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Tesla Moves Into Home Energy Storage

Elon Musk unveils Tesla Energy, his plan to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy on an extreme scale. Picture: Patrick T Fallon

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Solar is Having a Great Year, Except on Wall Street

      

Solar panels are seen in the Palm Springs area, California April 13, 2015. Picture taken April 13, 2015.
Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

reuters.com - by Nichola Groom - August 14, 2015

By almost any measure, the U.S. solar market is on fire.

Installations of solar panels are expected to soar by a third this year, the price of solar power is now cheap enough to compete neck and neck with gas and coal-fired power in places like California, and the fledgling industry received a vote of confidence last week when U.S. President Barack Obama announced a groundbreaking plan to curb power plant emissions. Even China's currency devaluation could cut panel costs for U.S. solar installers.

Wall Street, however, has been dumping solar shares this year, largely on concern, which investors say is misplaced, that tumbling oil prices will sap demand for alternative energy, even though oil isn't used to generate power.

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Solar Is a Serious Threat to Electric Utilities

energymanagertoday.com - by Karen Henry - August 5, 2015

Eighty percent of electric utilities believe distributed generation (DG), particularly solar photovoltaic (PV), is a serious challenge to their business, according to the 2015 Strategic Directions: US Electric Industry Report released by Black & Veatch.

The global engineering consulting company conducted an industry-wide survey from May 14 through June 5, 2015, to examine how electric utilities balance the intersecting interests of regulation and reliability with increased customer participation in the grid. More than 400 electric utility or electric industry stakeholders completed the online questionnaire.

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Coal Crash: How Pension Funds Face Huge Risk From Climate Change

           

Coal is moved on a conveyor belt at the PT Bukit Asam open pit coal mine in Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra province, Indonesia. Photograph: Dadang Tri/Getty Images

Special report: The plummeting coal sector and a growing green divestment movement is leaving firms who still invest in fossil fuels and connected pension holders heavily exposed

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington and Caelainn Barr - June 15, 2015

The pension funds of millions of people across the world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and academics in the UK and US, are heavily exposed to the plummeting coal sector, a Guardian analysis has revealed.

It has also found that just a dozen people, including the owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, own coal reserves equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of China, the world’s biggest polluter. The UN, which advocates a shift to clean energy, has more than $100m (£65m) invested in coal through its own pension fund.

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Rethinking the Grid

A 1.6 MW wind turbine installed at Mount Wachusett Community College. (Photo credit: Mount Wachusett Community College)

Image: A 1.6 MW wind turbine installed at Mount Wachusett Community College. (Photo credit: Mount Wachusett Community College)

nesea.org - February 17th 2015 - Karl Rabago

For more than 100 years, taxpayers, ratepayers, investors, and policymakers have supported the growth and operations of the electric utility industry. The ratemaking formula, under which capital investment is recovered and healthy profits are guaranteed, has helped make electric service in the United States nearly universal and relatively cheap. For much of the last century, the model leveraged increasing economies of scale to enable the provision of electricity as well as profits and dividends.

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In U.S., there are twice as many solar workers as coal miners

Workers install solar paneling.

Image: Workers install solar paneling.

fortune.com - January 16th, 2015 - Kirsten Korosec

SolarCity, the largest installer of residential solar systems in the U.S., nearly doubled its workforce last year, hiring 4,000 people to do everything from system design and site surveys to installation and engineering.

The hiring spree at SolarCity isn’t slowing; it’s picking up speed as the company attempts to install twice as many rooftop solar systems than last year and readies its 1.2 million-square foot factory in New York, which is scheduled to reach full production in 2017.

SolarCity SCTY plans to eclipse 2014’s hiring numbers, CEO Lyndon Rive tells Fortune.

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White House Moves to Rein In Methane Emissions

       

New EPA standards will aim to significantly cut methane emissions from oil and gas sites in the U.S.

The Obama administration makes its latest move to take on climate change.

usnews.com - by Alan Neuhauser - January 14, 2015

In the Obama administration’s latest use of executive authority to address climate change, the White House announced plans Wednesday to impose new regulations on the oil and gas industry that would nearly halve methane emissions from wells, drill sites and pipelines in 10 years.

The new standards, to be developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act, would aim by 2025 to cut methane emissions by up to 45 percent from levels recorded in 2012. They would also slash the spread of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, key components of ground-level smog that have been linked to cancer, neurological conditions and other illnesses.

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Governor Cuomo Launches New Effort to Boost Solar Implementation in Communities Across New York State

An array of solar panels.Image: An array of solar panels.

longisland.com - December 7th, 2014

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of Community Solar NY, a new effort under the NY-Sun initiative to make implementing solar easier and more affordable for communities across the state. The program launched today supports community projects known as “Solarize” campaigns – locally-organized community outreach efforts aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar.

“Transitioning to affordable and clean energy is a large part of our goal of building a better New York State – and today we’re taking another step forward to make that goal a reality,” Governor Cuomo said.

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Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

CLICK HERE - REPORT -
New York State Department of Health
A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development (184 page .PDF report)

nytimes.com - By THOMAS KAPLAN and JESSE McKINLEY
December 17, 2014

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction.

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3,000 NY City Buildings to Get Energy Retrofits

The New York City skyline.Image: The New York City skyline.

energymanager.com - September 23rd, 2014 - Linda Hardesty

New York City is committing to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050, with 2005 as a baseline. Central to that commitment, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping plan to retrofit public and private buildings – One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future.

Every single city-owned building with any significant energy use – about 3,000 buildings – will be retrofitted within the next ten years, by 2025, with interim goals along the way.

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