Clean energy jobs return, but at reduced pace

The number of new clean energy and transportation jobs announced by developers more than doubled in the second quarter compared to first quarter of this year, to 12,500, the business group Environmental Entrepreneurs reported.

The sector rebounded after a dip in the first quarter, when about 5,600 jobs were added nationally. Still, the number for the second quarter was only about a third of the 38,600 jobs announced in the same period last year, when the renewable energy sector was surging.

US fund in deal to build Myanmar solar plants

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A U.S investment group has signed a $480 million deal to build two solar energy plants in central Myanmar, one of the largest investments by an American firm since the easing of U.S. sanctions.

The agreement, inked by the ACO Investment Group and the Ministry of Energy, is aimed at helping ease electricity shortages in the country of 60 million, which only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule and self-imposed isolation.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Photo

Palen solar project highlights uncertainty about bird deaths

The debate over the number of desert birds that could be killed flying through a major proposed solar project in California shows no sign of waning, even as one of the developers has moved to counter criticism by an environmental group that has taken on new life this week.

The fight, in advance of a decision by the state on the project, shows how little is known about the impacts to birds from an emerging utility-scale solar power technology, one that both sides agree scorches birds in mid-air. The question neither can answer definitively is how often that happens.

Measure to speed California solar permits heads to Brown


The California Senate approved and sent to Governor Jerry Brown a bill to streamline the solar permit process, intended to make it easier and quicker for homeowners to get solar power installations up and running, according to

Finger pointing over delays in LA solar hook-ups

Los Angeles Times

A burdensome approval process and delays in the city’s Department of Water and Power in getting customers hooked up to the grid is putting a damper on solar power installations in L.A., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bird death reports at solar project inflated: NRG


Estimates of a bird burning to death every two minutes at the Ivanpah solar project are inflated, according to a spokesman for NRG Energy, which operates the facility built by BrightSource Energy and says 321 birds died there in the first half of the year, Bloomberg reports.

Solar panel shortage looming


The rising pace of solar installations is set to create a shortage of solar panels, after a two-year glut that forced a number of manufacturers into bankruptcy, Bloomberg reports.

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air

IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

NRG picks up mobile solar startup

The New York Times

Furthering the goal of energizing people “wherever they are,” according to CEO David Crane, NRG Energy has acquired the mobile solar startup Goal Zero for an undisclosed amount of cash, The New York Times reports.

Living roofs take root in wine country

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — It's a warm day in the Napa Valley and the summer sun that turns the region's plump grapes into prized cabernet sauvignon is beating down on the Odette Estate winery.

But inside the winery's production facility, temperatures are pleasant — with nary a whisper of air conditioning.

The reason is Odette Estate's innovative roof, which combines 8,500 square feet of planted, living roof with 2,500 square feet of solar panels.


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