Daily digest

Energy Dept. finds few takers for ‘clean’ coal loan program

MICHIGAN: Some state officials want to unite Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas into a unified grid. What would it take to pull that off? (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: Michigan lawmakers seek to block rate increases to keep the Presque Isle power plant operating. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A new report says Minnesota is already on track to meet its 10 percent by 2030 solar goal, a new St. Paul ballpark will claim the third largest solar array at a sports facility in the U.S., and Kohl’s is recognized by the EPA for its clean-energy efforts. (Midwest Energy News, Minnesota Public Radio, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COAL: Eight years after the Energy Department launched a loan guarantee program for “clean” coal projects, no funds have been disbursed, and only two applications are active. (SNL)

EPA: A study finds EPA carbon rules could save the power sector $2 billion by 2020, and an analysis by the PJM Interconnection finds Ohio can meet early carbon benchmarks with power plant retirements that are already planned. (FierceEnergy, Columbus Business First)

FRACKING: Environmental groups in Ohio sue over drilling permits they say were issued illegally. (Columbus Dispatch)

OIL: Enbridge, with a lengthy record of spills, seeks to improve pipeline safety in Minnesota: “It’s not good for business for us to be unsafe or to be perceived to be unsafe.” (Minnesota Public Radio)

ETHANOL: Both the oil and ethanol industries say EPA delays on the renewable fuel mandate are hurting their industries. (Des Moines Register)

EFFICIENCY: A new study finds the cost of energy efficiency is less than half the cost of building new coal plants. (NRDC Switchboard)

ELECTRIC CARS: A group of utilities, including two of Michigan’s largest, commit to spending 5 percent of their fleet budgets on electric vehicles. (Detroit Free Press)

TECHNOLOGY: Why Google stopped spending money on renewable energy R&D, and Wisconsin researchers experiment with fool’s gold as a solar PV material. (Greentech Media, ECN)

COMMENTARY: Carbon pricing is becoming a reality. (Grist)

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