RenewEconomy: Morgan Stanley Sees 2.4 Million Australian Homes With Battery Storage

Investment bank Morgan Stanley has painted a bullish outlook for the home batterystoragemarket in Australia, saying it could be worth $24 billion, with half of all households likely to install batteries to store the output from their solar panels.

That will mean around 2.4 million households in the National Electricity Market (all states except Western Australia and Northern Territory and off-grid areas), more than the double the 1.1 million households that already have solar in NEM territory.

Motherboard: The Renewable Energy Industry Added Over 1 Million Jobs Last Year

A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) brings some more good news from the front lines of the clean power boom: At the end of 2014, there were 7.7 million jobs in the alternative energy industry, up from 6.5 million in 2013. That’s over a million new jobs in solar, wind, biofuels, and smaller renewable industries (hydropower wasn't counted).

This marks an 18 percent gain, worldwide, in a single year. That’s some seriously solid growth, and it’s spread across the sector. Solar remains the biggest player, employing 2.5 million workers globally.

New York Times: Critics Hear EPA’s Voice in ‘Public Comments’

When the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a major new rule intended to protect the nation’s drinking water last year, regulators solicited opinions from the public. The purpose of the “public comment” period was to objectively gauge Americans’ sentiment before changing a policy that could profoundly affect their lives.

Gina McCarthy, the agency’s administrator, told a Senate committee in March that the agency had received more than 1 million comments, and nearly 90 percent favored the agency’s proposal. Ms. McCarthy is expected to cite those comments to justify the final rule, which the agency plans to unveil this week.

But critics say there is a reason for the overwhelming result: The EPA had a hand in manufacturing it.

Guardian: Documents Reveal BP's Close Ties With the UK Government

For the oil multinational BP, it was a historic moment -- the signing of a joint venture to exploit the vast oil and gas reserves of Russia’s Arctic shelf with the Russian energy giant Rosneft. The deal was worth £10B in share swaps.

The chief executive of Rosneft, Igor Sechin -- then Russian deputy prime minister, key Putin ally and one of the most forbidding characters in the world of oil -- would be coming to London to seal the agreement. Rosneft is majority-owned by the Russian state, and BP urgently needed a senior British government figure to mark the alliance.

Vancouver Sun: Vancouver Ranks Lowest for Solar Energy Policies

Vancouver wants to be known as the world’s greenest city, but according to the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, it is failing to encourage residents to turn to solar power.

A study of 17 Western Canadian cities and communities finds Vancouver -- which has set lofty renewable-energy targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- has the worst ranking for solar energy policies, while Edmonton and Toronto score far better.

A breakdown of the total cost of installing a residential photoelectric system on the roof shows it would cost a Vancouver resident $2,255 in fees and inspections, while the cost in Edmonton is only $285, and in Toronto, $342.