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Electric vehicle batteries may get much more valua...

A new study shows they can help the grid without being degraded. One of the hottest questions among energy nerds these days has to do with the interaction of electric vehicles and the electricity grid. Will EVs remain passive consumers of electricity, like toasters or refrigerators, the way they are now? Or will they be able to communicate with the grid and send power back to it when needed? The answer depends on both...

Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in Natio...

President Trump has made sweeping efforts to scrap Obama-era environmental protections, but the current administration’s latest moves are oddly specific. The National Park Service (NPS) announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the 2011 “Water Bottle Ban” that allowed parks to prohibit the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. That same day, news emerged that the Trump administration removed a nine-slot...

The Dubious Case for Appalachian Coal Subsidies

As technologies for renewable energy and grid management advance, the special position that coal has held since Thomas Edison’s first power plants in the 1880s has become much harder to defend. The call to subsidize coal is a sign of how the economics of power generation have been transformed. Just five years ago, it was renewable sources that needed subsidies to compete, but their costs have been plummeting. Now the US is...

Group aims to reduce solar ‘soft costs’ in Ohio co...

A new program seeks to spur solar energy development in southeastern Ohio by cutting costs and reducing barriers at the local level. The plan will provide technical assistance to help four small towns and rural areas in Appalachian Ohio receive recognition as solar-friendly communities. The Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) has engaged Sarah Conley-Ballew to help Somerset, Amesville, the city of Athens and the...

Toyota says it’s on the cusp of a major electric v...

The automaker revealed last week that it had achieved a sought-after improvement in existing lithium-ion technology by developing a “solid state” battery. Solid-state batteries — which, as you may have guessed, have solid electrolytes rather than the usual liquid — are more expensive than traditional lithium-ion cells, but they can charge incredibly quickly and store a lot more power. (Plus, they’re less likely to explode.)...

Lithium-ion batteries finally have a rechargeable ...

The rise of electric vehicles and the quest to find solutions to energy storage for the renewables industry have created a breeding ground for tech experts to develop battery technologies. Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and the company he currently backs, Ionic Materials, unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery design that they claim would be cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion battery. “What people...

Why Plan? Articles by Jurgen Pape – January ...

Why Plan? February 2017 This is a continuation of my previous editorials from several years ago, then called “Why Plan?” My emphasis now is on the environment. Mahatma Gandhi made many profound statements. One can be applied to the environment: “The future depends on what we do today!” Since water is crucial to everyone (more so than oil), the use or mis-use of it is becoming more of a major factor. Already wars have been...

How Two Bankrupt Companies Are Threatening Tens of...

SEIA’s (Solar Energy Industries Association) Abby Hopper: “If we can’t stop this (Trade Commission) case, we may see a lot of solar workers, including many in manufacturing, in unemployment lines. Let’s be clear: the Section 201 trade case now under consideration at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is about jobs, plain and simple. If the petitioners get what they want, tens of thousands of American solar workers...

Net metering debates rev up, but regulators are sk...

More regulators are also revisiting net metering successor tariffs, according to a recent report Fights over net metering policies are showing no signs of slowing down in the second quarter of this year. According to the latest quarterly report from North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, there are 42 proceedings in 25 states plus the District of Columbia to increase fixed charges or minimum bills on residential solar...

Indiana’s governor just (May, 2017) signed a law t...

Gov. Eric Holcomb just slashed incentives for rooftop solar. In Indiana, solar employs nearly three times as many people as natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. You might think, given the numbers, that legislators would want to protect the state’s nascent solar industry. You would be wrong. On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill that shreds incentives for rooftop solar, delivering a blow to...

Indiana Law Could Ruin Solar’s Future At Sch...

More groups – from utilities to businesses and even schools — are investing in solar energy. Its popularity continues to go up, while costs go down. But a law passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly could spell trouble for the industry. Take, for example, Tri-Creek School Corporation’s solar experiment. As you drive down the county road toward Lowell Middle School, you might be surprised to see three or four...

What’s missing from the 100% renewable energ...

Media coverage of a scholarly feud over fuel mix transition misses the broader implications of cross-sector decarbonization The news media can be distracted by stories that seem more important than they are. The recent furor over the best energy resource mix for 2050 provides an example. A debate between Stanford professor Mark Jacobson and former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Christopher...

Record number of oil and gas firms go bust as rene...

The world’s largest private power production company warns the sector that renewables could drive the oil price as low as $10 a barrel. A record number of oil and gas companies became insolvent last year, according to a new study which environmentalists said highlighted the need for the UK to prepare for the move to a low-carbon economy. They warned that the loss of jobs in the sector when it becomes clear that fossil fuels...

50% Rise in Renewable Energy Needed to Meet Ambiti...

States are powerful forces for renewable electricity. About half the growth since 2000 has come from their Renewable Portfolio Standards, a national lab finds. Renewable electricity generation will have to increase by 50 percent by 2030 to meet ambitious state requirements for wind, solar and other sources of renewable power, according to a new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report looked at Renewable...

AEP to spend $4.5 billion on biggest single wind f...

AEP plans to spend $4.5 billion on new power – and in a sign of recent times, it’s in renewable energy, not coal. The electric utility plans to spend the money on what will be the biggest single wind farm in the United States, as the Columbus company continues its fast churn away from coal toward a more diverse mix of power generation. “This project is consistent with our strategy of investing in the energy resources of the...