The Plain Dealer: FirstEnergy Wants Ohio to End Deregulation, Return to State-Controlled Rates
FirstEnergy Corp. wants Ohio to re-regulate the electric utility industry, hoping to end an era the company itself fought for just seven years ago, in which electricity rates were set by wholesale markets without interference from the state.
"I would do it in a heartbeat," said Chuck Jones, CEO since January, in an interview with The Plain Dealer's editorial board. "I think it makes sense. I am trying to save a company."
Jones said FirstEnergy's future is at risk if it cannot convince the state's Public Utilities Commission to force ratepayers to cover the full cost of electricity from two of its huge coal and nuclear plants, even if other sources of electricity, such as natural gas, would be cheaper for consumers.
Bloomberg: Cheap Power or Clean Energy? India’s $200 Billion Dilemma
A weak link lurks in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for an unprecedented $200 billion expansion of clean energy: cash-starved state electricity distributors.
The retailers have racked up more than 2.5 trillion rupees ($39 billion) of losses partly because they’re forced to sell below cost to keep energy affordable, Power Ministry data show. Reliant on loans and subsidies, their scope to embrace solar and wind over cheaper, dirtier coal-fired supplies is in question.
That leaves Modi juggling the needs of India’s 750 million poor, his clean-energy ambitions, and pressure to pledge emissions curbs at a United Nations global warming summit in December.
New York Times: UPS Agrees to Buy 46 Million Gallons of Renewable Diesel
For years, companies that rely heavily on fuel have experimented with substitutes for conventional gasoline and diesel, including natural gas, electricity and biofuels.
Now, one company is moving beyond the test phase. On Wednesday, UPS announced that it will buy as much as 46 million gallons of renewable diesel over the next three years, helping the company reach a goal of displacing 12 percent of the petroleum-based fuels in its ground fleet by 2017.
The renewable fuels, from three suppliers, are chemically so close to their petroleum-based counterparts that they can replace them in engines and pipelines. They are made from an array of bio-based sources, including palm and waste oils, and animal fats.
MIT Technology Review: Chinese Carmaker Is Testing Car-to-Car Communications
One of China’s leading carmakers is testing technology that promises to prevent accidents and ease congestion by allowing vehicles as well as traffic signals to communicate wirelessly. Although no standard for the technology has emerged in China yet, representatives at the company say it could introduce some form of car-to-car communications in 2018, ahead of many U.S. automakers.
Changan, a state-owned car manufacturer based in Chongqing, in central China, is testing so-called vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology at its U.S. R&D center in Plymouth, Michigan. The company does not sell vehicles in the U.S. and says it has no plans to enter the U.S. market. But the fact that it is testing car-to-car technology at its U.S. facility suggests that it sees a future for it in its home country.
The Verge: Wireless Charging for Electric Cars Inches Closer to Reality
Qualcomm announced a new deal this week with Swiss electric-car parts maker Brusa, allowing the firm to develop, manufacture, and supply its Halo charging plates to other companies. There's no solid news on what's next for Halo, but Brusa says it's working with "several leading automakers" to introduce wireless charging to their cars "in the near future." (Brusa had previously signed a deal with wireless power tech firm WiTricity as well.)