Daily digest

N.D. wind manufacturer announces 300 layoffs

SOLAR: Renewable energy proponents in the Midwest often point to Germany as a place where solar power can thrive under less-than-ideal conditions. But not all is sunny for the solar industry in Europe. (Midwest Energy News)

ALSO: An insurance company plans a 1.7 MW solar array at its Springfield, Ohio building. (Dayton Business Journal)

WIND: A Grand Forks, North Dakota wind turbine blade manufacturer announces 300 layoffs; Google signs a deal for 48 MW of wind power for its new Oklahoma data center; and an Illinois county considering 2,000-foot turbine setback is prevented from voting on the issue, for now, by lengthy public testimony. (Fargo Forum, GigaOM, Rockford Register Star)

GRID: GE introduces new gas-fired generators that are designed to work with renewable energy on the grid, and a $72 million smart grid fund debuts in Illinois. (New York Times, Chicago Tribune)

FRACKING: An analysis finds two-thirds of chemical disclosures on a fracking disclosure database leave some ingredients out, and a new round of testing confirms the presence of compounds linked to drilling in a Wyoming town’s drinking water. (EnergyWire, Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: The Congressional Research Service finds a $20/ton carbon tax would cut the deficit in half within 10 years. (Greenwire)

COAL: The Prairie State Energy Campus is featured in a “green” segment on a home redecorating TV show. (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity)

OIL: A state study says South Dakota is unlikely to have an oil boom on the scale of North Dakota’s. (Associated Press)

OHIO: Some FirstEnergy customers want to sue the utility for fraud after it ended discounts for people who heat their homes with electricity. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

EFFICIENCY: In a two-year experiment, Xcel Energy will replace nearly all the streetlights in a St. Paul suburb with LEDs. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

COMMENTARY: The myth of green energy’s decline, and how certain can we be about climate change? (Harvard Business Review, Grist)

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