The government just decided the future of California’s desert, and solar companies aren’t happy

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

After eight years of work, federal land managers Wednesday finalized a sweeping plan apportioning nearly 11 million publicly owned acres of the California desert among different uses — including recreation, conservation, and the development of renewable energy projects.

And while the decision by the Bureau of Land Management largely satisfied some stakeholders — particularly conservationists who have been battling to protect iconic species that inhabit this ecosystem like the desert tortoise and bighorn sheep — clean energy interests protested upon learning that only 388,000 acres would be explicitly set aside for renewable energy. That’s the same amount of area as in an earlier draft of the plan that these groups had strongly criticized.

Wind, solar and electric cars are booming. Too bad that’s not enough to stop climate change

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The tough thing about halting climate change is that it means altering pretty much everything about how we get and use energy. We have to change how we generate electricity — how we power our homes, our buildings and operate the grid. We have to change transportation, how we get around, travel, transport goods.

And you can’t really miss anything. If any change lags behind, then suddenly a specific sector — say, the airline industry — will come to stand out as the next big emissions problem.

It’s in this context that it’s worth thinking about a new report on global patterns of energy investment — $1.8 trillion worth in 2015 — just released by the International Energy Agency. Because what that report essentially says is that although there’s clear progress, we’re also missing some things. Some very big things.

Monthly U.S. renewable electricity generation in 2016 surpasses previous years

Read the full story from the Energy Information Administration.

Renewable electricity generation has surpassed levels from previous years in every month so far this year, based on data through June. Both hydroelectric and nonhydroelectric renewables have contributed to this trend, but in different ways. After a lengthy West Coast drought, hydro generation has increased and is now closer to historical levels. Nonhydro renewable generation continues to increase year-over-year and has exceeded hydro generation in each month since February 2016.

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Read the full story from NPR.

At Green House Data in Cheyenne, Wyo., energy efficiency is an obsession.

When someone enters one of the company’s secured data vaults, they’re asked to pause in the entryway and stomp their shoes on a clear rubber mat with a sticky, glue-like finish.

“Dust is a huge concern of ours,” says Art Salazar, the director of operations.

That’s because dust makes electronics run hotter, which then means using more electricity to cool them down. For data centers, the goal is to use as little electricity as possible, because it’s typically companies’ biggest expense.

In 2013, data centers consumed 2 percent of all U.S. power — triple what they consumed in 2000. Wendy Fox, Green House Data’s communications director, says the sector has a responsibility to source that electricity sustainably.

The power Green House Data draws from the grid mostly comes from coal. The company offsets that by purchasing green energy credits that support renewable energy development elsewhere.

But larger companies are no longer interested in simply buying credits. Instead, they want to get more of their power directly from renewables.

10 climate change-fighting energy apps to tap

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

There seems to be an app for everything, whether you’re looking for a ride across town, finding a place to crash for the night or even hoping to advance renewable energy.

Energy is responsible for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels for electricity. A cornerstone of the Paris Agreement coming out of the U.N. COP21 climate talks was investing in renewable energy, such as solar and wind, alongside energy efficiency.

Want to be a part of expanding the renewables economy? Here are 10 nifty apps for businesses and consumers alike.

Federal Financing Programs for Clean Energy

Federal Financing Programs for Clean Energy is a resource guide to U.S. government programs that support the development of clean energy projects in the U.S. and abroad. Featuring programs from ten agencies, the guide includes summaries and case studies that can benefit private sector partners in finding capital for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

Now in its third edition, the guide includes financing programs for both domestic and international projects. For every program listed, the guide identifies additional contact information to answer questions and provide additional direction. The guide includes programs from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, State, Transportation and Treasury, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Small Business Administration.

More Solar Energy Jobs Exist In U.S. Than in Oil and Gas Sector

Via e360 Digest.

Solar energy now supports more jobs in the U.S. than either the oil and gas industry or coal mining, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Solar jobs grew at a rate 12 times faster than general U.S. job market growth. Worldwide, employment in green energy grew 5 percent in 2015, to 8.1 million jobs, IRENA reported. The 58 percent drop in oil prices since 2014 caused many fossil fuel companies to lay off workers — more than 350,000 people worldwide since the slump began. The IRENA report says clean energy jobs could triple to 24 million by 2030 if nations follow through on the climate pledges they made in Paris last year. “This increase is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks,” said Adnan Amin, director-general of IRENA, which is based in Abu Dhabi.