CLEAN TECH: A Chicago-based startup’s thermal-energy-storage battery is meant to address major engineering challenges with the electric grid as energy use spikes during periods of high demand. (Midwest Energy News)

SUSTAINABILITY: The city council in Madison, Wisconsin votes to set a goal of 100 percent renewables and net-zero carbon emissions for city operations, and directing $250,000 towards a plan to make it possible. (Wisconsin State Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Stay current on the newest developments in the energy economy by attending the Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference this coming April 24th & 25th in Columbia, MO. For registration and details: www.AdvancingRenewables.org.***

CLIMATE: New data shows 84 percent of Minnesota residents support funding for renewable energy research, while 71 percent of state residents “trust climate scientists about global warming.” (Minnesota Public Radio)

NUCLEAR: After being a main critic of bailouts for nuclear plants, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan agrees to defend the new state law against a court challenge brought by power generators. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

PIPELINES: Authorities in Iowa and South Dakota confirm incidents of vandalism against the Dakota Access pipeline; environmentalists involved in protests in four states last year say they were not involved. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A proposed net metering bill in Indiana “could be a pivot point for the state’s community of small-scale power generators — be they from solar, wind or other forms.” (Indianapolis Star)
• State utility regulators allow an Iowa utility’s controversial net metering pilot program to move forward while also requesting more information from the company about the plan. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• An Illinois school district begins offsetting its energy use as nearly 2,200 solar panels come online. (Lake County News-Sun)
• Residents in St. Peter, Minnesota discuss the possibility of community solar subscriptions. (Mankato Free Press)

EFFICIENCY: Cincinnati, Ohio is among the top 30 U.S. cities for buildings with LEED certification, while Chicago leads the Midwest. (Cincinnati Business Courier)

TRANSPORTATION: In addition to a fee for electric vehicles, Minnesota House Republicans unveil a 10-year, $2 billion transportation bill that calls for eliminating nearly $1 billion in federal funding for a light rail system in Minneapolis. (WCCO)

COAL:
• The Sierra Club says the closing of two Ohio coal plants next year will help save lives due to the health benefits of avoided emissions. (Dayton Daily News)
• Cheap renewable energy is forcing coal plants into early retirement, not Obama-era climate regulations, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

BIOFUELS: A group of more than 120 military veterans sends a letter to President Trump, urging him to include a prominent role for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard in the “America First Energy Plan.” (Biofuels Digest)

FINANCE: Ohio State University identifies bidders from Paris, Australia, and Canada that are interested in privatizing the university’s energy assets. (Columbus Business First)

POLICY: Democrat and Republican energy policy experts give differing opinions of what the Trump administration’s budget cuts could mean for clean energy. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5 in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Enter MWEN when registering for 20% off.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Fuel economy standards and other automobile regulations may help speed advances in electric vehicles, not impede them, as President Trump argues. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY: The Natural Resources Defense Council says it will be closely watching how Michigan’s new comprehensive energy laws will be implemented. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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