Business Green: U.K. Solar Poised to Cruise Past 5 GW Milestone

The U.K.'s installedsolarpower capacity is set to break through the 5 GW milestone this month, according to new government figures which show generation capacity almost doubled in 2014.

According to figures released yesterday by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, solar power capacity stood at 4,979 MW at the end of December, just 21 MW shy of 5 GW mark. More than 650,000 systems have now been installed across rooftop and ground-mounted solar arrays.

New York Times: Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, Testing Obama

The Senate passed a bill on Thursday to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which President Obama is certain to veto in his first official clash with the new Republican-majority Congress.

The five-year fight over the Keystone pipeline has become a proxy for far broader fights over climate change, energy and the economy, and for the conflict between Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans.

When Republicans won control of the Senate late last year, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, chose the Keystone bill as the first measure Republicans would send to Mr. Obama.

Guardian: Investors Could Lose Millions as Solar Energy Bond Company Goes Into Administration

Fears are growing for thousands of small investors who put a total of £7.5M into solar energy bonds which promised to pay an income of 6.5% a year -- but which may now be worthless after the company behind the bonds went into administration.

Secured Energy Bonds were launched in 2013, with the lure that they were an “environmentally friendly and locally sensitive way” to invest. Buyers were told the money would be used to install solar panels on 40 rooftop sites across the U.K.

But the company’s latest interest payment to investors, due on Monday, was not made, and the bond’s registrars, Capita, told callers that the bonds had been suspended.

SF Gate: Agents Search Michael Peevey’s Home in PG&E Judge-Shopping Case

State investigators seized computers and other items from the homes of former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and an ousted Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive at the heart of the judge-shopping controversy that has embroiled the regulatory agency for months, The Chronicle has learned.

Investigators with the attorney general’s office executed a search warrant Tuesday at the home Peevey and his wife, Democratic state Sen. Carol Liu, share in La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), court documents show. The agents seized computers, smartphones and a thumb drive, a small data-storage device, according to the records.

PV-Tech: Energy Department Provides $45 Million for Solar Manufacturing

The U.S. Energy Department said it would provide $45 million in new renewable energy funding focused on solar manufacturing technologies as part of its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative.

The latest funding opportunity was said to combine three historically separate SunShot Initiative funding programs, which includes, Incubator, Solar Manufacturing Technology, and Scaling Up Nascent PV at Home.