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Solar Energy Soars, Now Generates Enough Power for More than Two Million Homes

The latest solar numbers have just come in, and the celebration continues. The latest industry report shows another 4,751 megawatts (MW) went in during 2013, with great progress for both photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). Solar in the U.S. now generates enough to power over 2 million average households. Read More

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How the EPA Can Set a Strong, Flexible Power Plant Carbon Standard

A draft of the EPA’s carbon standards for existing power plants is due on June 1, 2014. There’s been a general call for flexibility in the design of these standards, which the EPA has committed to. Great River Energy Cooperative, Minnesota’s second-largest electric power supplier, recently proposed a regional carbon cap accompanied by a fee as one possible way to meet the upcoming standards. It’s a positive step, showing leadership and highlighting the importance of diverse regional approaches for getting significant, cost-effective reductions in carbon emissions. Read More

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Can Wind and Solar Power Meet Our Energy Needs?

News out that utility Austin Energy will meet its goal of 35 percent electricity coming from renewable energy four years ahead of schedule should help settle the question. Read More

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A Map of Every Wind Turbine in the U.S. — Interactive USGS Map Shows Locations of More than 47,000 (and Counting)

With their tall towers and graceful kinetic ways (read: moving parts), wind turbines aren’t hard to spot if you’re near them. If you want to see the big picture, though, and how your local specimens fit within the national panorama for this exciting technology, a new map tool from the Interior Department’s U.S. Geological Survey makes that easy as pie. Here are the What, Why, and Whee. Read More

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Looking to Reduce CO2 Emissions 40% from the Power Plant Sector?

Power grid manager PJM has an answer. Results of a three-year study of the power plant fleet operations from Chicago to Virginia show that raising renewable energy to 30 percent of the electricity supply can reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent. And this can be done while maintaining the reliability of the  electric system. Read More

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How Texas Made Wind Energy a Real Player

Press reports of Texas completing new transmission lines for wind describe an energy boom with a difference — this is carbon-free wind energy.  Read More

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West Virginia’s Future Fund One Step Closer to Reality

The West Virginia Senate today unanimously passed a bill to establish the West Virginia Future Fund. SB 461 now moves to the House of Delegates for consideration. This fund represents an important step toward a brighter economic future for West Virginia. The House should also vote yes. Read More

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“Courage, Creativity, and Boldness” — A 2030 Target for California Climate Action

Midway through 2014’s very weird winter it might be easy for those of us who understand the need for urgent action on climate change to feel discouraged. A do-nothing Congress is virtually certain not to make progress on climate policy (or much else) any time soon, and international progress also seems chronically stalled. But there has been some good news recently out of the west. Read More

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Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards Still Under Attack by Fossil Fuel Special Interests

The latest good news about clean energy in Ohio is that the state ranks #8 in the nation for solar jobs. But despite this, 2014 has not ushered in a new era of civility or honest debate about the merits of Ohio’s clean energy standards that require a percentage of Ohio’s electricity demand be met with renewable energy and energy efficiency. Instead, Bill Seitz, chair of the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, started off the 2014 legislative session right where he left of last year: with misguided efforts to roll back Ohio’s successful clean energy policies. Read More

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Largest Solar Power Plant in the World Turns On

The largest solar plant in the world, a 392 MW concentrated solar power tower in California’s Mojave Desert, began generating electricity from all three of its power towers the day before Valentine’s Day. The timing seems fitting, because the project is [almost] guaranteed to touch your heart, one way or another. For some, the Ivanpah plant has made hearts flutter in excitement. After all, the construction of the plant is a huge step forward in our nation’s effort to increase technology options for supplies of pollution-free electricity. The plant has the generation capacity of a mid-sized natural gas plant, and will make enough electricity to power 140,000 homes. Read More

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