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California to rely on 100% clean electricity by 2045

All of California’s electricity will come from clean power sources by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, the latest in a series of ambitious goals set by the state to combat the effects of climate change.Brown hailed the move as another example of the state’s global leadership on environmental initiatives as the Trump administration backs away from such policies.

Northern U.S. states lead the way with community solar projects

1,023 megawatts of community solar have been installed in the U.S. as of Q1 2018, according to a recent report, enough to power roughly 150,000–200,000 homes. Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota and Colorado are leading the way in providing community solar resources for their communities. The details: Community solar refers to both community-owned solar installations and third-party-owned installations that allow anyone in the area to access the energy and , in some cases, obtain energy credits toward their electric bills.

Plant would convert Kansas wheat straw to natural gas. Why do some oppose it?

A renewable-energy company wants to invest more than $100 million in a biofuel plant in Kansas that it estimates would create 225 jobs and generate $3.5 million a year for area farmers. But some Sumner County farmers and others in the area are concerned about what the plant could mean for their water supply. The VNA Corp.’s proposed plant would turn water and baled crop residue — such as wheat straw and corn leaves, stalks and cobs— into natural gas.

Wind and solar farms can make their own weather, including extra rain over the Sahara

Scientists say these renewable forms of energy can change the climate more directly — and do it in ways that might surprise you.If wind turbines and solar panels were deployed across the Sahara, more rain would fall and more plants would grow in the massive African desert, according to researchpublished in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.In the case of wind farms, the giant turbines would cause warmer air from above to mix with cooler air below, bringing more heat close to the surface.

USDA decision ends request to halt mineral leases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has re-opened the door to mineral exploration in the Rainy River Watershed, allowing companies to lease minerals in the Superior National Forest. USDA’s decision received a warm welcome from mining supporters, who have worried the obstacle would stifle Iron Range economic growth. Environmentalists said it will harm the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.“Today’s announcement from the U.S.

From pigs to prairie grass: Missouri company seeks new biogas feedstock

A St. Louis alternative energy company has started the second phase of an ambitious biogas project in northern Missouri that aims to turn prairie plants from marginal farmland into renewable natural gas. Roeslein Alternative Energy, in a partnership with Smithfield Foods and a group of Midwest universities, has begun converting the first of a thousand acres of lower quality farmland to prairie grasses.If the company can find a solution that is both technically and financially viable, it could provide broad environmental benefits as well as new income for farmers.

Arizona Supreme Court rules 50% renewables initiative will appear on ballot

Arizona voters will consider a 50% renewable energy standard when they head to the polls in November following a decision from the state's Supreme Court last week.Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona (CEHA) submitted 480,000 signatures in support of the ballot initiative, far more than the required 225,000 signatures.

Illinois community solar garden sprouts sun-tracking “smartflower”

One of the first community solar systems in Illinois won’t be a run-of-the-mill array of PV panels. The Renaissance Collaborative (TRC), an affordable housing complex on Chicago’s South Side, is the site of a dense new solar array that will fan out in the shape of a flower to maximize generation.Known as a “smartflower,” the system is designed to open in the morning and generate power as it mechanically tracks the sun throughout the day. The compact design makes it ideal for a dense city neighborhood, in this case, in a vegetable garden behind TRC’s building.

Exxon reasserts its methane position as EPA preps rollback

ExxonMobil is reasserting its self-imposed commitment to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s the primary component of natural gas, as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to repeal regulations. Why it matters: The comments, posted Tuesday by the CEO of XTO Energy, an Exxon subsidiary with large U.S. natural-gas operations, illustrate an awkward predicament facing industry under President Trump.

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