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As the EPA finalizes the regulations this summer, it is critical the agency learn from the mistakes of the past and take the real short-term and long-term impacts into account. Rural Arizona needs leadership now to ensure that the plan is modified, or coal won't be the only thing that goes missing from Arizona's economy.
California has become the first state with more than 5% of its annual utility-scale electricity generation from utility-scale solar power, according to EIA’s Electric Power Monthly. California’s utility-scale (1 megawatt (MW) or larger) solar plants generated a record 9.9 million megawatthours (MWh) of electricity in 2014, an increase of 6.1 million MWh from 2013. California’s utility-scale solar production in 2014 was more than three times the output of the next-highest state, Arizona, and more than all other states combined.
Several large plants were phased into operation in California during 2014, including two 550 MW solar photovoltaic plants, Topaz and Desert Sunlight (Phases 1 and 2), as well as the 377 MW Ivanpah (Phases 1, 2, and 3) and the 250 MW Genesis solar thermal plants. In total, nearly 1,900 MW of new utility-scale solar capacity was added, bringing the state’s utility-scale capacity for all solar technologies to 5,400 MW by the end of 2014.
California has promoted solar power through a series of state policies, including a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires electricity providers to obtain 33% of the power they sell from eligible renewable sources by 2020. In 2014, the state obtained 22% of its electricity from nonhydropower renewables including wind, solar, and biomass.
California also created incentives, including rebates and net-metering policies, to encourage rooftop and other small-scale solar capacity, whose generation is not captured in the above figure. By the end of 2014, more than 2,300 MW of small-scale solar capacity was installed on homes and businesses, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.
The top three states in utility-scale solar generation in 2014 were California, Arizona, and Nevada. These states in the southwestern United States have some of the best solar resources in the world. However, states with less-favorable solar resources, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts, also are among the top 10 states in total solar generation. All of the top 10 states—with the exception of Florida—have a renewable portfolio standard in place. Most of those policies include a specific target for solar power or customer-sited generation.
The increase in California’s solar production came the same year that drought conditions caused hydroelectric generation to fall 46% compared to the previous five-year average. Although solar is only available at certain times of the day, the annual increase in California’s solar generation in 2014 offset 83% of the decrease in hydroelectric generation. Along with increases in generation from wind power and geothermal energy, solar power helped make California the top state producer of nonhydroelectric renewable electricity in 2014, narrowly topping Texas.
Principal contributor: Allen McFarland
Isn't it obvious? If Operation Jade Helm were happening in any other country, it would be immediately labeled a military drill for martial law
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Breast cancer overdiagnosis remains widespread: Women routinely subjected to unneccesary chemo and radiation
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Doctor faked AIDS vaccine research just to get federal money -- vaccine fraud happens more often then you might think
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That growing fear of China’s dangerously dirty environment has given birth to one of the fastest-growing segments of China’s consumer marketplace: foods with perceived health benefits.
In 2013, the University of Bristol psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues published two papers containing a provocative claim: A tendency to endorse conspiracy theories, they suggested, makes people more likely to challenge various aspects of science, too.
Cities around the world have been temporarily plunged into darkness to raise awareness about climate change. Millions of people across the globe switched off their lights for an hour at 8.30pm local time in support of the WWF's Earth Hour initiative.
The abominable snowpack in the Sierra Nevada reached an unprecedented low this week, dipping below the historic lows in 1977 and 2014 for the driest winter in 65 years of record-keeping.
At her small beach house that sits in a flood zone, Nancy Loft-Powers worries. The prospect of rising water, she said, isn’t what bothers her. It’s the expected rise in the cost of her $7,500 yearly flood insurance.
Duke Energy Corp. CEO Lynn Good saw her pay docked about $600,000 in the aftermath of last year's massive spill of collected coal ash that coated 70 miles of a North Carolina river in sludge containing toxic heavy metals.
Georgia Power Plant Yates will officially stop burning coal no later than April 15. Units 1-5 have already stopped being used for “normal operational dispatch,” said John O’Brien, senior communications specialist for Georgia Power.
Californians are understandably focused on the state's severe drought, now in its fourth year. But drought is not the only environmental risk the state's residents face.
The results of a recent study were more heartening than surprising. Short version: If we clean up the air, kids' lungs will benefit.
In China, where coal is indeed king, they're cracking down on coal-fired power plants. And in Alabama, where just three of every 1,000 jobs come from any kind of mining, we'd mainline mercury if we thought it would save a single one of those jobs.