The early stages of switching an entire nation's energy system from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewables are incredibly complex, as Germany is finding out. With a goal of switching to almost entirely solar and wind power by 2050, the nation's energy changes are for now leading to high prices, unexpected road bumps and some nervous stomachs. [New York Times]
Need evidence that renewables are a favored source of energy across all political leanings? Of at least 37 bills that have been introduced this year to eliminate or weaken states' renewable portfolio standards, which set a minimum requirement for how much energy a state's utilities must draw from renewable sources like solar and wind, only one succeeded. [Huffington Post]
Uganda-based Solar Sister helps women to begin their own small businesses in a bag - selling solar-powered lamps to their neighbors through their own personal networks. The technology allows women to earn and save money and their families to have clean, safe indoor lighting.
Take Action: Learn more about Solar Sister.
Senior Energy Analyst John Rogers of UCS sees collisions everywhere - between the House and Senate, between Democrats and Republicans and between energy and water. Rogers explains why "a clear view of current energy-water collisions can certainly help point us to the fixes there."
The EPA issued clarifications to Clean Water Act protections for small streams and wetlands, especially those that aren't wet all the time. The clarifications are intended to help farmers, ranchers and others understand which streams fall under CWA protections. Environmentalists cheered. Republicans complained. [The Washington Post]
This year's World Water Week conference was concluded by a UN special envoy who said of the world's rising water and energy needs, "From now on we must talk about these two things together, we must have nexus thinking."
This video presents an interesting way of viewing our world - through the use of a tilt shift lens that makes everything look like a model. It's good perspective on our energy reality. [Aurora-Lab]
Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, or PACE, is finally catching on in the US, at least for businesses. The creative approach allows owners to borrow the money for renewable energy systems and pay for it over time through a property tax surcharge. Next step: making PACE available to homeowners. [New York Times]
Billy Parish, the cofounder of Mosaic, a crowd-sourced financing platform for solar energy projects, says that like democratizing the Internet, there must be a new energy paradigm that enables people "to be the bank to fund clean energy themselves." [Earth Island Journal]