Clean Power Plan: Manufacturing Boon or Bust?

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The Clean Power Plan has its day in court tomorrow. And as the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit prepares to hear oral arguments on the carbon pollution rules, two new studies suggest the Clean Power Plan will make manufacturers more competitive, not less as manufacturing and other industry groups have argued.

The Clean Power Plan requires existing coal-burning power plants to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. In February the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the rule while the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determines its legality.

Twenty-seven states and dozens of industry groups including the National Association of Manufactures have challenged the Clean Power Plan, saying it will lead to unreliable energy supplies and be too costly for US businesses.

These new reports, however, seem to suggest otherwise.

The reports are:

The Standoff Between Big Oil and Big Corn

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Even as the Renewable Fuel Standard exerts its powerful sway, there is hardly consensus about whether it has delivered on the lofty promises lawmakers made a decade ago.

Industry study: Microgrids to become ‘fundamental building block’

Read the full story in Midwest Energy News.

A new study suggests that microgrids – a rarity in today’s power sector – will evolve to become a “fundamental building block” of the 21st-century grid.

Used primarily to ensure reliability and access in military and other critical applications, microgrids have emerged in recent years as a niche interest for utilities and communities looking to bring more renewables online and increase resilience in the face of extreme weather. Despite the heightened profile, microgrids – islandable networks of generation and distribution – remain a small part of the U.S. energy system, making up a fraction of a percent of the nation’s total power generating capacity.

That is poised to change, according to a report released earlier this month by the National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA), an industry group representing electrical, medical imaging, and radiation therapy manufacturers.

JetBlue to Burn Renewable Biofuel Mix on Some New York Flights

Read the full story at Bloomberg.

JetBlue Airways Corp. will burn a mixture of biofuel and traditional jet kerosene on some flights at New York City-area airports under a 10-year purchase agreement designed to cut aircraft pollution and costs.

Are solar roadways on the road to reality?

Read the full story at Curbed.

It’s been called the Mother Road and the Main Street of America, but soon, Route 66 will become the testing ground for an experiment that developers hope may change our roadways. After some delays, Solar Roadways’ hexagonal glass panels will be laid over a sidewalk near a rest stop in Conway, Missouri, once a waystation for motorists on the famous highway that helped bring Americans west.

Uncovering solar energy solutions in Michigan’s cloudy climate

Read the full post at Be Spartan Green.

With an average of only 174 sunny days every year and many months of cold weather, East Lansing, Michigan may seem like an unlikely hub for solar energy research. However, MSU’s commitment to sustainability is driving university researchers to uncover clean energy solutions, no matter the difficulty.

“We’re testing the effectiveness of solar water heaters in Michigan’s climate, specifically on MSU’s campus,” said PhD candidate Sina Jahangiri, solar water heater researcher from MSU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, “as water accounts for a substantial portion of energy use at many residential, commercial and institutional buildings, the project has an opportunity not only to reduce environmental footprint, but also to lower energy cost.”

NREL No-Cost Solar Screenings and Implementation Assistance for Universities

In support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is offering no-cost technical assistance to universities seeking to increase solar energy on campus. Any U.S. higher education institution is eligible to apply. The program is designed to increase the deployment of mid-scale solar photovoltaic systems at universities, engage stakeholders to develop deployment solutions and empower decision makers. Applications are due Oct. 15.