Monthly Archives: July 2015

Obama’s Power-Plant Rule Said to Include Boost for Renewables

Photo: Bloomberg.Com / Alex Wong, Getty Images

Photo: Bloomberg.Com / Alex Wong, Getty Images

By Mark Drajem, Bloomberg Business

The Obama administration plans to offer new incentives for solar and wind energy in its plan to cut power-plant emission as a way to counter delaying the initial deadline by two years, a person familiar with the rule said.

The renewable incentives will allow deeper cuts in carbon emissions in the long term while giving more flexibility to states that must implement the rule, said the official who sought anonymity before an official announcement.

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Solar Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels for Many Small Businesses

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch

Solar power is the fastest-growing source of electricity in the country, and now mom and pop shops can take part in the boom.

SolarCity has devised an an affordable solar power option for small businesses, allowing them to pay less for solar power than they pay the utility. Photo credit: Flickr

SolarCity has devised an an affordable solar power option for small businesses, allowing them to pay less for solar power than they pay the utility. Photo credit: Flickr

Solar panels are usually seen on the roofs of residential buildings, schools, large companies or government institutions, but now, SolarCity is expanding its services to small and medium-sized businesses, or SMBs, the company announced. This move essentially allows local businesses to cut ties to their utility and save money against rising electricity costs with renewable energy.

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Obama Administration Takes Historic Step Toward Solar Equality, But Much Work Remains

By Senator Catherine Pugh. Published on Huffington Post’s Generation Change.

Catherine Pugh

Excerpt
For far too long, working-class families have been left out of the solar revolution in the United States. Black elected officials from across the country, including many members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), have been among the most vocal advocates for more fairness and inclusiveness in solar programs, taking every opportunity to highlight how the poorest among us are poised to benefit most immediately and profoundly from greater adoption of solar power . . . To date, the benefits of solar power have tended to accrue primarily to wealthier families, while low-income families continued to struggle with rising energy costs. Many low-income families face a “heat or eat” dilemma, rendering them “energy insecure” and facing decisions, like whether to keep the lights on or food on the table, that nobody in America should ever have to make.

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As Berkshire signs Obama climate pledge, subsidiary MidAmerican targets 57% wind in Iowa

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Photo: Utility Dive.com

Photo: Utility Dive.com

Excerpt
Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy, a utility subsidiary of the Warren Buffett-owned Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE), is planning on getting up to 57% of its electricity from wind and expand its generation capabilities into utility-scale solar power plants and community shared solar arrays, according to CEO Bill Fehrman . . . MidAmerican has invested some $6 billion in wind energy since 2004 and has a $900 million, 552 MW project awaiting approval from Iowa regulators that would take the utility’s installed renewables capacity to over 4,000 MW by 2017 and make it possible to get to the 57%  wind target.

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FREE Solar Energy International online course: RE100 Introduction to Renewable Energy

SEI course

Introduction to Renewable Energy (RE100) is an online course for those who wish to learn the basics of renewable energy – including where it is found, how we can harvest it for use in our homes, and how it can help ease pressures on the environment. You will not become an expert through this course, but you will get to know renewable energy in its many forms – helping you to decide whether solar, wind, or other technologies are right for you.

Over 35,000 people from all over the world have taken the first version of the class since it was launched; the updated version went live in October, 2014 and takes a fresh look at the latest trends and developments in the renewable energy industry.

Start: Now
Duration: 2hrs/week for 6 weeks
Tuition: FREE

Click here for additional information or to register.

Solar Energy International’s “Active Duty Military & Veterans Career Transition Program”

Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 (MWSS-371), Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, build a solar panel while performing humanitarian assistance operations in Djibouti, Africa.

Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 (MWSS-371), Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, build a solar panel while performing humanitarian assistance operations in Djibouti, Africa.

Solar Energy International (SEI) is pleased to announce a truly inspirational scholarship and outreach program for veterans and active duty military personnel.  SEI has experienced a dramatic increase in recent years of veterans who wish to attend SEI training and are looking for funding opportunities to take full advantage of all that SEI has to offer.

As an organization, we believe in the opportunities that renewable energy can afford our country, such as energy independence and sustainable use of our country’s natural resources. With that in mind, we also honor those who have served our country and who are choosing to follow up their military service with a new kind of service: service in the renewable energy sector.

Since 9/11 and during the past decade, SEI has had the honor of training soldiers returning from their military service with the hopes of starting a new career in the solar industry. Additionally, SEI has partnered with active duty military projects and installations in recent years to provide training with the goal of spreading solar energy applications to military bases all over the U.S. and abroad.

More information is available here.

School Spotlight: Teachers get a lesson in solar power at MATC camp

Written by Pamela Cotant, Wisconsin State Journal

Teachers Andrew Richard, left, of Black River Falls High School and Andy Udell, right, of Janesville Craig High School set up a solar panel system with instructor Joel Shoemaker earlier this month at the Wisconsin Solar Educator Academy at Madison Area Technical College.

Teachers Andrew Richard, left, of Black River Falls High School and Andy Udell, right, of Janesville Craig High School set up a solar panel system with instructor Joel Shoemaker earlier this month at the Wisconsin Solar Educator Academy at Madison Area Technical College.

Scott Anderson has big plans for his physics students at Juda High School.

While they have already served as project managers for the installation of solar panels on the school roof, Anderson wants to teach them how to do the work themselves. He figured a good start would be the recent Wisconsin Solar Educator Academy at Madison Area Technical College, where he and other teachers got hands-on training in solar electric photovoltaics.

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Berkshire Hathaway joins major renewable-energy effort

By Nancy Gaarder and Steve Jordan / World-Herald staff writers

Photo: Matt Miller / The World-Herald  Warren Buffett with a large image of himself in the lobby at UNO's Mammel Hall in 2013.

Photo: Matt Miller / The World-Herald
Warren Buffett with a large image of himself in the lobby at UNO’s Mammel Hall in 2013.

Warren Buffett is lending his name and deep pockets to the battle against climate change.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy on Monday joined a dozen major U.S. businesses at the White House in calling for robust action on global warming.

Berkshire joined Apple, Walmart, General Motors, Cargill, Bank of America and others to announce more than $140 billion in investments in low-carbon projects and other actions as they shift toward greater reliance on renewable energy.

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ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
FACT SHEET: White House Launches American Business Act on Climate Pledge

Solar Habitat for all: Model for Nebraska?

Pacific Gas and Electric bringing sun to new homeowners
By Jaclyn Brandt, FierceEnergy

PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is adding solar to their grid, and doing so in many ways. The company announced a $1 million commitment to install rooftop solar on 79 homes in the Habitat for Humanity program.

The funds will benefit 18 different Habitat for Humanity local affiliates throughout Northern and Central California, from the Mendocino Coast to Merced.

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Additional Recommended Reading
New Minneapolis apartments fuse energy efficiency with style, affordability, by Jim Buchta, Star Tribune

Chicago summit: Midwest ‘chomping at the bit’ for energy revolution

Photo by Archigeek / Creative Commons

Photo by Archigeek / Creative Commons

Written by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

The atmosphere at a gathering of energy experts in Chicago this week was ebullient, with speakers describing a groundswell of innovation that promises to revolutionize the way energy is delivered on the grid.

A running theme the Energy Thought Summit was human resources – the people who will facilitate this transition, from energy consumers who’ve gone from passive users to active participants; to researchers who develop new technologies; to the front-line employees who manufacture, install and maintain the technology and infrastructure that keeps it all going.

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