Detroit Free Press: Ford to Spend $4.5 Billion on Electric Vehicles by 2020

Ford is making its biggest five-year investment in electrified vehicles with a pledge to spend $4.5 billion by 2020, CEO Mark Fields announced today in Dearborn.

Fields said 40% of nameplates globally will be electrified by end of decade, up from 13% now.

It is a move that is driven by customer demand, as well as the need to meet fuel efficiency standards, Fields said.

Wired: Senate Republicans Ran a Really Weird Hearing on Climate Change

You are entering the world of another dimension -- a dimension of sight (look at the people who don’t like scientists), of sound (people talking a lot), and of mind (well, maybe not so much). There’s the signpost for the Dirksen Senate Office Building up ahead. Your next stop: Senator Ted Cruz’s hearing on climate change earlier this week, which felt very much like something from The Twilight Zone.

Cruz himself is an intense guy in a dark suit -- but that’s where the evident similarities between the senator and Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling end. Serling was an abject, romantic humanist. Cruz’s hearing was more like one of the side-shifted worlds Twilight Zone stories always seemed to happen in, at the crossroads of science and superstition, fear and knowledge.

Reuters: Morgan Stanley Exiting the Solar Business, Sources Say

Morgan Stanley is winding down a group that develops and structures North American solar projects as part of a plan to cut up to 25 percent of jobs in its fixed-income business, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

A spokesman at Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Morgan Stanley is cutting around 1,200 workers worldwide, including around 470 front-office employees in its fixed-income business, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Washington Post: Just in Time for Paris, the U.S. Solar Market Is Having Its Best Year Ever

Negotiators in Paris Wednesday released a new draft climate agreement that, in one of its most closely watched sections, proposes a variety of options for the world’s long-term plans to cut carbon emissions.

But another announcement Wednesday -- not made in Paris but highly relevant to the proceedings here -- shows that regardless of the signals sent by a final agreement, clean energy is already growing quite steadily.

U.S. solar installations are expected to hit a new yearly high in 2015, according to a newly released projection from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The two entities found that the country is likely to install over 3 gigawatts (a gigawatt is a billion watts) of solar capacity in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone, leading to more than 7 gigawatts installed in 2015 overall.

PV-Tech: SunPower Seeks to Raise $350 Million

U.S. solar developer SunPower has announced it is seeking to raise $350 million in funding as it looks to power its corporate growth strategy.

It has proposed to offer senior convertible debentures to mature in January 2023, with interest rate, offering price and various other terms to be [determined].