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As rooftop solar costs drop, utility attempts to raise barriers may not work

A solar array at Duke Energy Florida's 3.8 megawatt solar array in Osceola County, near St. Cloud. [Times files]

Image: A solar array at Duke Energy Florida's 3.8 megawatt solar array in Osceola County, near St. Cloud. [Times files]

tampabay.com - November 13th 2016 - Mary Ellen Klas

Florida's utility industry steered more than $20 million of their profits into a failed constitutional amendment to impose new barriers to the expansion of rooftop solar energy generation, but developers say that as the cost of installing solar panels drops, the state could quickly become a leader in private solar energy expansion no matter what the energy giants do.

The Florida Solar Energy Industry Association estimates that over the next five years, Florida homeowners, businesses and utilities are projected to take advantage of the falling prices and install 2,315 megawatts of solar electric capacity — 19 times more than the amount of solar installed in the last five years.

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Before the Flood

nationalgeographic.com - October 30, 2016

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award®-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet.

CLICK HERE - National Geographic - Before the Flood

CLICK HERE - YouTube - Before the Flood

CLICK HERE - About the Film - Before the Flood

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New York Unveils New Way to Price Distributed Energy Resources

microgridknowledge.com - October 28th 2016 - Elisa Wood

New York energy advisors unveiled a new, more granular way to price distributed energy resources and transition away from net metering, in a proposal released yesterday.

The report, issued by the Department of Public Services staff, said that current pricing methods fail to take into account the full value of distributed energy.

State regulators had called for the report as part of Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), New York’s strategy to create a decentralized power grid.

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The myth of renewables threatening grid stability?

bnef.com - October 31st 2016

Germany’s power grid outage averaged 12.7 minutes last year, 41% less than in 2006, even though renewables have grown to account for as much as a third of power generation in the country, according to data released by the federal regulator last week.

This put to rest concerns about intermittent sources of power threatening grid stability. The country is weaning itself away from nuclear power and embracing renewables generation, providing a working model of transformation of the energy sector for many other countries.

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Energy Secretary Moniz and Interior Secretary Jewell Announce New National Offshore Wind Strategy to Drive Deployment

CLICK HERE - NATIONAL OFFSHORE WIND STRATEGY: FACILITATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES

energy.gov - September 9, 2016

BOSTON - U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the publication of a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.

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District of Columbia Mayor Signs 50% Renewable Energy Standard

                         

utilitydive.com - by Robert Walton - July 26, 2016

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has signed legislation to push the nation's capital towards 50% renewable energy within the next 15 years, a goal she says will increase residents' access to clean energy while also creating jobs and new businesses.

The goal includes promises to serve 100,000 low-income residents with solar energy by 2032 and reduce their power bills by 50%.

To meet anticipated demand for solar energy, the city has partnered on a jobs program to provide District young adults with paid training in solar panel installation, energy efficiency, and basic safety and construction skills.

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Energy weighs on Wall St. but Costco shines

reuters.com - July 7th 2016 - Marcus E. Howard

The S&P 500 and Dow industrials slipped on Thursday, weighed by energy shares, but gains in Costco and tech shares lifted the Nasdaq Composite.

The energy sector of the S&P was dragged lower by Exxon and Chevron as oil futures prices fell nearly 5 percent after crude stockpiles fell slightly less than forecast.

High-yielding sectors also pulled the S&P lower even as yields on long-term U.S. government debt remained near record lows.

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Blockchain: the answer to life, the universe and everything?

The blockchain was developed as a means of creating digital property without the need for a central authority keeping track of who owns what. Photograph: Jacob Carter/Rex/Shutterstock Image: The blockchain was developed as a means of creating digital property without the need for a central authority keeping track of who owns what. Photograph: Jacob Carter/Rex/Shutterstock

theguardian.com - July 7th 2016 - Alex Hern

Have you heard the good news? The blockchain is here – and it’s going to save everything.

If you aren’t tied to the tech community, you might not have picked up on this salvation rhetoric.

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These Streetlights Are Great For The Planet — But Horrible For Your Health

A photograph of a streetlight. Patrick Strattner/Getty Images

Image: A photograph of a streetlight. Patrick Strattner/Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - June 30th 2016 - Sarah DiGiulio

Tree-lined streets, good schools, quiet road and low-intensity streetlights...

That last one may not have made it on your checklist for finding your last home, apartment or condo, but doctors now say it probably should have.

Even though they save energy, some light-emitting diode (or LED) streetlights are too bright and may actually be putting your health and security at risk, according to new recommendations from the American Medical Association, the largest professional association of doctors in the U.S.

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Rural Pennsylvanians Say Fracking ‘Just Ruined Everything’

Jesse and Shirley Eakin stand by the water well they no longer use at their home in Avella, Pa. Delivered water is stored in the tank behind them.Image: Jesse and Shirley Eakin stand by the water well they no longer use at their home in Avella, Pa. Delivered water is stored in the tank behind them.

huffingtonpost.com - June 23rd 2016 - Maryam Jameel

Sixty years after his service in the Army, Jesse Eakin still completes his outfits with a pin that bears a lesson from the Korean War: Never Impossible.

That maxim has been tested by a low-grade but persistent threat far different than the kind Eakin encountered in Korea: well water that’s too dangerous to drink. It gives off a strange odor and bears a yellow tint. It carries sand that clogs faucets in the home Eakin shares with his wife, Shirley, here in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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