For the first time in 38 years, parts of the contiguous United States will see a total solar eclipse. And it will mark the first time such an event will occur since solar power has taken on an increasingly larger role in the electric grid — especially in California, which has six times more solar electric capacity than any other state.
Lines of kelp, floating along the waves of the Pacific with help from drone-powered submarines, harvested, processed and turned into biofuel — that’s the vision some researchers and bioenergy company officials are hoping to make a reality. Their goal is still a long way off, but it will start this year with a scaled-down test off the coast of Catalina Island. If successful, growing kelp in the ocean could help resolve the large-scale problem of diverting farmland or crops for biofuel, officials said.
A group of San Francisco Bay Area cities, counties and water agencies has joined forces for what is being billed as one of the largest single government purchases of all-electric vehicles in the country.
A California wind farm will become the first in the nation to avoid prosecution if eagles are injured or die when they run into the giant turning blades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday.
“The Obama administration’s announcement Monday of sweeping new rules aimed at curbing global warming emissions from power plants could boost profits at Silicon Valley companies that make solar panels, energy efficiency software and other clean technology.”
“The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently ruled to protect all existing solar, biogas and wind customers under their current net-energy metering (NEM) contracts for a 20-year grandfathering period.
“Plans to develop renewable energy as a way to fund restoration and conservation projects at the Salton Sea could be premature without at least a preliminary plan on what the restoration will look like, which in turn may depend on figuring out the funding sources for those efforts.”
“The effort to restore the Salton Sea gained momentum in the nation’s capital Thursday, as California lawmakers and the Obama administration touted renewable energy as an environmental and economic lifeline.
“Sen. Barbara Boxer and two Southern California House members, Reps. Raul Ruiz and Juan Vargas, urged the U.S.
“On Thursday, the governing board of Sonoma’s new public power agency plans to set rates for its electricity service, which will begin in May. Most customers will save money, compared to what they currently pay Pacific Gas and Electric Co.”
“They’re touted as the future of energy production — clean, efficient and renewable. But there’s a dark side to wind turbines for local wildlife — towers and spinning blades kill thousands of birds and bats on the Altamont Pass east of Livermore each year.”
“In a decision that highlights the clash between two cherished environmental goals — producing green energy and preserving protected wildlife — federal officials announced Friday that some wind power companies will be allowed to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty.”
“America’s recent energy boom has left little breathing room for solar and wind, as low prices for natural gas make it economically challenging for innovators to move U.S. utilities toward the wider use of renewable sources of energy.
“Officials with Sonoma County’s startup public power agency kicked off the next phase in its rollout Thursday, approving a secondary energy supply deal for local geothermal power and discussing the upcoming rate-setting process and enrollment of customers.
“The 10-year contract for electricity from The Geysers on the Sonoma-Lake county border secures a long-term supply from a clean, renewable source at a competitive fixed rate, officials said.”