Reuters: Solar Is Having a Great Year, Except on Wall Street
By almost any measure, the U.S. solar market is on fire.
Installations of solar panels are expected to soar by a third this year, the price of solar power is now cheap enough to compete neck and neck with gas and coal-fired power in places like California, and the fledgling industry received a vote of confidence last week when U.S. President Barack Obama announced a groundbreaking plan to curb power-plant emissions. Even China's currency devaluation could cut panel costs for U.S. solar installers.
Wall Street, however, has been dumping solar shares this year, largely on concern, which investors say is misplaced, that tumbling oil prices will sap demand for alternative energy, even though oil isn't used to generate power.
Quartz: Tesla Investors Need to Chill Out for a Couple Years
The latest bout of Teslamania -- the carmaker’s stock is up more than 9% in 2015 -- is due to CEO Elon Musk offering another $642 million in company shares. No matter that he will be even later with his electric SUV crossover, and will sell fewer cars this year than he promised.
Everyone: Relax. In fact, take a breather for about two years, because nothing that happens publicly with Tesla will matter -- until, that is, Musk delivers his Model 3, a pure electric sedan for the masses that he promises to bring to market in 2017.
Pro tip: Knowing Musk, it will be late, so you may actually have to chill for up to four years.
Politico: Barack Obama's Quiet War on Oil
President Barack Obama’s enemies have long accused him of waging a “war on coal.” But a very different war on oil and gas is coming next.
The newest phase of Obama’s environmental agenda has the oil and natural gas industry in its crosshairs, with plans to curb greenhouse gas pollution from rigs and refineries, tighten oversight of drilling on public lands and impose a strict ozone limit that industry lobbyists slam as “the most expensive regulation ever.”
The oil industry’s top lobbying group says it’s facing a “regulatory avalanche or a tidal wave” -- one that some of Obama’s critics have been bracing for.
FierceEnergy: Renewables Cause Congestion on New England's Grid, Says FERC
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved an effort to help manage congestion on the Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE) grid -- by ruling on the renewables allowed on the system.
ISO-NE's request said that because renewable output is variable, the integration of renewable resources in remote areas of their transmission system has caused increased congestion.
"Intermittent renewable resources such as wind are still a small part of the New England generating fleet, but they are increasing. Most wind plants are installed in remote areas of the region with transmission lines that were designed to deliver generation from relatively small, remote hydro generators, not to carry large amounts of generation," said ISO-NE spokesperson Marcia Blomberg.
MIT Technology Review: How Tiny Ribbons of Graphene Could Power a Faster Transistor
A new way to make ultrathin ribbons of graphene could give the promising electronic material the edge it needs to finally become practical for use in digital processing on computer chips. Researchers have shown that they can grow the nanoribbons, a geometry that is crucial if the material is to made into high-performing transistors, directly on a wafer like those used in the semiconductor industry.
The electronic and thermal properties of graphene, a single-atom-thick layer of carbon, are tantalizing to technologists who see it as the potential basis for new kinds of computer chips that are faster, use less power, and can flex and bend. But graphene on its own does not have the characteristics necessary for transistors that are energy-efficient enough to be practical.