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October 15 Green Energy News

World:

  • A new survey of Australian households conducted by Ernst & Young across regional and metro Victoria, NSW and Queensland found 9 out of 10 Australians have considered or would consider switching to solar power. The main motivation is cutting electricity bills, but environmental benefits have appeal too. [Treehugger]
  • A number of major companies are sending EU leaders a strong message before they meet at a decisive summit on 23-24 October. And they want some serious results from that meeting. They want an agreement on binding targets for the climate and energy package far more ambitious than what is being considered. [Greenpeace International]
  • Just a few years ago, with prices of coal through the roof, it was cigars and caviar time for an industry who were proposing more new projects than you could point an activist at. A long and glorious future was expected, based on China’s insatiable demand for coal. Now, things have changed, and coal companies are in trouble. [RenewEconomy]
  • Skanska and Ecotricity will invest up to £500 million in onshore wind through a new 50/50 joint venture, with their first three projects all based in Scotland. The firms have created a joint venture called Skylark, which would predominantly develop onshore wind projects in Scotland. [Construction News]
  • Renewable energy could be the key to growing power demands on the African continent, according to a new statement from the International Energy Agency. Sub-Saharan Africa could, in fact, harvest enough renewable energy to meet its rising demands as soon as 2040, the agency says. [RTT News]
  • Canada’s nuclear industry is in an uproar. The nuclear sector is fed up with the “green energy” title the wind sector has and considers the title undeserved. So the nuclear industry has started a public relations assault against wind energy. Nuclear sector professionals claim wind power just isn’t as green as they claim. [Greener Ideal]

US:

  • Central California, already painfully stressed by the worst drought in 50 years, has another problem with its water supply. Aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water have recently had to swallow almost 3 billion gallons of tainted wastewater from nearby hydraulic fracturing. [CleanTechnica]
  • The heirs and still majority owners of the Walmart fortune, the Walton family, have been spending millions of dollars in recent years funding more than two dozen anti-solar energy groups, according to a recent study from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Among those funded is the American Legislative Exchange Council. [CleanTechnica]
  • Yampa Valley Electric Association co-op members will soon be able to participate in one of Northwest Colorado’s first solar ventures. Clean Energy Collective, a group that aims to provide clean power generation to people regardless of housing ownership status, partnered with YVEA on a solar garden. [Craig Daily Press]
  • Vega Biofuels, Inc recently announced it has entered into the Joint Venture to build and operate a pilot manufacturing plant in South Carolina to produce Bio-Coal, among other torrefied products. When completed in Q1 2015, the plant will use a patented torrefaction technology to produce the Company’s green-energy Bio-Coal. [Chem.Info]
  • Texas sunshine will soon begin feeding electricity to the Houston Food Bank with the completion of a 280 solar panel installation. The 5,300 square foot solar array is expected to save enough in energy costs to fund the equivalent of just over two meals per hour in the Houston community every year. [RenewablesBiz]
  • BYD Motors has unveiled the world’s largest electric bus, or eBus. It is a 60-foot, articulated battery-electric vehicle that can drive over 170 miles on a single charge with a passenger load of up to 120 passengers. The bus can has an off-peak charging time of two to four hours. [DigitalJournal.com]
  • Green Mountain Power today announced that it is once again sponsoring a program to help eight non-profits construct solar arrays. The Vermont Public Service Board approved a GMP proposal to award eight matching grants of up to $20,000 each to non-profit groups all across Vermont, and GMP is encouraging organizations to apply. [vtdigger.org]
  • Analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists found that increasing non-hydro renewable energy sources from about 6% of electricity sales today to 23% by 2030 could  be achieved relatively easily and reduce carbon emissions nearly twice as much renewable energy as the EPA proposed. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

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