U.S. Energy News

Americans can now invest in solar through retirement accounts

HAWAII: Hawaii is on track to pass legislation this year requiring the state to go 100 percent renewable by 2040. (ThinkProgress)

SOLAR:
• SolarCity announced Monday that it is partnering with securities and investment firm Incapital to allow Americans to invest in Solar Bonds through their IRAs or financial advisers. (ThinkProgress)
• Astrum Solar said Tuesday that it will add 240 jobs to its Maryland headquarters in the next three years while also tripling the size of the 14,400 square-foot facility. (Maryland Daily Record)
• Scientists at Caltech think they have discovered a missing link in the development of an artificial version of photosynthesis using a man-made leaf to turn solar energy into liquid fuel. (Climate Central)

WIND ENERGY: Wind-farm supporters urged Kansas lawmakers Tuesday to continue the expiring state mandate for utilities to obtain 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources now, 15 percent by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

NUCLEAR ENERGY: Five environmental and clean-energy advocacy groups have combined forces to produce an interactive online anti-nuclear video that offers viewers the opportunity to explore what the world would be like powered by fossil fuels, nuclear power and clean renewable energy. (EcoWatch)

NATURAL GAS: The California Public Utilities Commission has denied approval of a new gas-fired power plant in the coastal city of Carlsbad because San Diego Gas & Electric did not sufficiently consider “preferred resources” such as renewable energy and efficiency measures. (Greentech Media)

FRACKING: An extensive review of California data has found that wastewater from hundreds of fracking operations was heavily contaminated with a toxic stew of chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm and nervous system damage. (Environmental Working Group)

COAL: North Carolina environmental officials said Tuesday they will fine Duke Energy $25 million over pollution seeping into groundwater for years from a pair of coal-ash pits at a retired power plant. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Organizers in Kentucky say efforts to wall off the state’s coal-dependent utilities from competing sources such as natural gas and distributed solar power are leading to higher costs for Kentucky’s poorest communities. (EnergyWire)

CARBON LIMITS: Arkansas has joined Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming in their lawsuit trying to block EPA limits on carbon emissions from power plants. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

ALSO: The city council in Fort Collins, Colorado, has adopted ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2030, with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. (Rocky Mountain PBS iNews)

KEYSTONE PIPELINE: President Obama has increasingly sided with the most negative assessments of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, leading both opponents and supporters to believe that he’ll reject the contentious project’s permit. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Drivers of electric vehicles can now recharge their batteries at two new charging stations unveiled in a Sandy Springs, Georgia, park on Tuesday. (Sandy Spring Patch)

BEER INDUSTRY: Twenty-four beer brewers, ranging from local microbreweries to major international brands, joined more than 1,300 companies Tuesday in signing Ceres’ Climate Declaration, which calls for reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions and other climate action. (The Hill)

WASHINGTON STATE: Washington state’s Senate approved a measure by 29-20 Monday that says human activity “may contribute” to climate change, after rejecting Democrat-sponsored language that said humanity “significantly contributes” to it. (The Seattle Times)

ILLINOIS: Two months after the inauguration of Illinois’ new Republican governor, energy experts and advocates are watching closely for signs of what energy mix his administration will pursue for the state. (Midwest Energy News)

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