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Jul 22, 2013

Energy News: The Week in Review


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

The New York Times reported China plans to impose tariffs that could exceed 50 percent on polysilicon imports for making solar panels.

Greentech Media reported RMI’s eLab is working to end the conflicts between utilities and the solar industry. 

Grist reported Xcel Energy is boosting its use of wind power in the Upper Midwest by 33 percent, demonstrating wind’s affordability.

Autoblog Green reported the Hawaiian Electric Company is reducing electricity rates for businesses that install EV fast-charging stations.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported the price for carbon emissions credits surged 39 percent after Europe specified which credits are ineligible for use in its carbon market.

Autoblog Green reported California might not allow automakers to get zero-emissions vehicle credits for offering battery swapping, which could potentially hurt Tesla Motors. 

Grist, citing the National Academy of Sciences, reported sea levels will rise 2.3 meters for each Celsius degree of global warming.

CleanTechnica reported Peru initiated a new program to provide solar electricity to more than two million of its poorest residents.

From coffee to coral reefs, Greenbiz listed 18 things climate change may ruin.

Greentech Media described the Solar Electric Power Association’s primer on net metering, exploring how utilities and the solar industry might come to terms.

The New York Times reported Obama’s plan to strengthen and redesign the U.S. electric grid will face hurdles due to too many players and too many conflicting interests.

Greenbiz reported Rolls Royce is developing a hybrid ship, featuring a sail backed up by bio-methane engines, to cut shipping costs.

The Guardian reported more than 20 Greenpeace activists broke into a nuclear power plant in southern France to demand its closure.

CleanTechnica, citing the journal Environmental Research Letters, reported there is a 23 percent increase in the chance that car buyers will purchase a plug-in electric vehicle if it can be charged with renewables.

The Guardian reported most land animals will not be able to evolve quickly enough to adapt to climate change, resulting in extinction for many species.

Autoblog Green reported the car rental company Enterprise Holdings has acquired Zimride, an online ride-matching service.

CleanTechnica shared an infographic depicting how roads may look in the future.

Renew Economy reported Nissan is designing a new personal electric transporter, a car that combines the compactness and agility of a motorcycle with weather protection and a protective shell.

Renewable Energy World reported China plans to increase its installed solar capacity fivefold, to more than 35 gigawatts by 2015. 

GreenBiz reported the latest version of LEED now includes cradle-to-cradle certification, enforcing more stringently the environmental qualities of materials used in green buildings.

The New York Times reported Australia is replacing its carbon tax with a market-based trading system a year ahead of schedule.

CleanTechnica reported the Toyota Prius hit the three million mark in worldwide sales, with Toyota claiming its line of hybrids has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 18 million tons.

Greenbiz described a report ranking 200 energy management software vendors to help simplify the numerous IT options available to building owners wanting to improve energy efficiency.

Grist reported campaigns across the U.S. to roll back state renewable programs have been unsuccessful, and some states actually strengthened their renewables standards.

CleanTechnica reported California’s high-speed rail project will produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions through purchasing renewable electricity and planting trees.

Greenbiz, citing a white paper from the Carbon War Room, reported buildings can slash their energy use by 80 percent with small key steps, saving more than $78 billion per year.

Autoblog Green reported Nissan LEAF demand is outstripping supply, with inventory shortages predicted throughout the summer.

The New York Times reported several utility companies are testing batteries for storage to lower the risk of blackouts.

Autoblog Green reported in the first half of 2013 EVs beat plug-in hybrids in sales for the first time.

Autoblog Green reported Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk will deliver details on his Hyperloop transportation concept, which will be published as open source, on August 12.

Renew Economy explored the World Bank’s proposal to end coal financing and move towards decentralized clean energy grids.

Grist reported the CIA is funding a scientific study using geoengineering to alter Earth’s environment and stop climate change.

Greenbiz described the Marine Corps’ use of solar energy in order to save fuel in the field.

CleanTechnica reported Texas A&M University is launching the largest solar research and development facility in the world.


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