Here’s a cross-section of the energy conversations that took center stage last week:
President Obama made climate change central to his administration’s second term during his inaugural address.
The Washington Post reported that the Mafia has found lucrative financial opportunities in a growing sector: Italy’s renewable energy industry.
Nebraska’s Governor Heineman approved a re-route for the contentious Keystone XL pipeline, which would now avoid the state’s environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region.
Hybrid Cars noted that Texas is the latest state to consider EV fees in lieu of gas taxes.
Mashable reported on a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report that examined why solar costs more in the U.S. than it does in Germany.
Clean Technica reported that V3Solar’s Spin Cell—conical, rotating solar PV technology—promises to produce more electricity for less cost, "two-thirds the price of retail electricity and over three times cheaper than current solar technology."
The New York Times reported that a federal appeals court threw out part of the EPA’s biofuels mandate, especially with respect to a “wishful assessment” of cellulosic fuel production.
PBS’s Need to Know—via Climate Desk—explored Germany’s transition from fossil fuels and nuclear to renewable energy sources.
AutoblogGreen estimated that the U.S. was on track to increase EV public charging stations by 40 percent in 2013.
Nature included a commentary about the rebound effect, and why it may be overplayed.
Grist reported that Oak Park, IL will test a “blackout-proof,” renewable-powered smart grid.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that, after seven percent growth in 2012, investments in smart grid technology worldwide are expected to exceed ten percent per year for the next five years, doubling the market by 2018.
GreentechMedia published a story mapping solar at grid parity in the U.S.
USA Today reported that Toyota’s Prius hybrid was California’s top-selling car last year.
The U.S. Green Building Council released its annual list of top ten states for LEED.
NRDC’s Switchboard asked if energy efficiency alone was enough to offset the future need for new power plants in California.
The National Association of Home Builders announced its National Green Building Awards winners.
Greenbiz wrote about how companies such as Google, Facebook, and Verizon uncover huge energy savings.
Image: V3Solar’s Spin Cell