Bloomberg: China Adds Solar Power the Size of France in First Quarter

China’s solar installations in the first quarter were almost equal to France’s entire supply of power from the sun.

China connected 5.04 gigawatts of solar capacity to grids in the three months ending March 31, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on Monday. The Asian nation now has a total of 33 gigawatts of solar-power supply.

New York Times: Batteries and Renewable Energy Set to Grow Together

Batteries have long been seen as one of the main ways to work more renewables into the electrical grid, by storing electricity during times of excess generation and releasing it when needed. Now, spurred by mandates in California and other states to deploy storage, by the rise of rooftop solar systems, and by falling prices as Tesla Motors and other companies make plans to produce vast numbers of lithium-ion cells, batteries are set to play a significant part in the nation’s power supply.

“We can see the role of batteries playing out in different locations around the grid,” said Ravi Manghani, an analyst with Greentech Media and author of a recent forecast for the energy storage industry over the next five years. “We expect that every year, we’re going to see on average 100 to 250 percent growth,” he added. “And most of that will be in batteries.”

Slate: Manifesto Calls for an End to “People Are Bad” Environmentalism

In the past few days, a new missive has injected a firecracker into the debate on humanity’s long-term relationship with nature.

The “Ecomodernist Manifesto,” a document championed by the pro-gas, pro-nuclear Breakthrough Institute, imagines a different kind of environmentalism that embraces humanity’s growing demand for energy -- a sharp deviation from the conventional wisdom of the eco-left. Essentially, the manifesto asks the question: What if the Anthropocene -- the age of humans -- is actually a good thing for the Earth, too?

NPR: 5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Effects Linger and Recovery Is Slow

Five years ago, BP's out-of-control oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Eleven workers were killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig. But it was more than a deadly accident -- the blast unleashed the nation's worst offshore environmental catastrophe.

In the spring and summer of 2010, oil gushed from the Macondo well for nearly three months. More than 3 million barrels of Louisiana light crude fouled beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida, affecting wildlife and livelihoods.

Today, the spill's impacts linger. Solar Plane Starts Next Round-the-World Leg in China

A pioneering plane attempting to circumnavigate the globe powered only by the sun took off in China early Tuesday for the next stage of its journey, organizers said.

The Solar Impulse 2's departure from Chongqing came after repeated meteorological delays, and one of its co-pilots returned to Europe to be treated for migraine.

With pilot Bertrand Piccard at the controls, the plane took off at 6:08 a.m. (2208 GMT Monday), heading for the eastern city of Nanjing, organizers said in a statement. The 1,190-kilometer flight was expected to take 20 hours.