Reuters: Volkswagen Eyes SMA Solar Storage Systems in Cooperation Talks

Volkswagen is in early talks with German solar power equipment maker SMA Solar about working together, the companies said, as the automaker pushes ambitious electric car plans to overcome its diesel emissions scandal.

SMA Solar, which makes inverters designed for home storage systems, declined to comment on the specifics of the talks.

"It's way too soon; there is nothing yet that we can say," a SMA Solar spokesperson said on Friday. "When things are ready, we will announce them with VW."

Tesla: New Tesla Model S Now the Quickest Production Car in the World

The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode is the third-fastest accelerating production car ever produced, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. However, both the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder were limited-run, million-dollar vehicles and cannot be bought new. While those cars are small two-seaters with very little luggage space, the pure electric, all-wheel drive Model S P100D has four doors, seats up to 5 adults plus 2 children and has exceptional cargo capacity.

The 100 kWh battery also increases range substantially to an estimated 315 miles on the EPA cycle and 613 km on the EU cycle, making it the first to go beyond 300 miles and the longest-range production electric vehicle by far.

Electrek: Alabama Regulator Votes Against Net Metering – Now Seeking $250,000/year in Solar Lease Payments

A member of the Alabama Public Service Commissions (PSC), the group that regulates the state’s power companies, who voted against net metering solar power, recently sought an opinion from the same PSC as to whether or not a community solar power plant, paying him approximately $250,000/year for 20 years on his family’s land, would be an ethics violation. After pretty much blocking solar for regular people, he pushes for $5M from solar for himself.

“The Commission has held that business relationships with entities that intend to do business with entities the public official regulates create conflicts of interest,” Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton wrote.

The commissioner, whose son earns money from the monopoly-approved power company, has doubts about climate change: “I believe that no matter what you call it, a myth is still a myth, and the so-called ‘climate change crisis’ is about as real as unicorns and little green men from Mars.”

Bloomberg: Chile Energy Auction Gives Bachelet a Success to Boast About

After more than two years of sluggish growth, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet finally has a policy success to boast about.

The biggest auction of electricity supply contracts in the country’s history Wednesday saw the average price slump 40 percent from the previous auction last year as renewable energy producers dethroned many of the country’s incumbent energy suppliers. At the same time, investment in the industry helped cushion a contraction in the economy in the second quarter.

“With this auction, we can confirm that we are on the right path” in terms of energy policy, Bachelet told reporters Thursday. "This is good news for Chileans’ pockets, for the environment and also for the economy."

Los Angeles Times: Climate Plan's Advocates Win a Big Victory

Advocates for California's sweeping climate change law scored a major victory Tuesday when the Assembly approved a measure to extend the state's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But they're not breathing easy just yet.

Deep in the bill language of SB 32 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) is a sentence that links its fate to another climate bill yet to be approved by the Assembly:

"This act shall become operative only if Assembly Bill 197 of the 2015-16 Regular Session is enacted and becomes effective on or before January 1, 2017."