MICHIGAN: A University of Michigan study finds increasing the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent would cost the average household about $2.60 per month. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: A Minnesota company will offset 100 percent of its electricity use with solar power, and Duke Energy plans to buy 20 MW of solar capacity in Indiana. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, RTO Insider)

***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.***

WIND: MidAmerican’s massive wind expansion in Iowa is nearly complete, and an Ohio supplier of wind components is shutting down(Bloomberg, Crain’s Cleveland Business)

CLIMATE: Iowa’s greenhouse gas emissions declined again in 2013, thanks to decreased dependence on coal and more wind energy; and Stanford scientists say estimates of the social cost of carbon are far too low. (Bettendorf.com, Phys.org)

NUCLEAR: The company decommissioning an Illinois nuclear plant is running out of money, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner sits out the debate over Exelon’s remaining nuclear fleet, and development of advanced nuclear technology continues to go slowly(Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Greentech Media)

• At least 16 drilling workers were killed in fires and explosions last year. (EnergyWire)
• Oil prices hit their lowest point since the 2009 recession. (New York Times)
• With oil prices bottoming out, is Keystone XL needed anymore? (Associated Press)
• An Ohio refinery will remain shut down for a week following an explosion over the weekend. (Associated Press)
• An attorney says Nebraska landowners can still challenge Keystone XL. (Associated Press)

COAL: Wisconsin regulators approve a plan to improve pollution controls at a coal plant, and a report highlights further difficulties for the coal industry. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, ClimateWire)

ELECTRIC CARS: Chevy’s new Bolt could be “the first mass-market EV success,” according to one analyst; and a new report shows how mass adoption of electric cars could impact the grid. (Los Angeles Times, Greentech Media)

OHIO: The director of Ohio’s Department of Commerce is among 16 applicants for an open seat on the Public Utilities Commission. (Columbus Business First)

EFFICIENCY: A new state-of-the-art hog barn in Iowa features LED lighting and solar panels, a high efficiency Habitat development in Wisconsin receives national recognition, and a state grant will fund efficiency improvements at a Grand Rapids technology lab. (Cedar Valley Business, Pierce County Herald, MLive)

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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