solar power

Tue, 2012-10-23 05:00Steve Horn
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As You Sow: Coal Investments, Shale Gas, a Bad Bet

In a missive titled “White Paper: Financial Risks of Investments in Coal,” As You Sow concludes that coal is becoming an increasingly risky investment with each passing day. The fracking boom and the up-and-coming renewable energy sector are quickly superseding King Coal's empire as a source of power generation, As You Sow concludes in the report.

As You Sow chocks up King Coal's ongoing demise to five factors, quoting straight from the report:

1. Increasing capital costs for environmental controls at existing coal plants and uncertainty about future regulatory compliance costs

2. Declining prices for natural gas, a driver of electric power prices in competitive markets

3. Upward price pressures and price volatility of coal

4. High construction costs for new coal plants and unknown costs to implement carbon capture and storage

5. Increasing competitiveness of renewable generation resources

Wed, 2012-05-30 08:35Brendan DeMelle
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What Chesapeake Energy's Financial Scandals Mean For The Rest of Us

Given radioactive wastewater, earthquakes, and flammable tap water, one might think that drilling and fracking could not possibly have any more dirty secrets. But here’s the biggest secret of all: it’s expensive.

With natural gas at historic low prices – the Wall Street Journal ran a column recently suggesting that the price of gas might even sink to negative numbers, so that producers would need to pay buyers to take it off their hands – it may seem odd to think that fracking is costly. But it’s true. Not just in terms of its environmental footprint, but also in terms of its financial costs.

And everyone should care about how expensive gas is, especially those concerned about energy security and the environment, because the answer will determine the fate of renewables, the way we use land and water, and whether our nation’s energy policies are fundamentally sound.

To understand what’s going on, you need to look at Chesapeake Energy, the second largest producer of natural gas in the US, the company described by its founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon as the “biggest frackers in the world.”

For 19 of the past 21 years, the company has operated at what investors call “cash flow negative” – last year by $8.547 billion dollars – meaning that Chesapeake has consistently spent a whole lot more than it earned. For decades.

To fund all that fracking, the company has been flipping land, engaging in so many financial transactions that it’s been said to resemble a hedge fund more than a gas driller.

McClendon's company has become the environmental Enron, with Chesapeake's accountants creating some of the most labyrinthine and impenetrable books since Enron, according to some investors.

Tue, 2012-05-08 16:06Steve Horn
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The Guardian Exposes Fossil Funded Groups Coordinating Renewable Energy Attacks

Ever wonder why a blooming green energy industry has faced such harsh opposition? Now, as the old adage goes, “the cat's out of the bag.”

The Guardian today revealed the network of fossil-funded groups coordinating the ongoing onslaught of attacks on renewable energy, particularly wind power. A memorandum passed to The Guardian from the Checks and Balances Project details the organizations and personnel acting as ringleaders to build an astroturf echo chamber of clean energy critics.

Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg writes in “Conservative thinktanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy,” 


“A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy.”

A confidential memo seen by The Guardian and obtained by DeSmogBlog “advises using 'subversion' to build a national movement of wind farm protesters,” explained Goldenberg.

That memo was crafted by John Droz, a Senior Fellow at the American Tradition Institute (ATI).*(see update below)* ATI was the right-wing think-tank behind the lawsuit to obtain University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann's “ClimateGate” emails. 

Mon, 2007-12-10 21:29Emily Murgatroyd
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Job Security Unstable? Renewable Energy is Looking for Employees.

Author Jeff Goodell's quote, “[a] full-blown push for clean energy could unleash a jobs bonanza that would make what happened in Silicon Valley in the 1990s look like a bake sale,” rings true when you look at yesterday's job report published by the UN.

The report found that solving global warming has resulted in world wide employment gains.


Tue, 2007-07-31 12:07Emily Murgatroyd
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Let There Be Light - Solar That Is

Gudda, a small village in India received its first encounter with light after sunset with the arrival of solar panels.

Solar powered batteries have enabled them to study later for school, do more business and play music.

Mon, 2007-07-30 15:01Kevin Grandia
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Sign MoveOn's Renewable Energy Bill Petition

Sign the MoveOn petition today.

Congress must act now to move our country toward a clean energy economy based on solar and wind power by voting yes on H.R. 969, the Federal Renewable Energy Standards Act.”

Wed, 2007-01-17 12:33Emily Murgatroyd
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Look ma, no bills

A New Jersey man, funded by a mix of public, private and personal money, has created the first home in the US that generates all of its own electricity through a combination of solar and hydrogen power.
Wed, 2006-08-30 11:30Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Malaysia announces $25 million for solar technology

Good to see this large oil exporter investing big in renewable energy. An investment such as this not only recognizes the harmful effects of fossil fuel consumption, but according to this story it also makes economic sense. To quote:

“Ahmad Hadri Haris, project leader for the photovoltaic or solar energy sector in Malaysia said it was the fastest-growing energy source in the world with expansion of 25-30 percent over the last 15 years.”
And it seems many people around the world agree with Ahmad, see here, here and here for examples. 
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