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American Who Killed Cecil the Lion Keeps Dental Office Closed

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - 4 hours 59 min ago
Dr. Walter J. Palmer, the hunter who killed Cecil after he was lured out of his sanctuary at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, has faced an onslaught from social media users and online reviewers.

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Schneider Electric and Saft Partner on Corsican Solar-Energy Storage Project

renewableenergyworld - 5 hours 16 min ago

Lithium-ion batteries will be used to store PV energy produced by two new solar energy installations and dispatch it to the grid on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. Supplied by Saft, each 1-MWh advanced battery system will be used to store energy produced by two 1-MW PV systems and dispatch it to Corsica's grid as needed to help meet late afternoon-early evening peak, as well as nighttime demand.

The solar-energy storage systems will smooth out delivery of electricity to the Corsican grid, dispatching power to better meet late afternoon-early evening peak demand and then on into the evenings. The batteries will also serve as primary reserve to maintain voltage requirements upon request of Corsica's grid operator. 

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UPS Agrees to Buy 46 Million Gallons of Renewable Diesel

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - 12 hours 51 min ago
The package delivery giant wants to displace 12 percent of the petroleum-based fuels in its ground fleet by 2017 and hopes to stimulate investment.

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Listen Up: Vampires Sucking Power from your House

renewableenergyworld - 16 hours 59 min ago

Here’s a nightmare for you: at night, when you’re asleep and you think things are quiet, there are vampires sucking power out of your house and increasing your electric bill. The fact of the matter is that every plugged in electrical device in your home uses a small amount of standby power -- even if you think these devices are off.

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Later Deadline Expected in Obama’s Climate Plan

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 28, 2015 - 18:52
The final version of President Obama’s climate change plan is expected to be released next week, with an extension of an earlier timeline, giving states and utilities longer to comply.

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Brazil Arrests Nuclear Chief in Widening of Graft Case

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 28, 2015 - 17:59
Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva is accused of taking more than $1.3 million in bribes as chief executive of Eletronuclear, a company that operates nuclear plants.

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American Hunter Killed Cecil, Beloved Lion That Was Lured Out of Its Sanctuary

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 28, 2015 - 13:44
A dentist from Minnesota killed Cecil, a lion who was a favorite among visitors at a national park in Zimbabwe, after the animal was lured out of the sanctuary, the authorities say.

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BP Reports Major Second-Quarter Loss

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 28, 2015 - 01:33
The British oil giant said it had lost $5.8 billion in the period, reflecting a huge settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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Hillary Clinton Lays Out Climate Change Plan

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 27, 2015 - 16:44
Focusing on an issue that resonates with Democrats, Mrs. Clinton set a goal to produce 33 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2027.

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Welspun Commissions 52-MW Solar Power Plant in India

renewableenergyworld - July 27, 2015 - 11:28

Leading Indian solar developer Welspun Renewables has commissioned the construction of a massive solar plant in the state of Maharashtra. The planned 52-megawatt (MW) solar plant will be located in the city of Baramati.

The project was set up between Welspun and Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. under the public-private partnership (PPP) model. The partnership represents the latest in a series of steps being taken to ramp up the development of solar energy in India. Late last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his administration would seek the development of 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by the year 2022.

Vineet Mittal, Vice Chairman of Welspun Renewables, said the Maharashtra plant’s successful commissioning will “set a precedent for the other states and independent power producers” towards realizing Modi’s 100-GW goal.  “We are very confident and excited to see solar power becoming the next big contributor in India’s energy future,” Mittal said. “We clearly see a transition from solar playing a complimentary role in the energy mix to becoming a vital part of it.”

In February, Welspun pledged to develop 11 GW of solar and wind projects throughout the country. The leading generator of solar power in India, Welspun has an established presence spanning 10 states and has plans to commission projects totaling 1 GW of capacity this year alone. “Welspun Renewables has already commissioned a significant percentage of its 2015-2016 target,” Mittal said, adding that current and future projects will be set up with 25-year PPAs.

Mittal stated he expects to see a transitioning where solar energy will go from “playing a complementary role in the energy mix to becoming a vital part of it.”

India’s total installed energy capacity is currently 35.77 GW. Of that, nearly 27 GW are comprised of “clean sources.” Mittal said he foresees strong growth in the renewables sector in the coming year – especially in solar power.

“Various state governments have already tendered out over 6 GW of solar installation capacities,” Mittal said. “Due to enormous support from central and state governments, several new power producers and vendors have entered the sector. The sector is expanding like never before.”

Mittal added that breakthrough technological innovations in the sector, especially in battery technology, will play a crucial role in the future of India’s renewable power infrastructure. “We are at the cusp of a huge technological innovation in the renewable energy sector,” Mittal said. “We believe that within the next decade, the current major sources of energy would be overtaken by battery storage, smart meters, cognitive computing and other clean energy technologies.”

On the financing front, Mittal said a growing number of banks and international investors have expressed considerable interest in funding clean energy projects in India. “We are seeing an unprecedented appetite among investors who are keen to fund solar projects and we foresee substantial inflow of funds in the coming years into the sector,” Mittal said. 

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Major US Corporations Pledge To Increase Renewable Energy Usage, Decrease Carbon Footprint

renewableenergyworld - July 27, 2015 - 07:24

Executives from 13 major U.S. corporations are announcing at least $140 billion in new investments to decrease their carbon footprints as part of a White House initiative to recruit private commitments ahead of a United Nations climate-change summit later this year in Paris.

