Today’s Climate: April 11-12, 2009

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TVA Rejects Many Requests as It Buys Land Tainted by Tennessee Coal-Ash Spill (AP)

TVA has spent more than $20 million buying up 71 properties tainted by a major coal-ash spill and is negotiating to buy more. But the utility, the nation’s largest, has also turned down 160 property owners hoping to sell out.

Wind Turbine Plant in Detroit to Hire 250 (Detroit News)

Global Wind Systems will open a wind turbine assembly plant in Novi, Michigan, about 30 miles outside of Detroit. The plant could give the region’s sputtering economy a much-needed lift by creating about 250 new manufacturing jobs.

Germany Urges Deeper US Greenhouse Cuts (AFP)

Germany’s environment minister warned that if Washington does not go beyond its current greenhouse gas cutting commitments, agreement on a new climate pact this year will prove difficult.

Major Utility Tri-State Changes Course on Coal (Denver Business Journal)

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Co., Colorado’s second-largest utility, said it will shift its focus from building more coal plants to natural gas, renewables and efficiency. The utility had plans to construct 2,100 MW of new coal facilities by 2012.

HUD Secretary Wants Mortgage Incentives for Energy-Efficient Homes (Los Angeles Times)

Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, says mortgages should come with lower rates to encourage purchases and retrofits that save energy — a potentially powerful tool in residential energy conservation.

Mitsubishi to Help Oregon Build Electric Car Network (Portland Business Journal)

Mitsubishi has announced a partnership with the Oregon government and utility Portland General Electric, joining fellow Japanese automaker Nissan in an effort to create a statewide electric vehicle charging network.

China Taps Renault-Nissan for Electric Car Pilot in 2011 (Cleantech Group)

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has signed a deal with the Chinese city of Wuhan for electric vehicles and a charging network. The alliance is fast becoming the one of the most ambitious electric car projects around the globe.

Green Group Gets Behind Cape Wind (Cape Cod Times)

Cape Cod’s preeminent green group has come out in favor of the highly controversial, 130-turbine offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound.

Japan to Spend $153 Billion in Stimulus Package (Bloomberg)

Japan has unveiled a record $153 billion stimulus package, about 3% of the nation’s GDP. Some $16 billion of that amount, around 12 percent, will be spent on low-carbon technology growth.

Oil Refiner Valero Becomes Investor in Texas Advanced Biofuels Firm (San Antonio Business Journal)

Valero, the largest oil refiner in North America, has become the lead investor in Terrabon LLC, a company that is in the development stages of a new technology that can convert biomass into gasoline.

Carbon Becomes Bigger Factor For Mutual Funds (Dow Jones Newswires)

Mutual fund companies are responding cautiously to suggestions they take greenhouse gas emissions of companies more into account in the selection of stocks in their funds.

Why Did Chrysler Chose A123 Batteries? (MIT Technology Review)

The automaker wanted U.S.-based manufacturing and a flexible battery design to fit different electric vehicles.

$6.60 Solar Cooker Wins Financial Times Climate Change Contest (EcoGeek)

The cooker, called the Kyoto Box, won the Financial Times Climate Change Contest and $75,000 from Hewlett-Packard to get the idea into production. The box can boil 10 liters of water in 2 hours for cooking or for purifying.