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Critical List: Military could produce 7 GW of solar; British survey hedgehogs

Solar projects at desert military bases could produce 7,000 megawatts of solar energy -- a huge amount.

EVs have more than enough range to make 95 percent of the trips we take by car.

Scotland aims to source 100 percent of its power from renewables by 2020, but to reach that goal, it needs the price of offshore wind power to drop.

A hedgehog survey is the most British endeavor ever, right?

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Critical List: Huge wind farm to rise in Wyoming; doomsday clock ticks forward

The Obama administration is speeding towards approval for a huge wind project, 1,000 turbines strong, in Wyoming. GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon cribbed text for her op-ed on Keystone XL from the website of pipeline builder Transcanada. There's a second tar-sands pipeline, Northern Gateway, and that one faces strong opposition, as well. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists keeps a Doomsday Clock to show how close the world is to global disaster, and yesterday it moved one minute forward -- five minutes until midnight. Eek. (On the plus side: worldwide Iron Maiden singalong in three minutes! Be there!) Ahem, Northeast corridor. …

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Confused with a chance of flip-flop: Mitt Romney’s views on climate and energy

Mitt RomneyMitt Romney.Photo: Gage SkidmoreWhere does Mitt Romney stand on climate change and energy issues? Brace yourself: He doesn't have that flip-flopper reputation for nothing.

Then

Romney used to be one of the more sane Republicans when it comes to climate change. He would play up uncertainty and use weasel words, but he still acknowledged global warming as a problem.

In his 2010 book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney wrote:

I believe that climate change is occurring -- the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to factors out of our control.

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Decor that helps you feel good about your power source

These adhesive decals stick to any flat surface and are even PVC-free! Why opt for green energy if you can't remind yourself and your guests about it every time you turn on the light? I'm serious. h/t CleanTechnica

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The U.S. electricity mix in 20 years: A prediction

What will the U.S. power mix look like in 10 to 20 years? It's impossible to predict for certain, of course, because there's no way to know what regulators will do. Given the heavily regulated nature of the electric sector, even in so-called "deregulated" markets, surprises tend to come from regulatory reform, not innovation. (The U.S. electric grid has shown itself capable of rapid, large-scale transformation in response to regulations.) Nevertheless, there is insight to be gained from thinking through how the generation mix would evolve in the absence of regulatory reform. Despite the lengthy time required to design, finance, …

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America must not back down on sustainable energy

Clockwise from top left: Sens. John Kerry, Sheldon Whitehouse, Barbara Boxer, and Bernie Sanders.If you read just the headlines these days, you might think renewable energy in America is going the way of Solyndra. Don't take our word for it: A recent headline from Fox News declared "ENTIRE Solar Industry on Brink of Collapse." We cannot allow long-time opponents of renewable energy to focus the discussion only on Solyndra (whose higher-priced panels could not compete as solar costs came down) when we should be thinking about competing with China to win the next energy revolution. Why? Because the race is …

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Bonneville Power unfairly favored hydro over wind, rules FERC

Photo: Vlasta JuricekThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ruled that the Bonneville Power Association (BPA) unfairly discriminated against wind turbine owners when it curtailed the production of power from wind assets last spring in response to high hydro production. Wind owners are understandably happy, having argued that BPA was essentially favoring hydro over wind. The technical argument went like this: BPA entered into contracts to sell all of the power available from their generators; if BPA (or any other grid operator) has the ability to unilaterally curtail wind generation, it would reduce the effective value of future wind contracts …

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Renewables trump fossil fuels for first time ever

Last year investors poured $187 billion into electricity from renewable sources (wind, sun, biomass, etc.), versus $157 billion for fossil fuels, calculates Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “The progress of renewables has been nothing short of remarkable,” United Nations Environment Program Executive Secretary Achim Steiner said in an interview. “You have record investment in the midst of an economic and financial crisis.” This boom was spurred by aggressive government action all over the planet, including $66 billion in subsidies. But will this boom continue? Looks like it. The European Environment Agency tallied up all the renewable projects that member countries are planning …

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Renewables in the U.S.: Growing fast, but not fast enough

Last month, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the "2010 Renewable Energy Data Book" [PDF], which is a cornucopia of charts, facts, and figures on energy use in the U.S. The top-line conclusion for climate hawks is familiar: Renewable energy is growing rapidly, but not rapidly enough; it remains a small fraction of overall energy production and consumption. Here's the graphic that best captures the current situation: Click for larger version.NREL: 2010 Renewable Energy Data Book [PDF] Non-hydro renewables remain a small part of the U.S. energy story. More to the point, the sexy renewables -- solar, wind, and …