LA Times: Elon Musk's Growing Empire Is Fueled by $4.9 Billion in Government Subsidies

Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multi-billion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.

And he's built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies.

Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot startups.

Guardian: How Renewable Energy in South Africa Is Quietly Stealing a March on Coal

Although still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, South Africa has been quietly creating one of the world’s most progressive alternative energy plans. Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are popping up all over the country and feeding clean energy into the strained electrical grid.

“It is set to completely transform these deep rural communities in terms of healthcare, education, job creation and a raft of other interventions. All this while putting green electricity on the grid at affordable prices,” said Johan van den Berg, director of the South African Wind Energy Association.

Guardian: UK Renewable Energy Industry Warns of Legal Action Over Subsidies

The U.K. renewable energy industry has warned the government’s new climate secretary that she will face a legal challenge if she oversees the “willful destruction” of the industry by retrospectively curtailing subsidies.

Later this week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change will announce that the existing subsidy scheme for onshore wind power will be closed a year earlier than it was due to, according to a source close to the process.

Such a move would be a major blow to the industry and go further than the Conservative party had pledged in its manifesto. It had said that it would “end any new public subsidy” in a bid to “halt the spread of onshore windfarms."

Midwest Energy News: Detroit-Area Community Reclaims Its Streets With Solar Power

Residents of a Detroit-area community left in the dark after a utility settlement are hoping to relight their streets using solar power.

Soulardarity, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits, faith groups, municipal programs, block clubs and individuals in Highland Park, Michigan, is working to install up to 200 solar streetlights around the city to replace those that were removed by DTE Energy because of unpaid electric bills.

Climate Central: In Stunning Reversal, ‘Big Oil’ Asks for Carbon Price

In a stunning reversal of years of obstructionism to creating a global framework to deal with climate change, CEOs from global oil and gas behemoths Shell, BP, Total, Statoil, Eni and the BG Group have signaled that they’re ready for a price on carbon.

The CEOs of the companies, with nearly $1.4 trillion in annual revenue, sent a letter on Friday, which was released publicly on Monday, to Christiana Figueres, the United Nation’s climate chief, as well as Laurent Fabius, France’s Foreign Affairs and International Development Minister, who will also lead the Paris climate talks later this year.