For the first time on record, wind turbines have generated more electricity than was used in the whole of Scotland on a single day. An analysis by conservation group WWF Scotland found unseasonably stormy weather saw turbines create about 106 per cent of the total amount of electricity used by every home and business in the country on 7 August.
The nation’s first offshore wind farm is set to open off the coast of Rhode Island this fall, ushering in a new era in the U.S. for the industry. Developers, federal regulators and industry experts say the opening will move the U.S. industry from a theory to reality, paving the way for the construction of many more wind farms that will eventually provide power for many Americans. Deepwater Wind is building a five-turbine wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island to power about 17,000 homes. The project costs about $300 million, according to the company.
A free-market group said communication among state attorneys general shows political collusion in their probe of fossil energy companies’ alleged lies about climate science. At issue is a March 7 letter from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell (D) inviting other left-leaning AGs to an event “to highlight the importance of climate change to the citizens of our states, our work defending the Clean Power Plan … and the formation of an Attorneys General climate change and energy coalition.”
This enclave in north San Diego County is known for its small-town feel, the summer concerts held on a bluff above crashing ocean waves and the non-chain stores in its arts district. It’s also seen as a progressive stronghold. Incorporated 30 years ago after local residents grew concerned about overdevelopment, Solana Beach jumped ahead of others regionally on environmental causes. It was first in California to ban smoking on beaches. It banned single-use plastic bags before other cities in the county. Last year, it was the first to restrict Styrofoam containers.
Laid-off coal miners should look no further than the solar industry for jobs that, on the whole, will come with a bigger paycheck, according to a new study in the journal Energy Economics. The report, authored by Joshua Pearce of Michigan Technological University and Edward Louie of Oregon State University, argues that a relatively small investment in retraining — $180 million in the best-case scenario or $1.8 billion in the worst case — could turn the vast majority of coal industry workers into solar employees.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk wants control of your roof. On a conference call yesterday announcing SolarCity Corp.’s second-quarter earnings, Musk announced the company is planning a new solar roof product, rather than just offering solar modules to place on roofs. He didn’t provide details on exactly how a full solar roof would operate, but it is expected to be manufactured at SolarCity’s planned Gigafactory in New York.
Construction is underway at two sites of Minnesota’s largest solar project. The Aurora Solar Project, which is the first utility-scale distributed solar plant in the state, comprises 16 solar farms and a total direct current power capacity of 150 megawatts. Two of the farms, located in Paynesville and Atwater, are already on their way up. The Paynesville farm will be the largest of the project, with 15.23 MW of direct current power.
Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided.
The cap-and-trade system designed to control greenhouse gas emissions in California is facing legal obstacles. Businesses need to purchase a permit for each ton of emissions they are responsible for. However, the legislation that the system is based on has outlined targets for reducing emissions until 2020 and does not extend beyond that.
Energy independence is creeping into the US passenger car market more and more, led by Tesla Motors but also by ZEV mandates in 9 states and resulting EV efforts from a few auto companies. In the month of July, electric car sales surged 48% — mostly on the back of Tesla, but also due to big jumps in sales of the Chevy Volt, BMW i3, Ford Fusion Energi, and Chevy Spark EV. Other EV models also saw sales growth, but their relatively small volumes make them rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.