Daily digest

2014 in review: A solar boom, a ‘freeze’ in Ohio and a scramble in the U.P.

NOTE TO READERS: Midwest Energy News is taking a break for the holidays. The email digest will return on Monday, January 5. Thanks to all of our readers for another great year!

YEAR IN REVIEW: Midwest Energy News recaps the top stories from the region in 2014 — including the solar boom and utility victories in Ohio — and looks ahead to 2015. (Midwest Energy News)

OHIO: Due to state and federal policy, uncertainty looms over wind development as supporters and opponents wait to see whether major projects come to fruition. (Columbus Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. This event attracts a diverse assemblage of thought leaders from around the nation who share a passion for energy efficiency.***

PIPELINE: A state-commissioned study finds environmental risks with six alternative routes for Enbridge’s proposed northern Minnesota crude oil pipeline. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

NATURAL GAS: Experts are divided over whether hydraulic fracturing bans like New York’s will have a positive or negative effect on climate change. (Climate Central)

ALSO: More than 100 environmental and health groups urge the Obama administration to reject legislation to increase natural gas exports. (The Hill)

EFFICIENCY: Missouri’s largest utility plans to invest $135 million in energy efficiency over the next three years. (Associated Press)

WIND: A Minnesota renewable energy firm continues to grow its wind portfolio with $15 million purchase of an Iowa wind farm. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

MICHIGAN: Advocates sing energy-related carols at the state capitol to chide lawmakers, call for more renewable energy. (Michigan Public Radio)

TRANSPORTATION: City planners across the U.S. see investments in bike lanes as a key solution to congestion. (ClimateWire)

OIL: A decline in oil prices is bad news for North Dakota, but several factors will determine just how bad the state will be hit economically. Meanwhile, the drop is affecting the credit market for gas producers and a research firm shows it will have “only a moderate impact” on clean energy development. (Associated Press, EnergyWire, Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

ALSO: North Dakota officials side with oil companies in a landowner’s lawsuit over saltwater spill cleanups. (Billings Gazette)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah, ELPC’s Brad Klein, and Wisconsin businesses, policymakers, advocates, and utilities at the RENEW Wisconsin Energy Summit on Friday, January 9 in Madison.***

DEVELOPMENT: An early-20th century gas plant in Milwaukee is a popular spot for exploring the remains of industrial ruin. (Milwaukee Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: During Ohio’s Energy Futures Tour, “the benefits of a robust advanced-energy economy were evident to all.” (Cleveland.com)

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