News

Earth on track for hottest year ever as warming speeds up

Source: BY STEPHANIE NEBEHAY, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The earth is on track for its hottest year on record and warming at a faster rate than expected, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic sea ice melt and “new highs” in heat-trapping carbon dioxide levels, point to quickening climate change, it said. June marked the 14th straight month of record heat, the United Nations agency said. It called for speedy implementation of a global pact reached in Paris last December to limit climate change by shifting from fossil fuels to green energy by 2100.

Why’s it so miserably hot? Blame corn sweat

Source: Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

It’s not the heat, Iowa, it’s the corn sweat. Yes, one of Iowa’s most well-known crops is getting blamed for adding to the oppressive humidity that’s making Iowa and big parts of the nation so miserable this week. How miserable? Well, the heat index through Saturday is supposed to be well over 100 degrees throughout Iowa and big chunks of the Midwest.

Trump resumes fight against windfarm near Scottish golf course

Source: By Libby Brooks, The Guardian • Posted: Monday, July 25th, 2016

Donald Trump has vowed to continue fighting the windfarm development off the coast from his Aberdeenshire golf course, branding the project an act of “public vandalism”. The US presidential candidate returned to the fray after Swedish energy company Vattenfall confirmed on Thursday that it is going ahead with its £300m investment, despite last month’s EU referendum vote.

How Popular Is Home Solar Energy?

Source: By Cassandra Sweet and  Jess Kuronen, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, July 25th, 2016

More than one million homes now have solar panels, helped by government subsidies and clean energy policies. Falling equipment prices and competition among installers have driven the average price of a home solar system down 10.6% over the past year to $3.21 per watt, or $16,050 for a five-kilowatt solar array. A federal renewable-energy tax credit can shave another 30% off the total cost.

Clinton picks Kaine as running mate

Source: Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 25th, 2016

On energy issues, Kaine has been a vocal supporter of President Obama’s efforts to deal with climate change. But some of his energy positions have angered environmentalists. Kaine has spoken in favor of at least considering Atlantic offshore drilling, a position at odds with Clinton’s.

Transforming Wyoming into wind energy leader comes with challenges

Source: By Benjamin Sorrow, Casper Star-Tribune • Posted: Monday, July 25th, 2016

David Throgmorton was ready for an energy boom in 2008. He bought vocational training kits for high school and middle school students. He helped establish a festival to promote a new energy future. He even preached a new tomorrow to grade school students. But here in Carbon County, where fossil fuels once were king, Throgmorton wasn’t ecstatic about a new oil play, gas deposit or coal mine. He was excited about wind.

Tesla’s Chief Sticks to Mission Despite a Series of Setbacks

Source: By MATT RICHTER, New York Times • Posted: Monday, July 25th, 2016

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, sat in a glass-walled conference room here last week in the company’s auto factory. Around him, workers and robots were building the $70,000 luxury vehicles that have redefined how people think about electric cars. But autos are just one of Mr. Musk’s many projects. A South African-born billionaire and entrepreneur, he is the top investor in the country’s largest provider of rooftop solar power, runs a private rocket company, and in a blog post last week pledged to create a ride-sharing car service and battery-powered trucks and buses. And then there is his plan for the world’s largest battery factory. The so-called Gigafactory, in Nevada, is to be unveiled this week.

This is Obama’s plan to line the country’s roads with electric vehicle chargers

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, July 25th, 2016

The White House on Thursday announced an array of new initiatives aimed at clinching one key goal in a transition away from burning fossil fuels — switching the nation’s millions of drivers from gas guzzlers to electric vehicles. The key to this transition? Installing a widespread national network of electric vehicle charging stations that will allow potential drivers to get around a key psychological problem: “range anxiety.” At present, many people are justifiably afraid that they’ll run out of charge on their EV far from a station where they can repower its battery. We know it’s easy in most places to find a gas station, but we don’t know as much about charging stations. And without that assurance, EV sales will continue to be held back.

Obama revs up loan program, pushes for more charging points

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, July 24th, 2016

The White House on Thursday rolled out several initiatives to boost electric vehicles, including expanding a $4.5 billion loan guarantee program to include EV charging technology. The administration launched a plan to develop a national network of electric vehicle charging stations and identify “zero emission and alternative fuel” corridors. It plans to partner with local governments to procure electric vehicles at a discount and host an “electric vehicle hackathon” this fall to explore innovations in electric vehicle charging.

Trumping Trump, Vattenfall to build Scottish wind farm near golf resort

Source: By Mia Shanley, Reuters • Posted: Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Sweden’s Vattenfall will invest 3 billion Swedish crowns ($349 million) in a Scottish offshore wind farm that U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tried to stop being built near his luxury golf course in Scotland. State-owned utility Vattenfall, which will take 100 percent ownership of the project from Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, described its investment as a vote of confidence in Britain after the nation’s decision to leave the European Union.