CityMetric: Electric Cars Could Help Cool Down Our Cities

Electric cars, according to research by scientists from Michigan State University, produce only about one-fifth of [the heat of standard cars] over the course of an average mile. When you multiply that by the number of cars on the road worldwide, that means an awful lot less heat created on roads.

So what does this mean for our cites? They're generally hotter than the surrounding areas due to something called the urban heat island effect. [...] They also tend to be stuffed with cars idling in traffic, and, in hot weather, people blasting air conditioners to counteract the city heat.

PV Magazine: Kyocera Expands Storage Offering in Germany

Kyocera Corporation is expanding its storage market footprint in Germany.

The Japanese group is partnering with local PV distributor Energetik Solartechnologie-Vertriebs GmbH and monitoring systems provider Solare Datensysteme GmbH to offer an energy storage solution for residential use in Germany.

The new solution includes Kyocera’s battery storage system and Solare Datensysteme’s energy monitoring software and hardware and can be combined with solar power generating systems to realize power generation and power storage at home. Energetik will begin sales of the units in May.

E&E News: An 'Extension Cord' Remedy for Coal Plant Retirements

If all goes as planned, a virtual 1,000-megawatt power plant will "open" for business near Erie, Pa. in 2019. It would be just in time to help fill the void left by some of the coal-fired plants that are shuttered or scaled back in the PJM Interconnection in response to the U.S. EPA's climate and environmental rules.

The power will originate not in Pennsylvania, but in Ontario, Canada, transmitted beneath Lake Erie on a billion-dollar, high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) power line.

The project, developed by a unit of Michigan-based ITC Holdings, illustrates the potential of DC transmission lines to address some of the challenges of EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan, experts say.

National Journal: Oil Giant BP Drops Membership With ALEC

Major oil-and-gas corporation BP announced Monday it is parting ways with the American Legislative Exchange Council, marking just the latest -- and likely most significant -- departure of a blue-chip company from the conservative group in recent months, National Journal has learned.

A BP spokesperson confirmed that the company had chosen to not renew its membership in ALEC, a controversial coalition of corporations and state legislators that actively opposes environmental regulations, at the end of the year.

Washington Business Journal: DC Bill Would Require Compensation When Solar Access Obstructed

A bill now under review by the D.C. Council would redefine the age-old complaint, "You're blocking my sun."

Councilmember David Grosso, I-At Large, has introduced legislation requiring compensation for the owner of a "solar easement" when that easement is obstructed by a neighboring structure, building, tree or vegetation, if that obstruction was not present prior to Jan. 1, 2014.

The measure, titled the "Solar Access Rights Establishment Act," would eliminate all covenants that prohibit solar on a specific property, and guarantee a "property right to the beneficial use of solar energy falling on a property owner's rooftop."

Washington Post: Ted Cruz Unfit for Presidency Because of His Climate Change Views, Says Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), speaking Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, deemed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) "unfit" to run for president because of his views on climate change.

"That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data," he said. "It's shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office."

Brown said there should be urgency to deal with climate change. "I think this almost has to be at the level of a crusade," he said.