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Big OPEC oil producer is spending billions to go green

The country, a core member of OPEC, plans to invest $163 billion to boost its use of alternative energy over the next three decades.  That should increase clean energy's share of UAE consumption from 25% to 50% by 2050. The country also hopes to increase energy efficiency by 40% over the same period.UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the new energy strategy should save the emirates $190 billion over three decades.  Low oil prices are forcing major producers, including Saudi Arabia, to rethink their economic strategies.

Electric Vehicles vs. Biofuels

By 2040, the number of electric cars in the world could reach 150 million, or even, if more ambitious targets for emissions reductions are adopted, 715 million. Not only would this mean a drastic reduction in the demand for oil, it could also mean a drastic reduction in the demand for biofuels such as ethanol. But the biofuel industry is not giving up without a fight.

Ethanol increasingly a stabilizing factor for Iowa farmers' income

At a time when Iowa farmers produced a second consecutive record corn crop amid falling prices for their commodity, the state’s growing ethanol industry remains a stabilizing factor. National crop production reports released in mid-December showed Iowa corn production in 2016 at 2.69 billion bushels, up from 2.51 billion bushels in 2015.

America’s first ‘clean coal’ plant is now operational — and another is on the way

The first large scale U.S. “clean coal” facility was declared operational — by the large energy firm NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp.  Their Petra Nova project, not far outside of Houston, captured carbon dioxide from the process of coal combustion for the first time in September, and has now piped 100,000 tons of it from the plant to the West Ranch oil field 80 miles away, where the carbon dioxide is used to force additional oil from the ground.

Wisconsin tribe votes against renewing Enbridge pipeline agreements

A Native American tribe in Wisconsin has voted against renewing agreements allowing Enbridge Inc to use their land for a major crude oil pipeline, the latest sign of increasing opposition to North American energy infrastructure. The Bad River Band decided not to renew easements on Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline last week because of concerns about the risk of oil spills, and called for the 64-year-old pipeline to be decommissioned and removed. The move against Line 5 underlines how environmental and aboriginal resistance to energy infrastructure is evolving.

Most laid-off energy workers remain out of work

Nearly 90 percent of surveyed workers who lost their jobs during the oil bust either remain unemployed or opted to leave the oil and gas sector entirely, according to an ongoing study being conducted by University of Houston researchers. Roughly a quarter of laid-off energy who participated in the study — out of 720 respondents thus far — found work outside of the oil and gas industry, while more than 60 percent of them remain out of work. Only 13 percent of them have found new jobs within the industry. The two-year oil bust resulted in more than 215,000 U.S.

Vermont's new governor sticking with renewable energy goal

Vermont's new Republican governor says he is sticking with his Democratic predecessor's goal of getting 90 percent of the energy needed in the state from renewable sources by 2050. Scott said renewable energy technology also generates jobs, which he said fits in with his administration's economic development goals.

Energy, farm policy collide in the new Congress

The energy debate on Capitol Hill this year could turn quickly into talk of farm policy as a large section of the utility sector and other groups prepare to make sure energy policy doesn't get overlooked in next year's farm bill.

The next five-year reauthorization of the farm bill comes up in 2018, which has groups set to make sure the bill's increased energy focus over the last decade doesn't face the cuts it experienced in the last Congress.

Nevada Regulators Restore Retail-Rate Net Metering in Sierra Pacific Territory

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) has voted to restore favorable rates for residential solar customers in NV Energy’s Sierra Pacific Power Company’s service territory -- exactly one year after the commission passed a controversial fee increase that brought the state’s residential solar market to a halt. In the draft order approved Thursday, Chairman Joseph Reynolds wrote: “Abraham Lincoln once said that ‘Bad promises are better broken than kept.’ The PUCN’s prior decisions on [net energy metering], in several respects, maybe best viewed as a promise better left unkept.

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