NPR: Sun-Powered Airplane Completes Historic Trip Around the World
The trip had mechanical setbacks, and the plane's average speed would be legal on many American streets. But when the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi in the early morning darkness Tuesday, it successfully completed a round-the-world voyage using only solar power.
Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg took turns flying the single-seat aircraft that began its trip on March 9, 2015, flying more than 26,700 miles in a total of 17 stages (23 days) as they soared under the sun's power and then glided through the night.
Maine Public Broadcasting: LePage Proposes End to Solar Net Metering Program
Gov. Paul LePage is proposing a three-year “grandfather” period to allow Maine residents who have installed solar panels to recover some of their upfront investment through a practice called net metering. After that, he wants to end the program. The governor’s new proposal is drawing swift criticism from the solar industry.
Under net metering, residential solar generators can get a credit on their electric bill for excess electricity that they put back into the power grid. Over time, those credits can help cover the cost of the original investment, for, say, solar panels.
Guardian: Labor Says Blaming Electricity Price Surge on Renewable Energy 'Misleading'
Labor’s spokesman for climate change and energy, Mark Butler, has described the discussion around the recent high electricity prices in South Australia as “extraordinary exploitation” and “a cocktail of exaggeration, hyperbole and downright misinformation.”
Delivered in a speech to the Clean Energy Summit in Sydney on Wednesday, Butler said he agreed with South Australia’s energy minister, Tom Koutsantonis, saying the price surge was the result of a perfect storm of factors, including maintenance on the interconnector to Victoria, cold weather and high gas prices as well as a constraint on supply after the Northern coal power station closed down.
“We’ve seen a really quite extraordinary exploitation of a price surge in wholesale power prices in SA to relaunch a campaign by some in the media, and some also unfortunately in the federal Coalition, against renewable energy,” he said.
MarketWatch: Why You Can Thank Low Oil Prices for Cheaper Food
After suffering a plunge over the past two years, crude-oil prices are expected to drop another 15% in 2016, contributing to a decline in most food costs, the World Bank said in a report released Tuesday.
“Since agriculture is energy-intensive, lower energy prices reduce the cost of producing food commodities,” the World Bank said. Lower energy prices should also ease “policy pressures to encourage biofuels production, which has been a key source of growth in food commodity demand over the past decade.”
InsideClimate News: EPA Clears the Way for Greenhouse Gas Rules on U.S. Airlines
The Environmental Protection Agency formally declared Monday after years of review that greenhouse gas emissions from airplane engines cause climate change and endanger human health and the environment, just as exhaust fumes from cars do, and that they likewise need to be controlled.
U.S. aircraft emit roughly 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and 29 percent of emissions from all the world's planes. With carbon controls in place or planned on the biggest sources -- vehicles and power plants -- growing pollution from aviation "is an important element" in tackling the climate crisis, said Janet McCabe, a top EPA official.