National Public Radio: U.S. Files Lawsuit Against Volkswagen Over Emissions Trickery

Volkswagen's use of a "defeat device" to fool U.S. regulators has resulted in a federal lawsuit against the company. Volkswagen has acknowledged that millions of its diesel cars worldwide relied on a ruse to skirt emissions controls.

The civil complaint was filed in federal court in Detroit, with the Department of Justice acting on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency -- which says it hasn't yet reached an acceptable agreement with Volkswagen over how to handle a recall.

Guardian: E.ON Completes Split of Fossil Fuel and Renewables Operations

Germany energy giant E.ON has officially separated its fossil fuel assets into a new company, dubbed Uniper.

The move, which became effective on January 1st, will see the energy company focus on renewables, energy networks, and energy efficiency services. Meanwhile, the independent Uniper will assume control of the company’s fossil fuel and hydro assets, as well as its global energy trading activity.

Johannes Teyssen, chief executive of E.ON, said the move, which was first announced in 2014, would make E.ON and Uniper more “agile” and give each company the best chance of becoming a leader in its own sphere.

New York Times: Uber’s No-Holds-Barred Expansion Strategy Fizzles in Germany

Uber is rapidly expanding its ride-hailing operations across the globe. But here in this city of 690,000 -- less than the population of San Francisco, Uber’s hometown -- the company recently did something unusual: It retreated.

In early November, Uber shut its small office in Frankfurt’s centuries-old city center after just 18 months of operation, mothballing the online platform that had let people in the city hail rides through a smartphone app. The pullback was spurred in part by drivers like Hasan Kurt, the owner of a local licensed taxi business, who had refused to work with the American service.

Utility Dive: Hawaii Court Upholds Order Ending Retail Net Metering

In October, the Hawaii PUC ended retail rate net metering in the state, reducing payments rooftop solar customers can receive for excess energy they export to the grid. Advocacy group The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) filed suit, arguing that the commission’s order violated state and federal laws because it was made without public hearings preceded by 30 days’ notice.

Leaving the commission’s order terminating the NEM retail rate credit in place, a judge ruled there was “no abuse of discretion in the PUC’s decision to proceed by way of order rather than rule-making.”​

Bloomberg: SunEdison Caps Wild 2015 Ride With Deals Boosting Balance Sheet

SunEdison is taking steps to shore up its balance sheet, announcing a pair of deals Wednesday to reduce debt and sell its stake in a 336-megawatt portfolio of solar farms.

The company agreed to swap $336 million of exchangeable notes for equity in some projects and shares in one of SunEdison’s holding companies. Separately, it completed a deal to buy 33 percent of a solar portfolio from Dominion Resources Inc. and immediately turned around and sold it to a joint venture SunEdison formed in September with investors advised by JPMorgan Chase & Co.