Renewable Energy

Yieldcos attracting interest from more investors


Investors looking for better dividend payments are starting to put money into yieldcos – spinoffs of alternative energy companies that own assets like solar farms and wind farms, Reuters reports, noting that more than 900 actively managed mutual funds now have some of the shares in their portfolios.

Tesla adding all-wheel drive, safety features

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) — Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors is making its Model S sedan faster and safer in an effort to compete better with other high-end sedans.

At an open-to-the-public unveiling Thursday night that included bumping music, free alcohol and test rides on an airport tarmac, CEO Elon Musk unveiled an all-wheel-drive version of the car that includes self-driving features he called "auto pilot."

The announcement ended a week of speculation following a cryptic Musk tweet that said, "About time to unveil the D and something else."

Florida has fewer clean energy jobs per capita: Study

Miami Herald

A study put together by groups trying to promote clean energy jobs in Florida finds that despite offering employment to about 130,000 workers, per capita the state lags behind places like Vermont, Massachusetts and Illinois, the Miami Herald reports.

Vermont top, S.C. bottom in energy efficiency: Study

Vermont Public Radio

A study by finance website WalletHub found that Vermont ranked as the most energy efficient state, while South Carolina trailed in last place, Vermont Public Radio reports.

Energy storage the new ‘holy grail’: Analyst

The New York Times

Energy storage is the key to energy systems in an age of renewables, the new “holy grail,” a Bloomberg analyst told The New York Times, which notes that the International Energy Agency has called on the U.S., the EU, China and India to spend a combined $380 billion to boost it.

SolarCity loan deal could propel rooftop market

NEW YORK (AP) — SolarCity will begin offering loans to homeowners for solar systems, a move that industry analysts say could reshape the market for rooftop solar and propel its rapid adoption.

Most current rooftop solar deals involve a lease or an agreement to buy power over a period of time, but the company owns the panels. SolarCity's loan will allow customers to own their systems and still pay less for electricity, a simpler and cheaper prospect.


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee photo

IRS chief: Refunds may slow without fast extenders decision

The head of the Internal Revenue Service has called on Congress to take up or abandon a package of tax break extensions and renewals by the end of November to avoid slowing tax refunds next year.

In a letter dated Monday to the chairmen and ranking members on the Senate and House tax-writing committees, Commissioner John A. Koskinen said a decision must be made by then to avoid "serious problems" for IRS and for filers.

While he did not call for passage of legislation, Koskinen's letter gives backers of the tax "extenders" bill pending in the Senate a new argument to use in calling a fast vote when lawmakers return to Washington next month. 

LED there be light: 3 share Nobel for blue diode

STOCKHOLM (AP) — An invention that promises to revolutionize the way the world lights its homes and offices — and already helps create the glowing screens of mobile phones, computers and TVs— earned a Nobel Prize on Tuesday for two Japanese scientists and a Japanese-born American.

By inventing a new kind of light-emitting diode, or LED, they overcame a crucial roadblock for creating white light far more efficiently than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Now LEDs are pervasive and experts say their use will only grow.

American, 2 Japanese win physics Nobel Prize, for lighting

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and U.S. scientist Shuji Nakamura have won the Nobel Prize in physics for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes — a new energy efficient and environment-friendly light source.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says the invention is just 20 years old, "but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all."

Sizeable investment in battery gigafactory from Panasonic

The Wall Street Journal

Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters Tuesday that his company plans an initial investment in Tesla’s battery gigafactory that runs to tens of billions of yen, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars, The Wall Street Journal reports.


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