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January 9 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Clean energy investment rose in 2014 for the first time in three years, as China’s support for solar power and record spending on wind farms overcame a slump in oil prices that unsettled the industry’s outlook. New funds for wind, solar, biofuels and other low-carbon technologies gained 16% to $310 billion. [Businessweek]
  • Mercom Capital Group tallied $26.5 billion in solar project investment from corporate funding sources during 2014. That’s an astounding 175% increase over 2013, when Mercom counted just $9.6 billion. The reason is that perception of the solar sector has moved from one of high risk to one with low-risk yields. [CleanTechnica]
  • In the face of growing pressures from many quarters to slow down on global warming and decrease pollution, major companies have gone on the offensive, extolling their contributions to human progress and minimizing the potential for renewables to replace fossil fuels in just about any imaginable future. [OilPrice.com]
  • So-called grid batteries could lower the cost of renewable energy by eliminating intermittency problems. Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based startup that makes one such battery, announced that the technology will allow a small electricity grid in Hawaii to run around the clock on solar power. [MIT Technology Review]
  • With gas pump prices near their lowest levels in five years, greener, cleaner alternative fuels are taking a hit. Makers of biodiesel, a fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fats, are slashing prices and margins in a bid to stay competitive with the price of diesel fuel, which is down more than 20% from a year ago. [GlobalPost]

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