May 4, 2018
MidAmerican Energy is building two more wind farms in Iowa, adding 550 megawatts to what is already one of the leading states for wind energy. Read more from ICN on the four states that are now generating more than 30 percent of their power from wind.
Robert Bosch GMbH, a German engineering firm, says it has developed a diesel-exhaust system with emissions well below the limits that will be in place in 2020. But it's introducing it into a shrinking market for diesel engines following emissions scandals at Volkswagen and other automakers.
May 2, 2018
Solar and wind energy companies have donated more money to Republicans than Democrats in congressional races this cycle, continuing a shift noted in the 2016 cycle. Political action committees representing solar and wind companies have donated $247,000 to Republicans, $139,300 to Democrats, and $7,500 to independents for the 2018 cycle, a Reuters analysis found.
People adding rooftop solar panels are now more likely to use cash or loans rather than third-party methods such as leasing and power-purchase agreements, according to a new report of 2017 financing. Analysts say the shift is tied to Tesla's move away from third-party ownership.
General Motors has signed power-purchase contracts with wind farms, now under construction, that will put plants in Ohio and Indiana on the path to being able to say they get 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.
A shortfall in supplies of metals, including copper, nickel and cobalt, is likely to have an effect on the production of batteries for electric vehicles, Moody's Investors Service writes.
A new phase of a Dubai solar farm is the largest in the region and a step toward the country hitting its goal of getting 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The solar farm would be 5,000 megawatts when all phases are complete, expected in 2030.
May 1, 2018
A report from Ernst & Young shows the U.S. has moved up one spot to become the second most attractive country for renewable energy investment, behind China. The firm does an annual list of the top 40 markets for renewable energy. Germany and India were third and fourth, respectively.
Businesses have agreed to buy more than 3.3 gigawatts of renewable energy so far this year, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. That's on track to break the previous high of 4.8 gigawatts, reached last year. Read more from ICN on which sectors have the strongest climate goals.
Despite having the scale and resources of a major manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz was unable to find success selling home battery systems and is now closing a U.S.-based subsidiary. The announcement means one less challenger for Tesla in a market that has been slow to develop.
Greece is about to hold an auction to select projects for a 2.6 gigawatt investment in solar and wind energy. The country is aiming to get 18 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Maruti Suzuki, India's largest automaker is looking to compressed natural gas as the fuel for the next generation of cars, at least until electric vehicles can be built more cheaply.
April 30, 2018
Tesla and other automakers want to be the ones to give state rebates when a consumer buys a qualifying electric vehicle under a California program. Utilities, which currently hand out the $50-$599 rebates, see no reason to change a system that's working.
South Carolina regulators voted to cut the rate that a leading utility pays for electricity from solar farms. Solar advocates say the decision will make it more difficult to finance solar projects in the state; the utility says it will save money.
Minneapolis officials announced new targets for moving the city to 100 percent renewable electricity. Their goal: have municipal facilities and operations reach the target by 2022 and the rest of the city follow by 2030.
Sales of electric buses are growing and may be on the cusp of a boom. While sticker prices are high today, there are many cost advantages, in addition to big benefits for urban air quality. Read more from ICN about New York City's new goal for an all-electric bus fleet.
A Philadelphia-area company envisions a system that quickly and wirelessly recharges vehicles. Drivers would pull onto a pad on the road, where energy would pass wirelessly to the vehicle, a process that until now has mostly been used on devices such as cell phones.
China is investing big in solar energy, and it's showing in time-lapse satellite images as large solar arrays take shape.
April 27, 2018
The largest municipal bus fleet in the country plans to go all-electric by 2040. New York City transit officials announced the goal as part of a broader plan to increase ridership and improve service. The shift would reduce climate-warming emissions and cut fuel, maintenance and health costs.
The Oklahoma House narrowly voted to change a wind energy tax incentive to make it non-refundable, which would reduce the savings available for wind farm developers. The measure, which now moves to the Senate, passed despite warnings that it may harm the state's economy.
Hawaii's governor signed legislation this week overhauling how utilities get paid. It upends a long-standing business model and adds incentives to help homeowners add rooftop solar.
Ohio utility regulators have approved an American Electric Power rate plan that would use rebates to develop up to 375 electric-vehicle charging stations. The rebates would range from 50 to 100 percent and are tied to a larger project in the Columbus metro area that encourages electric vehicles.
The Southern Environmental Law Center has filed a formal complaint to try to force changes to a utility fee charged to customers with their own solar power systems. The complaint, before the Alabama Public Service Commission, involves monthly fees charged by Alabama Power.
Just outside Stockholm, Sweden, is an experimental road that lets specially outfitted electric vehicles charge their batteries while driving. The 1.2-mile stretch of road is part of the country's research into various ways of managing and encouraging vehicle electrification.
April 25, 2018
An analysis of more than 600 top U.S. companies' efforts to address climate change finds that those seeing the effects of global warming first-hand are taking the most concrete actions.
Global wind energy capacity is expected to increase 56 percent over the next five years as costs continue to fall, the Global Wind Energy Council says in its annual report. In 2017, global wind energy capacity rose 11 percent. Read more from ICN about how wind farms are "repowering" to increase their energy production.
Utility companies need an extra month to select a winning bid to build an offshore wind project in Massachusetts. The companies say they could not meet an April 23 deadline because of several factors, including severe storms that took attention away from the selection process.
Duke Energy has opened two solar farms in Kentucky that are among the largest in the state. The projects, both near Cincinnati, can power about 1,500 homes.
April 24, 2018
A federal appeals court has rejected the Trump administration's attempt to delay penalties for automakers that fail to meet fuel efficiency standards. Legal experts say other attempts by the administration to weaken the standards may also be at risk.
Two solar developers are accusing DTE Energy of stonewalling attempts to build renewable energy in the utility's Michigan territory. The solar companies say DTE is not providing basic information, leading to unnecessary delays.