COAL: In Kari Lydersen’s second installment from Europe, a look at why coal is still booming in Germany despite its massive effort to expand renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: A new report says Indiana ratepayers would pay an additional $1.1 billion over the next eight years to support a proposed coal-to-gas project, a growing share of Illinois coal is being shipped overseas, and FirstEnergy considers using a combination of natural gas and coal to keep its power plants running. (Indianapolis Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

EFFICIENCY: Ikea announces it will only sell LED bulbs in its stores worldwide by 2016, and the White House announces the 1 millionth home upgraded under a federal weatherization program. (Bloomberg, Forbes)

POLITICS: Mitt Romney takes a right turn on energy, and North Dakota candidates are divided on the wind tax credit. (New York Times, Fargo Forum)

FRAC SAND: A Minnesota town ponders its future as “the epicenter of everything” in the coming frac sand boom. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

MORE FRAC SAND: The Minneapolis Star Tribune has launched a new blog tracking developments in the frac sand industry in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

MICHIGAN: The mayor of Holland, Michigan calls a proposal to expand the state’s renewable energy standard “special interest activity at its worst.” (

OIL: Cook County, Illinois, comes in third in a list of the top ten gasoline-guzzling counties in the U.S. (Forbes)

NUCLEAR: A Minnesota tribe is dealt a setback in its effort to raise attention to waste storage issues at a nearby nuclear plant; meanwhile, another Minnesota nuclear plant is restarted after electrical work triggered an automatic shutdown last week. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR: Detroit Edison is looking to purchase additional large solar installations. (CBS Detroit)

MORE FROM GERMANY: A new report concludes wind and solar are the cheapest electricity sources if health and environmental impacts are factored in. (CleanTechnica)

ETHANOL: An Iowa ethanol plant manager braces for an industry shakeup. (Des Moines Register)

COMMENTARY: Grist’s David Roberts explores how to plan for an uncertain climate, and the Toledo Blade worries about how Michigan’s renewable energy ambition might impact Ohio.

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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