Companies including Apple Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will join Secretary of State John Kerry and top administration officials at the White House for the announcement. In addition to pledges to cut emissions, provide financing to environmentally-focused companies, and reduce water consumption, the companies have said they will procure at least 1,600 MW of new, renewable energy. The White House said in a statement that it expects to announce a second round of similar pledges later this fall from additional companies.

The commitments are being announced as President Barack Obama is looking to build momentum toward a legacy-defining global climate accord in Paris. In addition to company-specific commitments, the corporate leaders on Monday will signal their support for a strong climate agreement out of the United Nations talks. They administration is using the pledges to set an example for companies to find ways to eliminate their carbon emissions.

Climate Talks

“As the world looks toward global climate negotiations in Paris this December, American leadership at all levels will be essential,” the White House said in a fact sheet detailing the announcement.

The administration’s actions are pushing the issue into the 2016 presidential debate. Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, released an energy strategy saying she would both defend and go beyond Obama’s efforts. Republican candidates have criticized the administration’s initiatives as costly to the economy and unnecessary.

Among the pledges, aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. has agreed to reduce emissions by 50 percent from its 2005 levels, while agricultural giant Cargill Inc. says 18 percent of its total energy use will come from renewable sources.

Coca-Cola Co. said it would drive down the carbon footprint of its beverage production by 25 percent over the next five years, while Google says it plans to triple its purchases of renewable energy over the next decade. Berkshire Hathaway says it plans to invest up to an additional $15 billion in the construction and operation of renewable energy generators, while Bank of America Corp says it will increase its environmental business initiative by $75 billion over the next decade, according to the White House

Other participating firms include Wal-Mart, United Parcel Service Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Microsoft Corp., General Motors Inc.

The corporate commitments won’t be the administration’s only major climate announcement in the next few weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to present final regulations that aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 later this week.

While visiting Kenya over the weekend, Obama repeatedly praised the country for its efforts to address climate change, saying its efforts tor educe emissions “has put it in the position of being a leader on the continent.” And next month, the president will travel to Alaska for an international summit on Arctic climate issues.

©2015 Bloomberg News

For more, see Big Companies, Big Renewable Investments.

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Energy Storage and Geothermal Markets Look To Team Up in the Hunt for Lithium

renewableenergyworld - July 27, 2015 - 03:45

In today's fast-paced tech environment, no one can make a splash quite like Elon Musk. So when he decided to enter the energy storage game in 2014, he did it with gusto. Musk is now in the process of building what he coined a "gigafactory," which is a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Of course, the plant is being built at such an efficient pace that its ahead of schedule and is now set to start production in 2016.

Since the gigafactory plans were revealed, Musk has continued to wow the industry with announcements like the unveiling of Powerwall, a residential storage system that pairs with rooftop solar, which can be financed and installed by his other company that you may have already heard of, SolarCity.

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Dot Earth Blog: A Rocky First Review for a Climate Paper Warning of a Stormy Coastal Crisis

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 25, 2015 - 11:44
A new climate study warning of abrupt coastal flooding gets dipped in the acid bath of open peer review.

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Regional News from the May/June 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

renewableenergyworld - July 24, 2015 - 06:53

EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integrated grounding and bonding, fire classification and mechanical loading.

EcoFasten Solar's solar roof mounts and components are designed, engineered and manufacturered in Morrisville, VT. Working closely with leading solar developers, racking system providers, roofing manufacturers and commercial installation companies, the company said that its products are fast and easy to install and "were designed with the installer in mind."

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Procedures Faulted in Army Lab’s Shipment of Anthrax

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 23, 2015 - 17:47
The Pentagon review found no criminal or malicious intent behind the shipments from the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.

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Offshore Wind Farm Raises Hopes of U.S. Clean Energy Backers

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 23, 2015 - 17:17
Supporters hope that the modest five-turbine project, the nation’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, will propel larger efforts at clean energy.

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Dot Earth Blog: Whiplash Warning When Climate Science is Publicized Before Peer Review and Publication

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 23, 2015 - 11:20
An important, but unreviewed, climate science paper gets tangled in a publicity push.

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Way Cleared for Shell to Start Drilling in Arctic Ocean

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 22, 2015 - 16:44
The Obama administration’s authorization was widely expected, but numerous safety restrictions imposed could slow the pace at which rigs strike oil.

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Britain Plans to Cut Subsidies for Renewable Energy

NY TIMES Energy and Environment - July 22, 2015 - 08:48
The government argued that the industry, which includes solar power plants and wind farms, could survive without the support.

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How Solar Energy Zones and Easy Permitting Helped Create 3-cent Solar

renewableenergyworld - July 22, 2015 - 05:00

Warren Buffet's utility NV Energy has signed the lowest price contract for solar ever, at just US $0.0384 for First Solar’s 100-MW Playa Solar project, beating even its own record low price of $0.046 cents for SunPower's 100-MW project in Boulder City, Nevada.

Both solar projects benefit from new streamlined permitting set up through the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Western Solar Plan, which designated 19 Solar Energy Zones (SEZ). This auction covered six parcels across 3,083 acres in Nevada. The previous case-by-case way to permit solar on BLM land was taking at least two years; and even longer if anything to tripped up the process. 

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