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Mar 20, 2013

Energy News: The Week in Review (Mar. 11, 2013)


Here’s a cross-section of the energy conversations that took center stage last week:

The New York Times, citing the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, noted that the U.S. had its best solar year ever in 2012, with new installed capacity 76 percent over 2011 installations.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that non-food cellulosic ethanol is on track to be cost-competitive with corn-based ethanol by 2016.

Just as the U.S. considers adding climate change to national science curricula, the Guardian reported that the U.K. considers cutting it from the national curriculum for children under 14.

GreentechMedia, citing a U.S. EIA study, reported that a drop in residential energy use for heating and cooling was entirely eaten up by an increase in use for electronics.

Greenbiz highlighted how the U.S. DOE is helping manufacturers “find millions in hidden energy savings.”

Mother Nature Network noted that Russell McLendon, the “father of LEED,” recently offered his perspective on the state of LEED and green building.

The New York Times reported that Allison Macfarlane, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, warned of preparing for the unknown, citing risks such as aging reactors, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters.

The Guardian reported that President Obama unveiled a $2 billion clean-fuel car plan.

The Financial Times reported that the market for green buildings is warming up. So did Triple Pundit.

GreentechMedia reported that a solar finance company is offering more attractive loans for homeowners to better compete with the surge in third-party solar ownership.

Greenbiz highlighted “the real power behind today’s energy efficiency industry.”

The New York Times reported that ethanol’s “days of promise and prosperity are vanishing,” noting that 10 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants have stopped production over the last year.

The Guardian, citing a Sydney University study, reported that “windfarm sickness” spreads by word-of-mouth psychological effects, rather than real health impacts.

AutoblogGreen reported that ExxonMobil expects diesel to surpass gas as the global transportation fuel of choice by 2020.

GreentechMedia reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has proposed four reforms to better facilitate connection of smaller renewable generation to the power grid.

Bloomberg reported that President Obama will require federal agencies to consider the impact on climate change before approving major projects.

The New York Times reported that Great Britain was close to approving its first new nuclear reactor in nearly two decades.

AutoblogGreen, citing the U.S. DOE, noted that the U.S. added about 250 new EV charging stations in a six-week period earlier this year.

GreentechMedia, citing a Climate Policy Initiative report, noted that institutional capital—“one of the world’s biggest pools of private money”—could benefit renewables.

Grist asked if municipal utilities are more resilient in the face of disasters.

Bloomberg reported that wind power’s boom is “creating havoc” for nuclear- and coal-powered generation.

Grist reported that the market for solar is set to shine in 2013.

AutoblogGreen shared an interview with 97-year-old Charlie Yaeger, who compared today’s EV evolution to the early days of the gasoline-powered automobile.

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Turbines image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.


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