Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative
President Obama is committed to ensuring that every American family can choose to go solar and to cut their energy bills - and that every American community has the tools they need to tackle local air pollution and global climate change.
Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Last year, we announced a set of actions to increase access to solar and create a more inclusive workforce, but there is still more work to do. That is why, today, the Obama Administration is announcing a new cross government partnership - the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative - between the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran's Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the United States and, in particular in low- and moderate- income communities.
Car-sharing Helping Cities With Their Transit Issues
There's a promising fix for any city with transportation issues -- and car ownership has nothing to do with it. A new study found that cities that turn to a flexible type of car-sharing stand to benefit from less pollution, less traffic and more parking.
Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center focused on the impact of car2go, which is different from car services like Zipcar and GM's Maven. With car2go, drivers paying a one-time $35 membership fee and can rent a vehicle parked on a nearby public street and leave it elsewhere in the city. There's no need to reserve a vehicle ahead of time, or return it to a designated parking lot. Car2go strikes deals with local governments so that its cars can be parked in public spots.
Drivers pay 41 cents per minute of usage. Car2go has nearly 2 million members, and operates 14,000 vehicles in 30 cities.
The researchers found that for every car2go in a city, between seven and 11 vehicles disappeared from that city's roads. This resulted from drivers either selling their car or hold off on a new purchase.
Miles driven by car2go members also dropped an average of seven percent. Greenhouse gas emissions from those surveyed dropped an average of 10 percent.
California Powers 6 Million Homes With Solar Energy, Slays Record
A new renewable energy record has come to light.
Thanks to a heat wave, California was able to shatter a state solar record. On July 12 at 1:06 p.m., several large solar plants dotted throughout the state produced 8,030 megawatts of electricity, according to the
California Independent System Operator
- and it would know. The organization runs most of the state's power grid.
San Francisco Gate
, that's enough energy to power more than 6 million households.
This record is more than double the amount produced in May, when solar power impressively generated a little more than 50 percent of demand.
"I can tell you we had a great solar day," Steven Greenly of California ISO told
Good News Network
Not to mention that this new record was set solely by large solar plants. It doesn't even take into consideration the
smaller solar penal arrays installed on private homes and business' rooftops.
The San Francisco Gate does point out a downside, however.
Just like the sun, solar power tends to peak mid-afternoon then plummets in late afternoon when the sun starts to go down. At that point California wind farms pick up the slack from late afternoon into the night. Problem is, electricity demand peaks at 6 p.m., which is the time when the green energy is shifting from solar to wind power.
Musk's 'Master Plan' Expands Tesla Into Trucks, Buses And Solar Energy Systems
Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk Wednesday unveiled an ambitious plan to expand the company into electric trucks and buses, car sharing and solar energy systems. In a blog post titled "Master Plan, Part Deux," Musk sketched a vision of an integrated carbon-free energy enterprise offering a wider range of vehicles, and products and services beyond electric cars and batteries. The newest elements of the strategy included plans to develop car and ride sharing programs as well as commercial vehicles - businesses where other companies already compete, and in some cases have ample head starts on Tesla. The new vehicles range from a commercial truck called the Tesla Semi to a public transport bus, a "new kind of pickup truck" and a compact SUV. The vehicles will be unveiled next year alongside Tesla's existing fleet of electric cars. Musk restated his argument that Tesla should acquire solar panel installer SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O), where he is a major shareholder, and said he aims to make Tesla's Autopilot self-driving system 10 times safer than cars that humans drive manually.
Solar energy has grown 100-fold in this country in the past decade. Globally, solar has doubled seven times since 2000, and Dubai received a bid recently for 800 megawatts of solar at a stunning "US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour" - unsubsidized! For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Solar energy has been advancing considerably faster than anyone expected just a few years ago thanks to aggressive market-based deployment efforts around the globe. Since it's hard to keep up with the speed-of-light changes, and this is the fuel that will power more and more of the global economy in the near future, here are all the latest charts and facts to understand it.
If you are looking for one chart to sum up the whole solar energy miracle, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Chairman Michael Liebreich has one from his
at BNEF's annual conference in April titled "In Search of the Miraculous"
Thanks to sustained long-term deployment programs,
, "We've seen the costs come down by a factor of 150 since 1975. We've seen volume up by 115,000."
In Texas, MP2 Energy Sees the 'Shape' of Rooftop Solar as Value to Substitute for Net Metering
When SolarCity announced last year that it was moving into Texas, solar industry watchers scratched their heads. How, they asked, could a rooftop solar installer put together a money-making proposition for itself and its customers in a state without net metering? The answer lies with its partner, MP2 Energy. The Texas-based energy company has joined SolarCity in its first rollout in Dallas last year, and in last month's move into the Houston market. Together, they've created a customer offering that closely matches net metering, by paying the retail rate for solar power in excess of what the customer consumes, and locking in rates for the power they do buy from the grid in 12- or 24-month terms. It's an unusual offer in a state where, outside a few vertically integrated utilities likeAustin Energy or San Antonio's CPS Energy, solar incentives for customers are few and far between. Texas also has some very low electricity prices, driven by today's low natural-gas prices and competition amongst energy retailers in the state's fully deregulated electricity market.
One of the biggest standouts from a record-breaking week for the markets was Ocean Power Technologies OPTT 5.24% , whose Nasdaq-listed stock popped 75% on Friday. Investor enthusiasm followed news that the company had deployed a new version of its PowerBuoy off the coast of New Jersey amidst a push towards commercialization. The PowerBuoy is Ocean Power's entry in the nascent field of wave-power generation, and the stock move suggests optimism surrounding both the company, and the potential of what some say is the next frontier in renewable energy.Wave power generation has so far lagged behind solar and wind for several reasons. For one, there's still no clear consensus on the right technological approach. The PowerBuoy is essentially a large piston, with a heavy weight beneath the water and a buoy that floats on the surface, generating power as it rises and falls. But the Department of Energy is currently running a $2 million wave-power competition, and teams are experimenting with everything from underwater pressure balloons to something called an Oscillating Water Column.
September 21-25, Philadelphia, PA
October 12-13, Liverpool, UK
October 28, Mexico, Mexico
November 9, 2016, Chicago, IL
November 15-17, San Antonio, TX
December 6-8, 2016, Istanbul, Turkey
December 13-15, 2016, Orlando, FL
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