Watchdog: Minnesota City Passes Moratorium on Solar

The future is bright for solar power in Minnesota, thanks to a slew of subsidies toward requiring big utilities to generate 1.5 percent of their power from solar by 2020.

Despite a rush by some cities to get on the bandwagon, Monticello was the first municipality in the state to impose at least a temporary moratorium prohibiting installations to generate solar power.

“Given this emerging technology, it would be wise for the city to be proactive and take the opportunity to understand this issue for development and for regulations,” said Angela Schumann, Monticello community development director, in recommending the moratorium to the City Council on Nov. 24.

Delaware Online: Bloom Surcharge for Delmarva $3.3 Million in February

Delmarva Power customers will see a slight easing in the rate for their state-imposed Bloom Energy surcharge for January bills, despite a big surge in the expected price of natural gas used to power the company’s fuel cells.

In real numbers, however, customers will be paying a combined $3.27 million over 28 days to meet Bloom’s guaranteed price per megawatt for electricity generated at its two centers in Delaware, according to a filing with the state Public Service Commission. The total ranks as the fifth-highest monthly charge since December 2012.

TechCrunch: The Realm of Venture Circa 2014

Today’s venture capital landscape has never been more complex, and it will never again be this simple. It’s hard for entrepreneurs to navigate and VCs to differentiate.

And while many believe increased competition has driven valuations up, that simply doesn’t tell the full story.

It’s time to set aside the Battle of the Bubble talk from this past year and consider the benefits to the complexity we see. Entrepreneurs have more options for raising capital, investors have more options for where to allocate their resources, and VCs have every reason to stand out by defining who they are and what their focus is.

Guardian: Coal Demand Set to Break 9B Ton Barrier This Decade

Global coal use is on an upward march despite calls to halt fossil-fuel demand at a U.N. climate summit in Peru, and it will hit a record 9 billion tonnes by 2019, according to the International Energy Agency.

A proposal for greenhouse gas emissions falling to zero by 2050 surfaced at the Lima summit, attracting support from Scandinavian countries, island states and some central American nations, and an obligation on countries to announce their plans to tackle emissions by spring 2015 was intensely debated.

Platts: U.S. to Appeal Ruling on Key FERC Demand Response Order to Supreme Court

The Obama administration late Friday said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a lower court ruling that tossed out a key Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order on electricity demand response.

"The FERC orders that the court of appeals set aside in this case address an integral feature of the nation's wholesale electric-power markets under FERC's jurisdiction -- the rules for participation by demand-response resources -- that is of substantial importance to the proper functioning of those markets and to assuring just and reasonable rates for wholesale power in those markets," Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in a letter to the court Friday.

Vox: Congress Stuck a Few Anti-Environmental Measures in the 'CRomnibus' Spending Bill

Congress is debating a $1.01-trillion spending bill -- dubbed the "CRomnibus" -- to fund the federal government until next September. The 1,603-page bill is packed with all sorts of provisions that would alter bank regulation, campaign finance, and even environmental policy.

On the environment, perhaps the most significant aspect of the bill is what it doesn't do. Over the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been proposing a flurry of new rules to address climate change and regulate air pollution from coal-fired power plants. And congressional Republicans have long vowed to rein in the EPA. But this spending bill doesn't really touch any of those major rules. That fight has been pushed back for another time.