action.

Solar panels, cheap batteries could upend traditional utility business, study finds

Source: 
E&E

By 2020 in California and New York, power from a combination of rooftop solar panels and cheap batteries could be less expensive than electricity provided by utilities through the grid, according to a study from sustainability advocate the Rocky Mountain Institute, E&E reports. 

Coal crunch gives impetus to India's solar switch

NEW DELHI (AP) — For six years in a row, India's monopoly coal producer has missed its production targets, leading to chronic electricity shortages and sending power producers scrambling for pricier imports. But what looks like a looming crisis could turn out to be an almost accidental energy overhaul.

Like many developing nations, India has relied for decades on cheap coal to provide electricity for burgeoning industry and fast-expanding cities, putting aside worries about pollution and global warming.

But from three years ago when solar capacity was almost zero, the country has added 2.2 gigawatts of solar to its electricity grid, enough to power 20 million Indian homes. It plans another 2 GW this year, toward a total 15 GW addition by 2017. Individual states plan even more. India has also added about 26 GW in coal-fired capacity since 2011, but already plants are sitting idle for lack of cheap supply.

Associated Press

Shaheen, Portman try again to advance efficiency bill

A bipartisan push to advance energy efficiency legislation in the Senate got new life on Thursday with the introduction of a revised bill that repeals a mandate for federal buildings to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2030. 

An official with a key advocacy group said the change, along with nine others added to a previous version that stalled on the Senate floor last fall, will help the new bill by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Rob Portman get the 60 votes needed to advance past procedural hurdles.

GE betting on wind power in Japan

Source: 
Bloomberg

General Electric has developed a 2.85-megawatt turbine designed to capitalize on Japan's need to diversify its sources of energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Bloomberg reports.

European renewable sector struggling

Source: 
The Economist

Europe's struggling renewable energy companies, weakened by the global financian crisis and having trouble competing with cheaper Chinese rivals, are looking to the EU for help, The Economist reports.

Mass. debates whether hydropower counts as clean energy

Source: 
The Boston Globe

A measure introduced in the Massachusetts legislature has lawmakers debating whether it's a good idea to count hydropower toward clean energy requirements being set for the state's utilities, The Boston Globe reports.

Senate Energy hearing on hydropower, lands bills

Washington, February 27, 2014, 2:30 pm

Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on pending hydroelectric and water bills, including the Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act of 2013 and Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act. Energy and Interior department witnesses.

Tesla plans new battery factory; will employ 6,500

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors is considering sites in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas for a massive battery factory that would employ around 6,500 people.

Tesla plans to start construction this year and complete the factory in 2017.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company expects the factory to supply enough batteries for the 500,000 cars it hopes to make by 2020.

Wal-Mart order boosts forklift supplier Plug Power

Source: 
Bloomberg

Plug Power Inc., which supplies fuel cells for electric forklifts, saw its shares soar Wednesday after announcing Wal-Mart will use more than 1,700 of the systems in its distribution centers, Bloomberg reports.

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