July 16, 2018

Europe Keeps Setting Records for Clean Energy

Two of the biggest economies in Europe set new records for clean energy last week. The UK's electric grid went more than 1,000 hours without burning any coal. And, half-way through the year, renewable sources have generated more of Germany's electricity than coal has.

Why Are Solar Trees Popping Up All Over Florida?

Zoos, museums, airports and parks will soon be home to 24-foot-high "solar trees" — curvy tubes with solar panels on top. Florida Power & Light is putting up the systems as part of an attempt to expand how it harnesses solar power. It's also installing solar canopies in parking lots and other locations.

July 13, 2018

Apple Launches $300 Million Clean Energy Fund in China

Apple says it is starting a clean energy fund in China and spending $300 million on projects that could provide electricity to nearly 1 million homes. The plan includes Apple and 10 suppliers, and it is beginning at a time of an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China.  

Duke Hits Net Metering Cap in South Carolina

Duke Energy customers have installed enough rooftop solar that they have hit a cap that means additional projects will receive less money for selling power back to the grid. Clean energy advocates supported legislation this spring to increase the 2 percent cap, but nothing has passed. 

July 11, 2018

Buffett-Backed BYD to Lease Electric Buses Through New Partnership

BYD, a China-based maker of electric vehicles, is forming a partnership with a San Francisco investment firm to lease electric buses to cities, schools and corporations. The partners say this is the first venture of this type, and their aim is to accelerate the adoption of electric buses by reducing up-front costs.

Wind Developers Look to Maine’s Gubernatorial Election for Signals on Policy

Wind developers are hoping that the winner of this fall's election to replace Maine Gov. Paul LePage is less hostile to the wind industry. Maine has seen its wind development stymied by state policies, which has helped to shift new investment to other states. At least two of the four candidates to replace LePage say they strongly support wind energy development.

Will Tesla Ever Build China Factory?

Elon Musk said in 2015 that he would have a factory in China within three years. It would be an essential part of Tesla meeting its ambitious sales goals in China. But there are substantial obstacles, including questions about how Tesla could raise the billions of dollars needed to complete the project.

July 10, 2018

Utilities’ Energy Efficiency Programs Are a Bargain, National Lab Finds

On average, energy efficiency programs funded by utility customers cost 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity saved, a bargain compared to the cost of generating electricity, according to a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It's the latest in a long line of reports that indicate energy efficiency programs are effective ways to save consumers money.

July 9, 2018

A Funny-Looking Boat Is Circling the Globe Using Renewable Energy

A converted racing boat is demonstrating how solar energy, batteries and hydrogen can be used for sea travel. The Energy Observer is sailing around the planet to call attention to the opportunity to expand use of clean fuels for a form of transportation that still uses heavy fuel oil.

July 6, 2018

Here’s Where 3 Million EV Batteries Will Go When They Retire

The first batches of electric car batteries are hitting retirement age, but they aren't headed for landfills. Lithium-ion EV batteries can still collect and discharge electricity for another seven to 10 years, so they can chill drinks at 7-Eleven or store energy for homes. China has rules coming to make carmakers responsible for keeping batteries out of landfills, and the EU has regulations.

July 3, 2018

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