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May 4 Green Energy News

Fossils, Finance, and Folly:

  • “Colorado Anti-Fracking Activism: A Game for Millionaires and Billionaires” San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer is reportedly interested in bankrolling “ban fracking” activists in Colorado. [Energy Collective] (The author is pro-fracking, and does not seem to mind billionaires meddling with government to get support for fossil fuels.)
  • Exelon is technically a “utility,” but that’s misleading: No widow or orphan would have been safe investing in Exelon in recent years. Revenue from the company’s fleet of nuclear plants is essentially tied to the cost of natural gas, putting earnings on a roller-coaster ride. [Crain’s Chicago Business] (Lesson: Don’t on the future of natural gas prices.)
  • Entergy CEO Leo Denault is predicting above-average growth in the next five to 10 years, thanks to an industrial boom along the Gulf Coast powered by low natural gas prices. He said the company hopes to acquire customers who will use as much as 2,500 MW. [Jackson Clarion Ledger] (He is betting on the future of natural gas prices.)

World:

  • Hundreds of customers moved around AU$ 4 million out of Westpac, ANZ, NAS and the Commonwealth Bank in a protest organised by campaign groups Market Forces and 350.org to mark Australia’s first ‘National Days of Divestment Action’. [Responding to Climate Change]
  • Denmark is leading the world in making changes regarding energy sources. The nation has a plan to be 100% dependant on renewable sources by 2050. This will create new jobs, decrease dependency on international resources and increase their exports to other nations. [Guardian Liberty Voice]
  • Africa is blessed with plentiful resources. The continent has prodigious sunshine, ideal conditions for solar power. Hot rocks store geothermal energy. Vast plains are great sites for wind turbines. Mighty rivers can provide for hydropower projects. Biomass is abundant. [The National]
  • Nearly half, or 44%, of the Earth’s new electricity production comes from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and water power. With costs declining renewables grow, even though investments into renewable energy production decreased 14% in 2013. [Helsinki Times]

US:

  • Support continues to grow for including clean and low cost energy efficiency in the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules for cutting dangerous carbon pollution from existing power plants, with two more positive developments just this week. [Energy Collective]
  • A federal judge has ruled in favour of the 468 MW Cape Wind project following a legal challenge, the 26th failed legal challenge the project has faced. The judge said, “There comes a point at which the right to litigate can become a vexatious abuse of the democratic process.” [reNews]
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company has been recognized by the Solar Electric Power Association as a national leader in solar power. For the sixth consecutive year, PG&E earned a first-place ranking in the Solar Megawatts category with more than 1,400 MW installed. [Paso Robles Daily News]
  • Not everything Walmart does is terrible. In fact, when it comes to cutting our nation’s energy footprint, Wal-Mart is doing more for you and me and everyone we know than any other American retailer. [Motley Fool] (Not sure about that last bit.)
  • In 2007, solar panels throughout Massachusetts could generate a total of 3 MW, enough for a little less than 500 homes. Now, there’s a total capacity of 475 MW — enough for more than 230,000 homes. By 2020, state officials want to see 1,600 MW. [The Sun]

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