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Obama Announces Solar Power Support

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The President declares federal loan guarantees for solar energy projects.

Good news for clean energy advocates, as Obama used his Saturday address to announce almost $2 billion in conditional loan guarantees to two solar energy companies. The beneficiaries are Abengoa Solar, whose planned Arizona solar plant will be one of the largest in the world, and solar panel manufacturer Abound Solar, which will build advanced panels at two new plants in Colorado and Indiana. Not......read more

Tower of Power

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Is concentrated solar power the future of renewable energy? A Guardian video shines a light on the world's first commercial solar tower.

For most of us, the vision of a solar-powered future conjures a mental image of rooftops covered in photovoltaic panels. But PV tech is actually only a few decades old, and humans have been harnessing the sun's power for millenia. Concentrated solar power (CSP), or "solar thermal," is an ancient, low-tech version of solar energy capture, in which the sun's heat energy is used to boil water and......read more

SHFT Sampler 3-18-11

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Greenland's shrinking, Brooklyn's getting bike sharing, Rush Limbaugh is still an asshole, and more.

Plant Plastic: Drinking soda is bad for you, yes, but petroleum-based plastic bottles bad for everyone. In 2012, Pepsi will drop the world's first fossil fuel-free plastic bottle, made from 100% plant-based materials like switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. Bike Share, Yo: Inhabitat reports that Brooklyn will join Washington D.C., Boston, Denver, and Minneapolis as the first cities in the......read more

Creating Energy from Water

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Tata and MIT join forces on revolutionary new energy tech.

Indian corporate giant The Tata Group and MIT are collaborating on new research that produces energy from water. The technology, developed by MIT scientist and SunCatalytix founder Daniel Nocera, is founded on a basic scientific priniciple: sunlight + water = fuel. Nocera's process essentially mimics photosynthesis by using sunlight to split hydrogen from water. It is said that it can generate......read more

Ken Salazar Opens Up Public Lands to Coal Mining

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A major expansion of coal mining is planned for Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar just announced that vast coal reserves on federal land in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming will be put up for auction over the next five months. This will lead to approximately 758 tons of coal being excavated. With the abundance of alternative energy sources available, and the Obama administration's stated commitment to move the country toward a cleaner......read more

U.S. Army Launches Net Zero Program

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Military steps up effort to go green.

From solar powered troops tents to biofuel warships, sustainability has become an important part of U.S. military strategy over the past couple years. The latest plan may be the Army's most ambitious yet. The Army is aiming for all bases across the country to become net zero by 2030. In other words, all new buildings must have net zero energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. The......read more

Renewable Energy Will Go Global This Year, Says UN

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2012 declared the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

According to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2012 will be the year that sustainable energy goes worldwide. This week, Ban launched the UN's International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, urging businesses and governments to quicken the adoption of energy efficiency standards, increase use of renewable energy, and help achieve universal energy access by......read more

Power Trip

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Whether renewables or fossil fuels, NIMBYism runs rampant when it comes to energy transmission infrastructure

The reasons for opposing TransCanada's Keystone XL proposal are as vast as the territory the pipeline aims to cover: climate change, a lack of proper environmental review, destruction of ecosystems, perpetuating our reliance on fossil fuels. But, according to NYT environment reporter Elizabeth Rosenthal, no objection has a hold on the popular imagination like the image of a massive......read more

EPA Limits Power Plant Emissions

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Will the first-ever cap on carbon emissions accelerate the demise of coal?

Americans looking to kickstart the shift away from dirty energy scored a big victory this week, as the Environmental Protection Agency proposed limits on heat-trapping pollution from new power plants. The proposed regs would require new plants to emit about 43 percent less carbon dioxide than existing coal-fired generators. "Today we're taking a common-sense step to reduce pollution in our air,......read more

Court Backs EPA On Climate Rules

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Federal judges deal climate smackdown with unanimous decision to uphold emissions regs

In a finding that restores our faith in judicial common sense, a federal appeals court in Washington has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's right to regulate greenhouse gases in the name of public health.  The decision is a major victory for Obama's climate pollution policy and a decisive blow to the utilities, coal companies, Koch-funded climate deniers and states like Texas that......read more

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