Guardian: Big Brands Cheating Customers With False Efficiency Claims

Lightbulb manufacturers are misleading consumers about the brightness and energy use of their products by exploiting a loophole in European tests, lab results seen by the Guardian show.

Ikea, Philips, GE and Osram are among the companies exaggerating energy performance up to 25% higher than that claimed on packaging, according to the Swedish Consumer Association tests. Ikea told the Guardian as a result it would refund customers who were dissatisfied with bulbs they had bought from its stores.

The discrepancy occurs by manufacturers taking advantage of leeways -- known as “tolerances” in the industry -- in the official testing procedures for bulbs.

ABC News: U.K. Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Over Wind Farm

Britain's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously against tycoon and U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump in his battle to stop an offshore wind farm near his upscale Scottish golf resort.

Trump claims the 11-turbine project, approved by the Scottish government in 2013, will spoil the view from his golf course near Aberdeen in eastern Scotland. He has vowed to stop further development of the resort if the wind farm goes ahead.

Trump's lawyer said the battle against the wind farm would continue.

Washington Post: The Political Horse Trade That Will Change the Way the U.S. Gets Energy

A deal on energy is playing a key role in the new budget proposal.

After 40 years, Democrats are giving up the fight over lifting crude oil export restrictions that have effectively banned most sales of U.S. crude oil abroad. In return, Republicans are dropping their opposition to lengthy extensions of thesolarand wind tax credits that will give huge boosts to renewable energy projects.

“The spending bill is that rare example of bipartisan compromise that actually yields positive outcomes all around -- ending an outdated ban on free trade in oil, plus multi-year support for clean energy that will allow solar and wind to keep growing at a fast clip,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

PV-Tech: U.K. Cuts Solar Feed-In Tariff by 64%

The U.K. government has announced 64% cuts to the feed-in tariff, a modest improvement on the 87% cuts proposed in the summer.

Domestic solar installations up to 10 kW in size will receive a FIT rate of 4.39p/kWh (US$0.065) when the new rates come into force after the Department of Energy and Climate Change published the eagerly anticipated results of its consultation.

Quartz: Are These Futuristic High-Altitude Balloons the Brave New World of Solar Energy?

One way to improve the efficiency of solar panels is to place them where clouds can’t interrupt their energy production. Even in the sunniest parts of the world, clouds can still cause fluctuations in energy output. So what better place to put solar panels than above the clouds?

The idea is not without major hurdles, but some energy scientists think it’s worth trying. Researchers at NextPV -- a multinational lab jointly operated by France’s CNRS and the University of Tokyo -- are developing solar panels attached to high-altitude balloons that would hypothetically float 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) in the sky. That’s well above where most clouds reside.