Electronics Weekly: IKEA Invests in French GaN-Based LED Company

Ikea’s venture capital arm has invested in a French firm developing and manufacturing 3D LEDs.

Grenoble-based Aledia is developing LEDs for lighting based on a gallium-nitride-on-silicon technology. Ikea believes this low-priced LED lighting technology intended for residential use has the potential for faster implementation, leading to savings for customers.

Bloomberg: Making Progress on Advanced Battery Storage for Cars, Grid, House Panel Told

One of the Energy Department's four innovation hubs is making progress on advanced energy battery storage in cars and the electricity grid and is working with companies to move battery prototypes to market.

During a June 17 House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing, George Crabtree, director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, said the center also is looking at new battery technology, moving beyond the lithium-ion technology that has been around for more than 25 years.

Vox: Pope Francis Is Urging the World to Act on Climate Change. Here Are His Key Points

On Thursday, Pope Francis released his big, long-awaited encyclical on climate change and the environment. In the sweeping 184-page letter, he calls on the world's nations -- especially rich nations -- to curtail fossil fuel use, revamp their economic systems, and alter their lifestyles in order to avoid "unprecedented destruction of ecosystems."

Encyclicals are high-level teachings meant to clarify Catholic doctrine and reach a broader audience. This is the first encyclical that any pope has ever devoted solely to environmental issues. The world's 1.2 billion Catholics certainly aren't required to obey its every word, but the ideas in the document are expected to percolate down to churches and schools, as it gets taught and discussed in the coming years.

Reuters: EPA Defends Controversial Biofuels Program at Senate Hearing

The U.S. environmental regulator on Thursday defended its handling of the nation's controversial renewable fuels program at a congressional hearing, the first since its new biofuels targets last month provoked a furor among corn farmers and oil refiners.

At the hearing by the Senate subcommittee on regulatory affairs and federal management, U.S. lawmakers criticized the agency for years-long delays to quotas and for last month setting unattainable targets for the amount of corn-based ethanol and other biofuels that must be used in the nation's motor fuel supply over the next two years.

Climate Spectator: The Australian Solar Market Faces a Protracted Downturn

The Australians solar industry has seen ups and downs, to the point of being described as a 'sola-coaster.' But now it is confronted by a protracted downturn, the likes of which it hasn’t seen before -- to the point where four out of five months in 2015 have been lower than every month since January 2012 in terms of solar installations.

Indeed, May 2015, was the worst May for REC registration since 2010. Overall, volumes are 20% down on last year -- 245 megawatts have been registered in the first five months of the year, compared to 310 MW during the same time last year.