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Apr 5, 2013

Energy News: The Week in Review (Mar. 25, 2013)


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

The Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities released an interactive map of electricity use in Los Angeles.

GreentechMedia, citing SunEdison, reported that Texas’s low levels of installed solar PV—despite abundant opportunity—is a market failure.

Greenbiz reported that companies, including utilities, are increasingly looking at batteries for energy storage.

CleanTechnica, citing a Navigant Research report, noted that the U.S. is the world’s largest wind power market.

AutoblogGreen reported that the AAA in Washington State has unveiled a fast-charging truck for EV roadside assistance.

The New York Times reported that the U.S. EPA is proposing stricter limits for sulfur in gasoline, though groups disagree how much the change would impact prices at the pump.

GreentechMedia argued that the question of whether the U.S. economy is getting more or less energy efficient depends on how you measure.

Greenbiz reported that U.S. DOE has launched an initiative to boost manufacturing of clean energy products.

CleanTechnica, citing a joint World Future Council and Heinrich Boll Foundation report, noted that feed-in tariffs could help develop renewable energies in countries across Africa.

AutoblogGreen reported that Ford is offering $50,000 to app developers whose programs help achieve better fuel economy.

The New York Times reported that a new study from the International Monetary Fund, “Energy Subsidy Reform—Lessons and Implications,” advocates scaling back energy subsidies, which totaled $1.9 trillion in 2011.

GreentechMedia reported that New York’s competitive solar program is helping to rapidly accelerate solar PV installations in that state.

Grist reported that NRG Energy, the nation’s largest power provider to U.S. utilities, is now selling solar panels coupled with natural gas micro-turbines directly to homeowners.

CleanTechnica, citing U.S. DOE’s EERE, noted that $40 million is now available support technologies that help shift U.S. cars and trucks off oil.

AutoblogGreen reported that China has unveiled a new 47 mpg standard by 2020.

The Guardian reported that the world’s first solar-powered plane will make a coast-to-coast tour of the U.S.

GreentechMedia reported that Lancaster, CA is the first U.S. city to require solar; new housing developments must average 1 kW per house.

Grist reported that the Cape Wind project has lined up $2 billion in financing to build what could be the first offshore wind in the U.S.

CleanTechnica noted that the U.S. DOE announced the winners of the fifth annual Next Generation Luminaires design competition for energy-efficient indoor lighting.

The Guardian, citing a Stanford University survey, noted that Americans believe in climate change risks but are unwilling pay for mitigation and protection strategies, such as sea walls.

GreentechMedia, citing the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, noted that multifamily housing represents a $3.4 billion energy efficiency opportunity.

Grist considered the solar industry implications of the bankruptcy of Chinese solar module manufacturer Suntech.

CleanTechnica, citing a Citigroup report, noted that the recent natural gas boom will not stall the “unstoppable” growth in renewables such as wind and solar.

The Guardian reported that the Institute for Public Policy Research, a U.K. think tank, is calling for “green badges” and free parking for electric vehicles.

GreentechMedia, citing a National Renewable Energy Laboratory report, noted that securitization could cut solar’s levelized cost of energy by 16 percent.

The Guardian reported that nearly two millions homes in the U.K. will be heated by shale gas exported from the U.S. within five years.

CleanTechnica interviewed NREL director Dan Arvizu.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that China’s “big five” utilities have hundreds of GW of central thermal power plants facing water shortage issues, and require up to $20 billion retrofit costs to increase their resiliency.

CleanTechnica, citing Energy Matters, noted that if every suitable rooftop in Australia installed solar PV, the energy generated would supply 134 percent of the nation’s demand and drive the price per kWh to 25 percent current levels.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.


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