Kansas wind, ethanol industries ride through a rough patch ahead

Source: BY DAN VOORHIS, Wichita Eagle • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Kansas has been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” but why limit ourselves? We have lots of wind. We have lots of sun. We have lots of grain for ethanol. Renewable sources of energy are big business in Kansas. The sector, largely ethanol and wind, make up about 10 percent of the energy consumed in all forms by Kansans, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

Eiffel tower embraces wind power

Source: James Murray, The Guardian • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

One of the world’s most iconic sites has become the latest high profile venue to embrace renewable energy, after the installation of two vertical axis wind turbines as part of the Eiffel tower’s high profile renovation project. US-based onsite renewables specialist Urban Green Energy (UGE) announced on Tuesday that it has fitted two turbines at the site capable of delivering 10,000kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the power used by the commercial areas on the Eiffel tower’s first floor.

Upper Midwest the worst place to plug in — study 

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

If you live in Rochester, Minn., you may want to reconsider buying an electric vehicle, according to a new study from scientists at Carnegie Mellon University. The colder temperatures in the Upper Midwest can decrease the range of a battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) by 36 percent compared to one in California and in turn also increase carbon emissions because the region’s generation mix is also the dirtiest, according to the study published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Google invests $300 million in U.S. residential solar projects

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

SolarCity Corp on Thursday said it created a $750 million fund to finance about 25,000 residential solar projects, with Google Inc investing nearly half the funding. The money will be used by SolarCity to put solar panels on homes. Homeowners then will pay a monthly fee to lease the panels from the company. The growth of such financing has made generating electric power from the sun an option for households who do not want to shell out the $20,000 to $30,000 upfront cost of a typical residential solar system.

Inhofe throws snowball on Senate floor, trying to hit Obama agenda 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) yesterday lobbed a snowball at a Senate page on the chamber floor to illustrate his point that far from unprecedented warmness, this winter has actually been quite cold, as part of his speech trying to debunk global warming. “It’s a snowball from just outside here, so it’s very, very cold,” the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairman told Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who was presiding at the time. “Very unseasonable. So, Mr. President, catch this.”

We have tools to ensure grid reliability under carbon rule — EPA 

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

U.S. EPA Chief Gina McCarthy told lawmakers yesterday that her agency is prepared to deal with potential electric reliability problems under the Clean Power Plan, whether through a “waiver or another process.” While McCarthy maintained that the proposed rule would not affect reliability, she said EPA has the necessary tools to address situations that might arise under the landmark standards to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Iberdrola of Spain Buys UIL of New Haven for $3 Billion

Source: By DEALBOOK, New York Times • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

Iberdrola will combine UIL’s power and gas operations with its existing local unit and will list the new company on an American stock exchange. The combined company will serve 3.1 million customers in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. The company said it expected to invest $6.9 billion in electric and gas infrastructure and other capital expenditures over the next five years.

Spain’s Iberdrola to Buy UIL Holdings for About $3 Billion

Source: By REUTERS • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

Spanish utility Iberdrola SA will buy UIL Holdings Corp for about $3 billion to create a new listed power and gas company and expand in the United States, where it hopes to offset falling profits at home. A world leader in wind turbines, Iberdrola joins other European companies seeking to grow via acquisitions outside sluggish domestic markets. Last year, German engineer Siemens agreed to buy U.S. turbine maker Dresser-Rand.

32,000 Jobs Could Be Created By Illinois Renewable Energy Legislation

Source: By Jake Richardson, CleanTechnica • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) that would make changes to Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard might create 32,000 clean energy jobs, according to its backers. The bill would support greater solar power, and improve energy efficiency. It would also increase the renewable energy standard from 25% by 2025 to 35% by 2030.

Comment: 5 Reasons Why Colorado Should Increase—Not Roll Back—Its Renewable Energy Standard

Source: By Steve Clemmer, director of energy research, Clean Energy, Union of Concerned Scientists • Posted: Thursday, February 26th, 2015

On February 5th, state Senate Republicans passed a bill to roll back Colorado’s renewable energy standard (RES), which has helped make the state a national leader in clean energy. Rolling back the RES is precisely the wrong direction for Colorado to go at this time. In addition to providing important benefits to Colorado’s economy, increasing renewable energy use is one of the most cost-effective strategies for complying with the EPA’s proposed power plant carbon standards.