ThinkProgress: Costa Rica Has Gotten All of Its Energy From Renewables for 75 Days Straight
Costa Rica got 100 percent of its energy from renewables for 75 days straight this year, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) announced this week.
The Latin American country hasn’t had to use fossil fuels at all so far in 2015, due to heavy rains that have kept hydroelectric power plants going strong. Wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy have also helped power the country this year.
This reliance on renewables has prompted the country to lower electricity rates by 12 percent. ICE predicts that rates will continue to drop for Costa Rican customers in the second quarter of the year.
Guardian: Gates Foundation's $1.4B in Fossil Fuel Investments Revealed
The charity run by Bill and Melinda Gates, who say the threat of climate change is so serious that immediate action is needed, held at least $1.4B (£1B) of investments in the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, according to a Guardian analysis of the charity’s most recent tax filing in 2013.
The companies include BP, responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Anadarko Petroleum, which was recently forced to pay a $5B environmental clean-up charge, and Brazilian mining company Vale, voted the corporation with most “contempt for the environment and human rights” in the world, clocking over 25,000 votes in the Public Eye annual awards.
Politico: Interior's New Fracking Rules Get Swift GOP Backlash
The Obama administration unveiled the first major national safety restrictions for fracking on Friday, touching off a swift backlash from the president’s critics in Congress and the energy industry.
Two oil industry groups immediately sued to challenge the rules, calling them “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns,” while 27 Senate Republicans introduced legislation to block them from taking effect. Meanwhile, green groups were divided on whether the long-awaited regulations go far enough.
Reuters: Germany Plans to Force Oldest Coal Plants to Cut CO2
Germany plans measures to force operators of coal plants to curb production at their oldest and most-polluting power stations, as part of efforts to achieve its climate targets, senior government sources said on Thursday.
Concerned it was on track to fall short of goals to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990, the cabinet approved a climate package last December.
Automotive News: Remote Updates Speed Tesla's Autopilot Push
Last fall, when Tesla Motors Inc. started shipping the Model S sedan with a camera built into the back of the rearview mirror, buyers were baffled. The camera didn't seem to do anything.
Its purpose quickly became clear when Tesla later unveiled an automated driving feature called Autopilot and wirelessly beamed the software to its cars over the internet.
Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk signaled that a more capable version of Autopilot will be released this year, bringing Tesla a step closer to a fully self-driving car.