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    1. Court Ruling Helps Transition Grid to Renewables

      Court Ruling Helps Transition Grid to Renewables

      On Friday the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 1000, which eliminates many obstacles in the way of modernizing the electrical transmission grid. More than 40 states, industry groups,and utility companies had filed the challenge to the order saying that the federal government had overstepped its authority. But environmental groups came to its defense, since the order not only brings order and economic savings to grid construction and upgrades but eases the move from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. The groups, represented by Earthjustice and Natural Resources Defense Fund, include Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation Law Foundationand Union for Concerned Scientists.

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      Mentions: U.S. FERC WA
    2. Spanish Island to be Fully Powered by Wind, Water

      Spanish Island to be Fully Powered by Wind, Water

      The smallest and least known of Spain's Canary Islands, El Hierro, is making a splash by becoming the first island in the world fully energy self-sufficient through combined water and wind power. A wind farm opening at the end of June will turn into electricity the gusts that rake the steep cliffs and green mountains of the volcanic island off the Atlantic coast of Africa.

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      Mentions: Spain
    3. How One Island Is Using A Hybrid Hydro-Wind System

      How One Island Is Using A Hybrid Hydro-Wind System

      Islands confront some of the most difficult energy challenges. Their size and remoteness means they pay extremely high energy costs for often unreliable and dirty energy. Yet many islands are blessed with large amounts of sun, wind, and water, making renewable energy a promising solution. One small island off the coast of Africa has embraced these resources, most notably through an innovative hybrid hydro-wind system.

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      Mentions: U.S. Africa Spain
    4. The Promises Of Batteries To Bolster Solar Energy

      The Promises Of Batteries To Bolster Solar Energy

      When SolarCity and Tesla last month announced they were teaming up to offer battery backup for residential solar PV systems, they generated much excitement … and a disproportionate amount of press. From Greentech Media to the New York Times, stories abound about how the union of these two companies heralds the next stage in the evolution of distributed energy resources.

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      Mentions: CA Australia India
    5. North Carolina A Rising Solar Star

      North Carolina A Rising Solar Star

      Who’s the rising star in U.S. solar? It’s North Carolina. The state isn’t quite challenging California as the U.S. leader for solar development – the hugely populous, sun-splashed Golden State is most likely a permanent fixture at No. 1. But North Carolina appears to be nosing past the likes of Arizona, New Jersey, Nevada and Massachusetts to claim the No. 2 spot.

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      Mentions: CA NV U.S.
    6. 7 Reasons To Celebrate A Clean Energy Future

      7 Reasons To Celebrate A Clean Energy Future

      The last 12 months have brought a lot of change to the world — some good, some less so; some too fast, some too slow. But in the energy space, the essential transition to energy that is cleaner, healthier, lower-cost, and more secure is definitely underway in the U.S. This year, we saw strong signals that we’re moving in the right direction on energy, with renewables like wind and solar (going up), coal (going down), renewables integration (looking good), and energy storage (on its way). Here’s a look at some of the year’s highlights.

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      Mentions: CA U.S. Germany
    7. Michigan, New York Find Clean Energy Adds Jobs, Growth

      Michigan, New York Find Clean Energy Adds Jobs, Growth

      The policy known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), whereby retail electricity providers are mandated to meet an increasing share of sales from the competitive procurement of clean and renewable energy is proving successful as a viable framework for deploying a significant amount of renewable generation at the state level. 29 states in total plus Washington, D.C. are successfully deploying RPS policies to obtain homegrown, affordable, clean and renewable energy resources. In the last few weeks, Michigan and New York each completed policy reviews of their respective RPS programs.

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    8. The Duck Chart Factor In Clean Energy

      The Duck Chart Factor In Clean Energy

      In the lively conversation about how to integrate variable renewables such as wind and solar into our electric grid’s generation mix, an unlikely player has entered the fray: a duck. It’s not literally a duck, mind you, but rather a mallard-esque graph—now famously known as the “duck chart”—from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) in a report released late last year causing quite a stir of late.

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      Mentions: CA CAISO
    9. U.S. Wind Industry Sees 2013 Going Out With Roar

      U.S. Wind Industry Sees 2013 Going Out With Roar

      You can’t see it in newly installed capacity, but the wind industry says it’s headed for a strong finish to 2013, a year that began deep in the doldrums after protracted uncertainty about the fate of the production tax credit late last year.  Installed capacity is the traditional measuring stick for wind’s expansion, and there was barely any in the first half of this year – a mere 1.6 megawatts added to the approximately 60,000 MW that the industry carried into 2013. Even in this latest quarter, new capacity ticked up a mere 69 MW.

