Tampa Bay Times: Republican-Led Group Launches Ballot Petition to Boost Solar Power in Florida

Backers of broader use of solar energy in Florida have quietly launched a petition for the 2016 ballot that would allow those who generate electricity from the sun to sell the power directly to other consumers.

If the measure passes, solar proponents argue that it would open up Florida's solar energy market, which has largely stagnated for years. The measure would allow business or property owners to produce up to 2 megawatts of solar power and then sell that power directly to others, such as tenants, without having to go through a utility.

Under Florida law, only utilities can sell electricity directly to consumers, though solar proponents argue that 36 states allow the practice. By removing the utilities as middlemen, the argument goes, it could help spur solar as a clean-energy alternative.

Reuters: Pakistan Approves a National Net Metering Policy

Amid a worsening energy crisis, Pakistan has approved the use of grid-connected solar energy, rooftop solar installations and mortgage financing for home solar panels to boost uptake of clean energy in the country.

The government has also reversed course and eliminated a 32.5 percent tax imposed on imported solar equipment in the country's 2014-2015 budget. The reversal aims to bring down the cost of installing solar panels.

The approval of net metering -- which allows solar panel purchasers to sell power they produce to the national grid -- is a major breakthrough that could spur use of solar energy and help Pakistan's government cut power shortages in the long run, said Asjad Imtiaz Ali, chief executive officer of the Alternative Energy Development Board, a public organization.

Seattle Times: Will Drivers Keep Plugging In to Electric Vehicles as Gas Prices Fall?

In April 2013, when Washington state gas prices averaged more than $3.80 per gallon, Herman Briggs, a retired Postal Service worker, made the big switch to an electric car that liberated him from the gas pumps.

He abandoned his Chevy Malibu in favor of a two-year lease on a Nissan Leaf, a battery-powered vehicle capable of ranging up to 84 miles between charges.

Two years later, the average price for regular in Washington has dropped below $2.50 per gallon.

So Briggs is facing a decision once his lease expires this spring.

Should he stick with an electric car, or return to a gas engine and the convenience he confesses to missing of a quick fuel fill-up in a matter of minutes?

Tulsa World: Troubled New York Reactor's Costs Test the Future of Nuclear Power

Exelon Corp., the biggest U.S. owner of nuclear reactors, needs to almost double power prices to keep a New York plant running in a move that promises to show just how far regulators will go to keep uneconomic plants operating.

After recording losses that exceeded $100 million from 2011 to 2013, Exelon will need to charge about 83 percent more than wholesale prices to earn a profit at its Ginna plant, based on company cost estimates. State regulators have set a Jan. 15 deadline for a new power contract that’s rich enough to keep the Rochester-area plant running.

Washington Post: White House Riles New GOP-Led Congress With Threat to Veto Keystone XL

The new Congress was not yet two hours old when the White House announced Tuesday that the president would veto the first bill lawmakers plan to send to his desk: a measure authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline across the Canada-U.S. border.

The veto threat -- which White House press secretary Josh Earnest issued as a dozen new GOP senators took their oaths and House Republicans reelected John A. Boehner (Ohio) as speaker -- marked a contentious start to a session during which the president will face a legislative branch controlled by the GOP.

Daily Camera: How Much Would Electricity Cost in Boulder Under a Municipal Utility?

Boulder officials released a 20-year cash flow summary for the proposed municipal electric utility on Monday after a resident sued the city last week under the Colorado Open Records Act in order to obtain it and other information.

The financial model shows a steep cost-per-kilowatt-hour increase in the first three years of operation should a municipal electric utility be established in 2017.

The spreadsheet shows the average cost per kilowatt-hour for energy in 2017 as 9.25 cents. The figure goes up to 10.88 cents in 2018, and 12.16 center per kilowatt-hour by 2019. That is an approximate 31 percent increase from 2017 to 2019. After that year, the model levels off somewhat, only rising 13 percent to 13.77 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2022.