The announcement Tuesday of a conditional $150 million loan by Energy Department to the Cape Wind offshore wind farm project was showcased by the administration as a key part of its climate action plan, one that will spur the offshore renewable energy sector.
It also marked a more confident use of taxpayer money to back renewable energy in the wake of the $529 million Solyndra solar company failure and other high-profile, if limited, losses of taxpayer money during President Barack Obama's first term.
Yet the question remains: Can the government replicate the success it has claimed for onshore wind in offshore waters?
The Department of Energy is promising Cape Wind a $150 million loan guarantee for its project to install 100 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, putting the company 60 percent of the way toward raising the $2.5 billion it will need, The Boston Globe reports.
SICHANLOO, Iran (AP) — In this village nestled in the arid hills of rural Iran, government-subsidized solar panels on the rooftops of homes provide both needed electricity and a shining symbol of efforts by the Islamic Republic to wean itself off fossil fuels and nuclear power.
President Hassan Rouhani's government has quintupled its spending on solar power projects in the last year, taking advantage of Iran's 300-odd days of sunshine a year that make its vast sun-kissed lands one of the best spots on earth to host solar panels. While being good for the environment, the panels also offer rural Iran steady power amid uncertainty over the country's contested nuclear program as it negotiates with world powers.
And as the Islamic Republic cuts back on subsidies that once made gasoline cheaper than bottled mineral water, a push toward self-sustaining solar power could help the government save money and bolster its sanctions-battered economy.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's top court is confirming countries have the right to limit subsidies for renewable energy to plants based on their territory, as opposed to companies' operations abroad.
Tuesday's ruling by the Court of Justice found countries may also restrict electricity imports to promote wind, solar or biomass energy because it "is justified by the public interest objective of promoting the use of renewable energy sources in order to protect the environment and combat climate change."
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States wants to help Chile build Latin America's largest solar power plant.
Obama touted the project during an Oval Office meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who has returned to office after winning election in March. Obama said Chile has been a model democracy in Latin America and he wants to deepen cooperation between the two nations.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation on Friday approved a loan guarantee of up to $230 million to support Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar's construction of a 141 megawatt solar power plant in Chile's Atacama Desert, which receives some of the planet's steadiest concentrations of direct sunlight.
Vestas Wind Systems, the Danish company that’s the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, will supply 225 of them to EDF Energy to be used in the Roosevelt Wind Project in New Mexico and in Slate Creek in Kansas, generating 450 megawatts of power, Bloomberg reports.
Declining costs of producing wind energy are helping the business to take off in Michigan, and it’s likely to get a further boost from the Obama administration moves to cut carbon emissions, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The popularity of green bonds, which give investors a straightforward way to put their money into clean energy projects, may also be invaluable in getting more of the projects off the ground and play a key role in the fight against climate change, Bloomberg reports.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California wind farm will become the first in the nation to avoid prosecution if eagles are injured or die when they run into the giant turning blades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday.
The Shiloh IV Wind Project LLC, 60 miles east of San Francisco, will receive a special permit allowing up to five golden eagles to be accidentally killed over five years. Previously, such a violation could potentially draw criminal charges and discourage private investment in wind farms known for catching birds in their rotors.
After meeting with White House adviser John Podesta along with eight other Democratic senators, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota told reporters he believes the EPA will increase its biofuels blending targets when it sets final levels for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard, Platts reports.
The Transportation Secretary is defending his department’s proposed rule to improve oil train safety – faced with environmentalists’ demands to pull old DOT-111 tank cars from service immediately, Anthony Foxx said on PBS that the transition away from them will take time given the percentage of them in service now, The Hill reports.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Board of Immigration Appeals last month in a complicated case where the statute in question was ambiguous, which may be a preview of legal challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to limit carbon emissions for power plants based on the Clean Air Act, E&E reports.
Russian oil giant Rosneft is working on a plan to reduce the impact of Western sanctions on its operations, CEO and sanctions target Igor Sechin said in a statement as the company reported a jump in pre-sanctions second quarter net income to $4.9 billion, Reuters reports.
The Office of Surface Mining has issued hundreds of environmental violations including cessation orders, while $2 million in unpaid penalties have piled up on coal mines in five states that are owned by billionaire James Justice, according to an investigation by E&E.
Instead of an expected slowdown, Texas 2013 oil production increased to a level near the record set in 1972, pushed by higher oil prices that climbed on international unrest, according to an industry analysis, FuelFix reports.
More utilities are joining Germany’s balancing market, where the government pays them to add or cut power to the grid within seconds to balance out surges and drops caused by increasing reliance on wind and solar energy, Bloomberg reports.
Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who’s challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in a key election contest, said at the Heritage Foundation Thursday that even lawmakers from states that have imposed fracking bans voted in favor of his legislation to push LNG exports, The Hill reports.
Despite increasing violence in parts of Libya including the capital, a tanker has arrived in Brega and should leave next week bound for Genoa loaded with 750,000 barrels of crude, the port said on its Facebook page, according to The Wall Street Journal.