Daily digest

Wind energy becoming a new cash crop for Midwest farmers

EFFICIENCY: Clean energy groups are pushing to involve large industrial users in energy efficiency policy efforts as such customers could play a significant role in reducing energy use. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Revenue from wind energy development has become a sort of cash crop for low-income rural communities, “saving family farms across a wide swath of the heartland.” (Bloomberg)

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• A Purdue University researcher is developing a new solar panel that includes components for storage and converting unused sunlight to heat. (WFYI)
• In a split vote, local officials in Minnesota approve two new solar gardens that total nearly 8 megawatts. (Shakopee Valley News)
• Growth in the residential solar market appears to be slowing down due in part to state-level policy changes. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: Federal judges delve into the extent to which the Army Corps of Engineers should have consulted with tribes during permitting for the Dakota Access pipeline. (EnergyWire)

BIOFUELS: Researchers say pennycress, a common weed, may be a new opportunity for producing biofuels during off seasons and that also benefits agricultural soil. (Great Lakes Echo)

RENEWABLES: New residential housing units in Milwaukee employ ground-source heat pumps and a rooftop solar installation. (Multi-Housing News)

CLEAN TECH: A Michigan State University chemist receives a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop new ways to convert ammonia into hydrogen gases for fuel-cell vehicles. (MSU Today)

EMISSIONS: An agreement among 191 countries encourages airlines to purchase credits through global carbon markets to offset their emissions through other clean energy projects. (Climate Central)

COAL: The site of a former coal plant in southeast Indiana is being evaluated as a possible location for a new Ohio River shipping port. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

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POLITICS: Billionaire clean energy super PAC donor Tom Steyer is in Ohio supporting Hillary Clinton and talking to “millennials about energy and climate.” (Youngstown Vindicator)

COMMENTARY: So long as coal’s main competition is natural gas, state and federal elected officials will be “pretty much powerless to reverse coal’s decline.” (Slate)

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