Mike Twomey: The Replacement for Vermont Yankee Was Natural Gas

ISO-New England (the nonprofit independent entity that ensures the reliability of the electric grid in New England) publishes data that shows daily generation by fuel type.  That data shows that in 2014 (the last year of Vermont Yankee's operation), natural-gas-fired generators supplied 43.1% of the energy in New England, while nuclear provided 34%.  

In 2015 (the first year since 1972 without Vermont Yankee), natural-gas-fired generators supplied 48.6% of the energy in New England, while nuclear provided 29.5%.

The bottom line is that without Vermont Yankee, nuclear's carbon-free contribution to the New England electric grid fell by 5.3 million megawatt-hours in 2015 compared to 2014.

Wall Street Journal: Panasonic Will Bet Big on Gigafactory

Panasonic Corp. President Kazuhiro Tsuga said the company will spend up to $1.6 billion on an advanced battery factory with electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc., an investment it hopes to cement its future in automotive electronics.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant and Tesla are jointly funding an up to $5 billion battery plant in Nevada. Panasonic hasn’t previously disclosed the full size of its investment. It will be several years before that factory is humming at full steam, and for Panasonic, the wait will be costly because its lithium-ion battery business has struggled to make money.

BBC: Is Sweden's 'Green Miracle' a Model for the Rest of the World?

Despite the enviable safety track record, and the fact that it provides 40% of the country's electricity, nuclear power is now on the defensive in Sweden. The government wants to replace it, in the long term, with what they say are greener sources.

However, some experts say that nuclear has been the critical factor in the country's ability to grow the economy while cutting carbon. "In the start of the 1970s, we started putting nuclear power plants on-line, and what we saw was that the economy kept growing but the emissions started falling very rapidly," said Dr. Staffan Qvist from Uppsala University, who researches nuclear issues.

Phys.org: New Efficiency Record Set With Dual-Junction Solar Cell

Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) have jointly set a new world record for converting non-concentrated (1-sun) sunlight into electricity using a dual-junction III-V/Sisolarcell.

The newly certified record conversion efficiency of 29.8 percent was set using a top cell made of gallium indium phosphide developed by NREL, and a bottom cell made of crystalline silicon developed by CSEM using silicon heterojunction technology. The two cells were made separately and then stacked by NREL. The record was published in 'Solar cell efficiency tables.'

Reuters: Climate Change Could Cut Global Electricity Output by Disrupting Water

Climate change could lead to significant declines in electricity production in coming decades as water resources are disrupted, said a study published on Monday.

Hydropower stations and thermoelectric plants, which depend on water to generate energy, together contribute about 98 percent of the world's electricity production, said the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.