Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Judge Rejects We Energies' Plan to Assess Solar-Panel Owners Extra Fees

Customers of We Energies looking to add solar panels won't have to pay the extra fees the utility was set to start assessing next year, a Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled Friday.

Judge Peter Anderson decided that the state Public Service Commission did not have enough evidence to back up its decision in December to impose the fees.

Solar companies and renewable energy advocates praised the ruling for stopping a "discriminatory tax on solar," while We Energies and the PSC said they were reviewing their legal options.

Forbes: DuPont Brings Biggest, Cheapest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant On-Line

DuPont, the chemicals company based in Wilmington, Del., has begun operations at one of the world’s first commercial-scale advanced biorefineries in central Iowa.

The $225 million plant produces cellulosic ethanol from corn husks -- the non-kernel parts of corn plants. The cellulosic ethanol plant is designed to produce 30 million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol annually but is not expected to operate at full capacity until 2016.

Economist: Nuclear Power Emits No Greenhouse Gases, Yet It Is Struggling in the Rich World

In America and Europe, slumping commodity prices are adding to the burden on nuclear power that was already growing after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. America’s shale revolution, Europe’s growing supply of subsidized renewable energy, and sluggish electricity demand in both markets have sharply cut wholesale power prices.

That makes it harder for many nuclear plants to cover their running costs, leading their owners to shut them down. Perversely, at a time when countries around the world are pledging to cut carbon emissions, such closures often lead to the burning of more fossil fuels. Adding renewable-energy capacity does not solve the problem: when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, nuclear energy still provides the best low-carbon source of reliable “baseload” electricity.

Business Green: India to Announce Global Solar Power Alliance

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is preparing to announce a new global alliance to accelerate the deployment of solar power during the four-day India-Africa forum, which begins today in New Delhi.

According to various media reports, Modi is expected to announce the formation of the International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (IASPA), an alliance of 110 countries that aims to promote the adoption of solar power across developing countries.

The IASPA will be designed to help drive $100B worth of solar projects across India and Africa by 2020. Modi is likely to announce special funding for the group, which officials hope will boost economic growth, as well as tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

Utility Dive: Bipartisan Coalition Launches Congressional Battery Storage Caucus

Energy storage is becoming such a mainstream topic of conversation in the power sector that even Congress is taking notice.

A bipartisan duo of legislators announced they have teamed up with the Energy Storage Association (ESA) to launch the Congressional Battery Energy Storage Caucus, a new coalition of lawmakers committed to educating their colleagues about energy storage and support legislation to help grow the industry.

“Battery storage technology paired with renewables such as wind and solar has the power to transform the energy landscape,” Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), who represents the city of Riverside, said at the official announcement.