May 18, 2018

Solar Plans for a Mined Kentucky Mountaintop Could Hinge on More Coal Mining

A planned solar farm in Kentucky is facing delays because of foot-dragging by a coal company that's years behind in cleaning up a nearby mine. The 100-megawatt solar project would be the largest ever in Kentucky. It's an example of how old coal mines can be reclaimed for renewable energy. The coal company, Kentucky Fuel, blames regulators for the delays and says it may resume cleanup sometime soon.

Americans Want More Clean Energy and Here's What They're Willing to Do to Get It

Consumers are growing more concerned about climate change and their role in it, according to a new survey of electric power buyers. They are also more willing to turn their concern about climate issues into decisions about what to buy and how to reduce their carbon footprint. These trends are positive signs for the planet, and for companies that sell renewable energy, energy storage and other products and services tied to conservation.

Virginia Biomass Case Could Boost State's Renewable Energy Market

If a Virginia company succeeds in a legal challenge, it could open up the state's market to renewable energy developers wanting to supply small amounts of electricity to customers. English Biomass is arguing that it should be able to sign a deal to provide 25 percent of the college's electricity. The company is running up against an interpretation of state law that such contracts need to provide 100 percent. A court victory, while likely a longshot, would encourage competition and expand the amount of third-party renewables.

Tesla May Need to Raise $10 Billion by 2020, Analyst Says

Tesla may need to raise $10 billion from capital markets by 2020 to fund its electric carmaking operations, cover maturing debt, finance new products and move forward with an expansion into China, according to a Goldman Sachs analyst. Tesla is struggling to meet production targets on its first mass-produced vehicle, the Model 3.

Tata Power Makes Big Investment in Indian Renewables Sector

Tata Power plans to spend $5 billion on renewable energy, quadrupling the company's renewable energy capacity. Most of the new projects will be solar farms. Tata is one of the country's largest private power producers and has a fleet of coal-fired power plants. Before this announcement, most of the company's renewable energy growth had been through acquisitions.

May 16, 2018

Offshore Wind Looks Increasingly Like a Good Bet, Analysis Finds

A new report says offshore wind can be more cost effective than onshore turbines near major population centers along the East Coast, when considering the technology's full economic value. The first-of-its-kind analysis, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is another piece of evidence that offshore wind is coming into its own. Read more from ICN about America's first offshore wind farm in Rhode Island.

India Targets Hybrid Wind-Solar Plants to Maximize Renewable Energy

The Indian government wants to encourage construction of wind farms that share a location with solar farms, two technologies that can provide a near-steady flow of electricity when paired together. The new policy, which is in draft form, is well-suited to India, where many regions are rich in both wind and solar resources.

Wind Power Overtakes Nuclear For First Time in UK

Britain's wind farms produced more electricity than its eight nuclear power plants in the first three months of the year, the first time this has happened across a quarter. Wind produced just under 19 percent of electricity overall. The milestone was reached as some officials claimed that changes in government policy have led to a collapse in new investment in renewables.

Tesla Driver Death Investigated; Musk Upset Over Coverage

As Tesla deals with production delays and financial concerns, it's also reacting to news of a driver death in Switzerland, and a crash in Utah. Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to say the news coverage was overblown. Meanwhile, the production concerns continue to mount, as a Morgan Stanley analyst said there may be structural problems with the Model 3 sedan.

May 15, 2018

U.S. Solar Developer Taking $1.5 Billion Hit from Trump's Tariffs

The country's fifth-largest solar developer says it will lose $1.5 billion because of Trump administration tariffs on solar equipment. Cypress Creek Renewables is a leader in utility-scale solar installations, and that part of the market is especially price-sensitive. The company says it has stopped investing in 1.5 gigawatts of projects, about 20 percent of its pipeline.

European Renewables Are Up. So Are Carbon Emissions.

EU carbon emissions grew 1.8 percent in 2017, despite a 25 percent increase in wind power, new data show. The European statistics body Eurostat reports that CO2 emissions rose in a majority of EU member states, with some of the biggest jumps in Malta, Estonia, Bulgaria and Spain. Finland, meanwhile, cut emissions 5.9 percent, and Denmark cut by 5.8 percent. 

May 14, 2018

May 11, 2018

Pickup Trucks and Sedans Have Gotten More Fuel Efficient

Pushed by increases in fuel-economy requirements, automakers have taken steps to make gas-powered vehicles more efficient, including using lighter materials. That progress may be slowed, though, if the Trump administration succeeds in weakening the rules. Read more from ICN about how weakening emissions standards could be Trump's most climate-damaging move yet.

What a Map of America’s 57,636 Wind Turbines Tells Us

California's Kern County is the wind power capital of the country, as a Washington Post analysis of over 57,000 commercial wind turbines shows, but it might not keep that title for long. The Post shows in charts and maps where wind power potential is strongest and where more turbines are rising.

May 9, 2018

One in Five Americans Say Next Car Will Be Electric

Twenty percent of Americans say their next car will be electric, an increase from 15 percent in the prior year, according to a new survey by AAA. Consumers still have some concerns about running out of electric charge while on the road, but it's becoming less of an issue.

Audi Aims for 800,000 Electric Vehicles by 2025

German automaker Audi says it's aiming for electric vehicle sales to hit 800,000 by 2025, and it plans to launch more than 20 EV models by then. The company, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, is still trying to repair its reputation after it was one of several auto brands caught up in the emissions testing scandal.

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