Category Archives: NewsBlog

Graph of the Day: German solar PV production peaks at 42% of demand

By Sophie Vorrath, Renew Economy

Having kicked off the month of May with a day of record renewable energy generation, Germany looks to be winding it up with a new first, with the nation’s solar PV production averaging at greater than 30GW for an hour on Sunday May 28, amounting to 42 per cent of total production (71.41GW) at that time. Continue reading.


UK sets new solar power record of 24.3% of demand on May 26
By Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, Republished by Renew Economy

Duncan Burt, who manages day-to-day operation of the grid, said: “We have planned for these changes to the energy landscape and have the tools available to ensure we can balance supply and demand,” as reported by The Guardian. He said sunny weather over the British Isles this time of year is “really predictable, so easy to plan for,” and that the grid could handle a far greater proportion of solar power because it would allow natural gas generating facilities to be ramped down. Click here to read more.

Proposals could make it easier for farmers to profit from manure bioenergy

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

A pair of federal efforts could make it more profitable to turn organic waste from agriculture and other sources into energy by taking advantage of the Renewable Fuel Standard. One is a bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would create a 30 percent investment tax credit for qualifying biogas and nutrient-recovery systems. That would put renewable compressed natural gas on a similar footing with solar and wind energy. A separate approach, currently before the Environmental Protection Agency, aims to create a pathway that would pay biogas producers for providing power for electric vehicles. Read more.

Photo by USDA


Kim Reynolds becomes Iowa’s first female governor

KCCI Des Moines

Governor Terry Branstad has stepped down [to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China] and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds has become the 43rd governor of Iowa. . . She told an audience Wednesday at the Iowa Capitol she wants to reform the state tax code and encourage innovation in energy production, especially wind power and renewable fuels. She wants to stress science, technology, engineering and math education in K-12 schools and expand workforce training for adults. Read more here.

South Sioux City to receive wind energy from statewide grid

By Michelle Kuester, Dakota County Star

In an effort to lower utility costs and further the city’s sustainability initiative, South Sioux City will take part in a statewide wind energy project headed up by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The project is the Cottonwood Wind Energy Center, which is a series of wind turbines located in Webster County, Neb., connected to an electrical grid that flows throughout the entire state. Construction on the project will start up within the next week and will complete in November, said Phil Clement, project developer with NextEra Energy Resources LLC.
Click here to continue reading.

Photo by NextEra Energy Resources:  Wind turbines that are part of the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center in Jefferson and Gage Counties in Nebraska.



South Sioux City’s Solar Park: 2.3-megawatt array (1,200 panels) located on a 21-acre solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. The array generates enough energy to provide 5% of South Sioux City’s electrical needs. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla Motors subsidiary.

Good energy policy is good people policy

By Erica Mackie and Adam Browning, Opinion Contributors, The Hill

In 2014, two families of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians in rural California installed rooftop solar panels to stem rising energy bills that were straining their already tight budgets.

Now, three years later, thanks to California’s innovative low-income solar incentive program, the tribe is well on its way to meeting a goal of 100 percent solar energy for the reservation’s 50 homes, including 12 that never had power at all. The tribal community has also built their own solar company, generating steady income in a community that suffered from an 80 percent unemployment rate in 2014. Continue reading.

Photo: Thinkstock

Erica Mackie is co-founder and CEO of GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer.
Adam Browning is executive director of Vote Solar, a nonprofit working to expand solar energy nationwide.



American Wind Energy Association Report – First quarter highlights: We’re about to build a Texas-sized amount of wind power

By Greg Alvarez, head editor and writer for Into the Wind, the AWEA Blog

American wind power is in the midst of a Texas-sized boom to start 2017. The industry just posted its best first quarter in eight years, and put up a new turbine every two hours and 24 minutes over the year’s first three months. So what top trends are emerging?
Continue reading.


AWEA’s Updated Nebraska Wind Energy Fact Sheet:

  • Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 880,000 megawatts (MW) according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
  • Nebraska now has 1,328 MW of installed wind power.
  • State rank for installed wind capacity: 17th
  • Number of wind turbines: 741
  • Wind projects online: 21 (Projects over 10 MW: 14)
  • Direct and indirect jobs supported: 3,001 to 4,000
  • Total capital investment: $1.7 billion
  • Annual land lease payments: $1-5 million
    Nebraska Wind Energy Fact Sheet, American Wind Energy Association


What are wind techs, why are they so much in demand, and how do you become one?

Nebraska Community Colleges’ Training Programs

Nebraska Community College Gap Assistance Program
Nebraska’s Community College Gap Assistance Program offers financial aid to community college students taking non-credit courses that could lead to jobs in high-need fields. Eligible fields include renewable energy. 

Qualifying applicants are low-income students who would not be eligible for federal financial aid because, although they’re enrolled in college, they are not enrolled in courses for credit that lead directly to a degree.

The program, which launched July 1, 2016, receives 9 percent of the available Nebraska Lottery funds set aside for education every year. This equates to about $1.4 million for FY 2016-17. Gap Program funds will be distributed to the state’s community colleges, which will recruit and select eligible low-income students in identified high-need fields to receive grants.

Eligible students must have a family income at or below 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Student grants can be used for tuition, direct training costs, required books and equipment, and fees, including those for industry testing services and background check services.

Additional Program Information

Community College Gap Assistance Program Contacts

Central Community College: Ronald Kluck: 402-562-1253
Metropolitan Community College: Scott Broady: 402-738-4526
Mid-Plains Community College: Angela Raby: 308-535-3678
Southeast Community College: Amy Chesley: 402-437-2711
Western Nebraska Community College: Doug Mader: 308-630-6556

As 100 Percent Renewables Become the New Norm, a New Role for Utilities Emerges

By Indran Ratnathicam, Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, FirstFuel
Renewable Energy World Magazine

Portland, Ore., is one of the most recent municipalities to join dozens of cities and states across the U.S. in pledges to run on 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades . . . While Portland prides itself on being environmentally conscious, more and more government leaders across the country are introducing similarly aggressive measures — from Midwestern cities such as Chicago and Madison, Wis., to San Diego and the state of Hawaii. A similar movement is happening at the corporate level. Leaders of some of the nation’s biggest companies are adopting 100 percent renewable purchasing initiatives. Leaders include Walmart, Nike, Nestle, Salesforce, Microsoft and Facebook, among many others, and are all part of the global Renewable Energy 100 Initiative. Per RE100’s 2016 annual report, the 90 companies in the program were, on average, already halfway to reaching their goal. Read more here.


Lexington’s solar array system nearly complete

Nebraska TV 

The 3.9-megawatt solar array is expected to be fully operational by June.
Watch the video here.


Women of Wind Energy announces name change

By Robin Whitlock,
Renewable Energy Magazine

American professional development organization Women of Wind Energy has announced a change of name to Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), with a new logo.

Women of Wind Energy (WoWE), now known as Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), was founded in 2005. It promotes the education, professional development, and advancement of women to achieve a strong diversified workforce and support a renewable energy economy. It has local chapters in the US and Canada with national programmes that include an annual lunch, leadership forum and webinar series. It also has a growing grassroots network of more than 4,000 women and men and is supported through hundreds of volunteer hours and the generous contributions of individuals as well as corporate partners. Continue reading.

7 questions with: Kristen Graf, Executive Director of the new formed group WRISE, PV Magazine


The future of cleantech jobs

PV Magazine Op-Ed

EnergiaWorks Founder and CEO William Liuzza examines the incredible growth in clean energy jobs and explores what we can expect from future trends.

Click here to continue reading.