Renewable Energy

Electric-car drivers trading gas for solar power

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.

GM to move production of Volt part to US

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.

Tesla unveils lease incentives to boost sales

The Wall Street Journal

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.

Volt drive manufacture moves to Michigan: GM

The Wall Street Journal

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.

Small battery maker touts big prospect for NC jobs

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.

Automakers look to fuel cells despite obstacles

Los Angeles Times

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.

Battles escalating over utilities’ moves to lease solar panels

San Francisco Chronicle

Solar companies are fighting a new trend: Utilities leasing solar panels and attempting to do so under state rules guaranteeing them a rate of return, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Southern buys California plant from First Solar

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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.

Peer pressure influences solar installations: Study

The Washington Post

Scientists in New England, in a study published in the Journal of Economic Geography, have found that people were more likely to install solar panels on their roof if they live nearby someone else who had done so, The Washington Post reports.

Wind dominating Michigan renewable sector: Pew


Michigan’s clean energy production -- encouraged by the 2008 Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act -- is dominated by wind power, according to a brief from the Pew Charitable Trusts, reports.


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