Des Moines Register: MidAmerican Energy Pours $3.6B More Into Wind

MidAmerican Energy took a giant $3.6 billion step Thursday toward its goal of meeting all of its customers' power needs with green energy such as wind and solar.

With the investment, the Des Moines utility's largest, MidAmerican would get 85 percent of its energy from wind, CEO Bill Fehrman said Thursday at a press conference with Gov. Terry Branstad and Debi Durham, the state's economic development director.

"We have a dream to deliver 100 percent renewable energy to our customers," Fehrman said.

Bloomberg: How 315 Billion Petrodollars Evaporated

The world’s top oil exporters are burning through their petrodollar assets at an accelerating pace, increasing the pressure to reach a deal to freeze production to bolster prices.

The 18 nations set to gather in Doha on Sunday to discuss a production freeze have spent $315 billion of their foreign-exchange reserves -- about a fifth of their total -- since the oil slump started in November 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the last three months of 2015, reserves fell nearly $54 billion, the largest quarterly drop since the crisis started.

PVTech: Australian ‘Sun Tax’ Utility Pairs Household PV With Large-Scale Storage

A trial project using 1.1 MWh of lithium-ion battery storage in two centralized containers to harness power from more than 100 rooftop solar systems has been installed in the Western Australia suburb of Alkimos.

Western Australia utility Synergy, alongside property and infrastructure solutions providers Lendlease and infrastructure developer LandCorp, was responsible for the batteries, which are located in two shipping containers to store electricity generated by more the PV systems.

Last December, Synergy was embroiled in a spat with solar campaigners and solar homeowners after it proposed charging solar rooftop owners an extra fixed fee.

InsideClimate News: CO2's Role in Global Warming Has Been on the Oil Industry's Radar Since the 1960s

The oil industry's leading pollution-control consultants advised the American Petroleum Institute in 1968 that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels deserved as much concern as the smog and soot that had commanded attention for decades.

Carbon dioxide was "the only air pollutant which has been proven to be of global importance to man's environment on the basis of a long period of scientific investigation," two scientists from the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) told the API.

This paper, along with scores of other publications, shows that the risks of climate change were being discussed in the inner circles of the oil industry earlier than previously documented.

Wired: Solar Impulse 2 Is Ready to Finish Its Round-the-World Flight

Solar Impulse 2 , the solar-powered airplane sidelined last year midway through a pioneering trip around the world, is finally taking flight again. Sometime next week, Bertrand Piccard will climb into the single seat, featherweight aircraft and take off from Oahu’s Kalaeloa Airport, bound for North America.

Piccard and his fellow Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg have been grounded since July, when their most impressive flight -- a five-day, nonstop leap from Japan to Hawaii -- led to their biggest setback, frying the plane’s batteries.