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      Mentions: CA U.S. AWEA
    10. Electric Car Of Tomorrow Has Energy Storage In Panels

      Electric Car Of Tomorrow Has Energy Storage In Panels

      Volvo seems to want to be on the cutting edge of electric vehicle research, despite the fact it doesn’t have that much in the way of actual green car offerings as of yet. It’s already been involved in a project that puts power lines in roads to consistently charge EVs passing overhead, and now it is tinkering with energy storage built directly into car panels.

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      Mentions: Europe
    11. Solar Power 25% Of World Energy By 2030?

      Solar Power 25% Of World Energy By 2030?

      An ambitious world power program called Sunpower has been proposed by two eminent UK scientists, Sir David King and Lord Richard Layard, as a reaction to the latest IPCC report.

      Sunpower puts forward a target for solar electricity to make up at least 10% of total energy supply by 2025 and 25% by 2030, and for the cost of the energy supply to be lower than that of fossil fuel. The Sunpower program of research, development and demonstration would be open to all countries.

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      Mentions: UK SunPower
    12. Clean Energy Investment Dropping

      Clean Energy Investment Dropping

      On the heels of a hope-inspiring report that patents for wind and solar technologies are way up, comes this downer: Global investment in clean energy is plunging. Again.

      Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which has been tracking these numbers for nearly a decade now, toted up $45.9 billion in clean energy investment in the third quarter of 2013, a 14 percent drop from the second quarter of this year and 20 percent below the third quarter of 2012.

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      Mentions: Europe China Ohio
    13. How Solar Heating And Cooling Is Super Cool

      How Solar Heating And Cooling Is Super Cool

      The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) believes the nation could save $61 billion in energy costs by 2050, creating 50,250 jobs along the way.

      The U.S. could achieve those goals by vastly expanding the solar heating and cooling capacity (SHC) across the country, according to a SEIA report, Solar Heating & Cooling: Energy for a Secure Future, released this month.

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      Mentions: U.S.
    14. Clean Energy Not To Blame For Rising Calif. Energy Costs

      Clean Energy Not To Blame For Rising Calif. Energy Costs

      A coalition of industry trade groups that have long opposed California’s clean energy policies funded a report about a month ago that blamed California’s rising electricity rates on — you guessed it — California’s clean energy policies. Since the California Energy Commission just updated its electricity and natural gas demand forecast, which contains revised estimates for rate increases that are 15-20 percent lower than original predictions (see slide 3 of Tuesday’s presentation), I thought it was time for a blog on the subject of renewables and rates.

      California’s principal clean energy program, the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS ...

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    15. German Players Aim Big For Fuel Cell Vehicles

      German Players Aim Big For Fuel Cell Vehicles

      The evolution of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market, while not evenly remotely as robust as the growth of electric cars, is still seeing development and tinkering with by various players. One of the latest pushes in this regard is in Germany, where six partners in the so-called “H2 Mobility” initiative hope to have a large number of refueling stations online within a decade.

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      Mentions: CA Germany
    16. How Germany’s Solar Evolution Impacts America

      How Germany’s Solar Evolution Impacts America

      But simply making the switch from FiT to self-consumption is only a small part of the financial equation. With self-consumption, building owners/tenants are incentivized to use as much solar electricity on site as possible. This means doing things like installing east/west-facing systems that better match the load, purchasing home energy management systems that time appliance use to coincide with solar production, and, at the far end of the spectrum, installing battery storage systems

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      Mentions: U.S. Germany
    17. Wind And Solar (and storage) Give Island The Power It Needs

      Wind And Solar (and storage) Give Island The Power It Needs

      The island, just off the west coast of Scotland, isn’t on the National Grid, and in recent years has been getting its energy from a diesel generator ... Now, six 5-kilowatt wind turbines and 132 250-watt solar panels, paired with 150 kilowatt-hours of battery storage, give islanders all the power they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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      Mentions: Scotland
    18. California Renewables Rise And The Grid Survives

      California Renewables Rise And The Grid Survives

      Forecasts of doom for the California power grid have been popping up since the state began its aggressive pursuit of more renewable energy, and have became more emphatic since the San Onofre nuclear power plant ... went offline at the end of January 2012 ... fresh data shows renewables assuming an ever-growing share of the state’s energy generation – at times providing more than one-quarter of a day’s output.

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      Mentions: CA EIA CAISO
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