Renewable Energy

Wind industry seeks to cut bat kills by 30 percent

The Hill

American Wind Energy Association members plan to slow down the rate of revolutions for turbines this fall in an effort to cut bat killed by blades by 30 percent during the animals' peak migration season, The Hill reports.

Trio charged with running $54M green-energy Ponzi scheme

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors have charged three people with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme they say was built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel that they never developed.

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment Thursday against 34-year-old Troy Wragg, formerly of Philadelphia, 32-year-old Amanda Knorr, of Pennsylvania, and 52-year-old Wayde McKelvy, of Colorado. They were charged with wire and securities fraud and conspiracy.

Hitachi eyes expansion into offshore wind parts


Hitachi Ltd. is looking to expand its research into offshore wind energy and is considering development of a new manufacturing line that would produce parts for 5-megawatt systems by March 2016, Bloomberg reports.

Seeo car battery maker picked up by Bosch


Seeo – a California-based developer of electric car batteries that holds a licence for patents from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – has been acquired by international car parts company Robert Bosch, Reuters reports.

Consumer Reports serious about Tesla’s perfect score


Consumer Reports recalibrated its automobile tests after Tesla’s latest Model S – the P85D – scored better than 100 percent, according to Forbes.

South African prototype may solve solar power problem

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — By thinking small, a group of South African scientists may have pioneered solar technology that has stumped Internet giant Google.

The Helio100 project, based at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape province, is a cost-effective heliostat that harnesses solar power to generate electricity.

Report: Solyndra misrepresented facts to get loan guarantee

WASHINGTON (AP) — A four-year investigation has concluded that officials of the solar company Solyndra misrepresented facts and omitted key information in their efforts to get a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government.

The company's collapse soon after getting federal backing provided ammunition to lawmakers and other critics who portrayed President Barack Obama's economic stimulus program as wasteful government spending. The company's failure likely will cost taxpayers more than $500 million.

Obama in front of summit backdrop
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Solar, wind power draw Obama support at Vegas energy summit

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Barack Obama brought presidential star power to tout the benefits of solar electricity in Western states during an annual green power conference Monday in Las Vegas hosted by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

The president used a keynote speech to the eighth National Clean Energy Summit at the Mandalay Bay resort to endorse continuing development of wind and solar energy. Obama called for overcoming resistance from "some fossil fuel interests who want to protect the oil-dominated status quo."


Obama: Renewable energy now makes market sense

President Barack Obama on Monday night declared that renewable energy sources now make sense and are sustainable in the free market, accusing critics of his energy policies of trying to "protect old ways of doing business."

The president used a speech at a clean energy conference in Las Vegas, backed by Senate minority leader Harry Reid and former Obama adviser John Podesta, to unveil new executive actions he is taking to help make solar and wind power affordable to homeowners. "We're taking steps to allow more Americans to join this revolution with no money down," he said.

But the speech was as much a defense of his clean energy agenda as it was a specific announcement of his new initiatives.

Obama told the audience that his policies have helped spur renewable energy innovations that are creating jobs, growing the economy and helping reduce pollution linked to climate change. 

And while acknowledging decades of belief that renewable energy doesn't make economic sense, he declared that "today that's no longer true."

He accused the fossil fuel lobby and its backers of trying to distort the record of clean energy success to protect their industries against competition from solar and wind sources, singling out the billionaire Koch brothers and their free-market arguments.

"It's one thing if you're consistent in being free market," Obama said. "It's another thing when you're free market until it's solar that's working and people want to buy and suddenly you're not for it anymore. That's a problem."

Among the steps  announced by Obama:

—New guidance from the Federal Housing Administration that could dramatically expand the use of so-called PACE loans that allow homeowners to install energy improvements and pay back the costs over time. So far, use of Property-Assessed Clean Energy financing has been constrained by regulatory obstacles.

—Making $1 billion in additional loan guarantees available from the Department of Energy to encourage innovation in technologies that give Americans more flexibility in choosing renewable energy options.

Obama also approved a transmission line to support a planned 485-megawatt solar plant planned for Riverside County in California. The Blythe Mesa plant is expected to produce enough renewable energy to power more than 145,000 homes.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Obama makes economic case for boosting renewable energy

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Barack Obama has pushed back against critics of his energy policies in a speech in Las Vegas.

The president used his address at a green energy conference to make the case that renewable energy innovations are creating jobs, boosting the economy and helping to combat dangerous emissions that contribute to climate change.


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