June 18, 2018

New Electric Scooters Could Be Sign of a Coming Boom

The Gogoro electric scooter started it, promising a clever battery swap to ease the challenge of charging. Now, Kymco, the largest manufacturer of scooters in Taiwan, has announced a pair of electric scooters with swappable batteries, and Yamaha, Honda and even Vespa's maker Piaggio have signaled they're shifting to electric. 

Lessons from Hawaii's Clean Energy Transformation for Transportation

Shifting Hawaii's transportation system to cleaner energy could prove a lot more difficult than converting its power grid. The state has a goal for 100 percent of ground transportation to be powered by renewable sources by 2045. But some of the state's largest vehicle fleet operators say the upfront cost and lack of incentives means they're still using diesel and gas.

June 15, 2018

EU Raises Renewable Energy Target to 32 Percent by 2030

The EU countries have agreed to increase the share of renewables in the bloc's energy mix to 32 percent by 2030 after Germany blocked efforts to set an even higher target. Negotiators also agreed to phase out palm oil use and ease regulations on smaller renewable energy producers. 

The Big Electric Vehicles Investment that Could Change How Sacramento Moves

Sacramento, chosen as California's "green city" beneficiary of the Volkswagen emissions scandal settlement, is adding electric buses and two new car-sharing programs with about 400 electric vehicles in all. One program, launching early next year, is designed similar to urban bike sharing to let users drive anywhere within a 13-square-mile radius of the car's "home zone."

June 13, 2018

Tesla Lays Off 9 Percent of Staff

Tesla is cutting 9 percent of its staff, citing the need to cut costs. CEO Elon Musk said all of the layoffs are of salaried employees and will have no effect on production workers on the Model 3. Tesla is under pressure to post its first profit and overcome Model 3 production delays.

June 12, 2018

Rooftop Solar Growth Forecast to Remain Flat, Following Drop in 2017

Growth in U.S. residential solar is projected to be essentially flat this year, following last year's decrease amid uncertainty over tax incentives and tariffs, according to a new forecast from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. "What that potentially shows is some of the bleeding may have stopped in the residential segment," analyst Austin Perea said.

China Testing Roads Paved with Solar Panels

A Chinese company is testing solar panels that cover roads. Shandong Pavenergy is developing the polymer-covered panels as an alternative to solar farms, especially in areas where open spaces are at a premium. China already leads the world in photovoltaic panels.

June 11, 2018

Solar Energy Developers Eager to Lease State-Owned Grazing Land

Renewable energy developers are showing interest in using public grazing lands in central Washington state for solar farms. The grazing leases typically net the state less than $2 per acre per year, while the state agency estimates it could earn $600-$1,000 per acre per year from solar.

June 8, 2018

While Trump Tries to Save Coal, Some in His Party Want Solar

While President Trump works to undo his predecessor's renewable energy-friendly policies, some leaders in his own party have their eyes set on bolstering solar instead. "I don't think Trump is reflecting necessarily where Republicans are," former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi said.

Battery Storage Plan Gets Pushback in New Hampshire

Opposition to Liberty Utilities' plan to build a 1,000-household battery storage project in New Hampshire seems to flip the script from typical energy debates. The main supporter is a regulated utility, while a key opponent is a solar services company, which says the project should be scaled down.

June 6, 2018

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