U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Feb 6, 2013

Owner of shut Calif reactor knew of generator problems -lawmakers

LOS ANGELES, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The owner of a shuttered
Southern California nuclear power plant was aware of problems
with its new steam generators before they were installed, two
lawmakers said on Tuesday, citing a report by the maker of the
equipment.

In a letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman
Allison Macfarlane, Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative
Edward Markey said a 2012 document by Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries Ltd, maker of the San Onofre power plant’s
steam generators, found that some safety modifications were
rejected by both Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and plant owner
Southern California Edison due to “unacceptable consequences.”

Feb 2, 2013

Actress Kerry Washington wins big at NAACP Image Awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Kerry Washington was the big winner at the NAACP Image Awards on Friday, picking up awards for her roles in the slavery-era Western film “Django Unchained” and television drama “Scandal,” as well as a special honor for professional achievement and public service.

But on a night that celebrated the successes of artists of color, actor and activist Harry Belafonte struck a somber note when he admonished the black community for failing to speak out in favor of gun control, saying “the group most devastated by America’s obsession with the gun is African-Americans.”

Feb 1, 2013

Energy Secretary Chu is latest Obama Cabinet departure

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize winner who shepherded an effort to help spur a clean energy U.S. economy, will step down after a tenure rocked by the failures of some costly government investments.

Chu’s departure, which was announced Friday and follows similar moves by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator and the interior secretary, will allow President Barack Obama craft a fresh team to address climate change.

Jan 25, 2013

Analysis: Obama climate push to benefit energy efficiency firms

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s promise to attack climate change is likely to light a fire under federal agencies slow to comply with a mandate to cut energy use – which could be very good news for companies that specialize in systems that save power.

Waiting in the wings are the likes of Honeywell International Inc, Johnson Controls Inc and Ameresco Inc that are ready to carry out heating and cooling system upgrades, lighting retrofits and similar projects in some of the government’s 500,000 buildings.

Jan 25, 2013

Obama climate push to benefit energy efficiency firms

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s promise to attack climate change is likely to light a fire under federal agencies slow to comply with a mandate to cut energy use – which could be very good news for companies that specialize in systems that save power.

Waiting in the wings are the likes of Honeywell International Inc (HON.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Ameresco Inc (AMRC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) that are ready to carry out heating and cooling system upgrades, lighting retrofits and similar projects in some of the government’s 500,000 buildings.

Jan 16, 2013

Insight: How cleantech tarnished Kleiner and VC star John Doerr

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In the spring of last year, John Doerr received some bad news: Miasole, the solar-panel maker backed by his famed venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was on the verge of bankruptcy.

If Miasole went under, it would be a dramatic collapse for a once-promising startup that in its heyday had been valued at $1 billion. It would also be a failure for Doerr, who for years had argued passionately that clean technology could be the biggest business opportunity of this century.

Jan 16, 2013

How cleantech tarnished Kleiner and VC star John Doerr

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 (Reuters) – In the spring
of last year, John Doerr received some bad news: Miasole, the
solar-panel maker backed by his famed venture capital firm,
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, was on the verge of
bankruptcy.

If Miasole went under, it would be a dramatic collapse for a
once-promising startup that in its heyday had been valued at $1
billion. It would also be a failure for Doerr, who for years had
argued passionately that clean technology could be the biggest
business opportunity of this century.

Jan 8, 2013

Solar industry outlook still bleak despite recent rally

LOS ANGELES/FRANKFURT, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Solar stocks kicked
off 2013 with a sharp rally, prompted in part by last week’s
news that a company controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire
Hathaway Inc would pay up to $2.5 billion for two
SunPower solar projects in California.

This week, the stocks retreated after many investors and
analysts called the moves overblown, making the Buffett rally
look more like a short-term bump.

Jan 3, 2013

Tax break extension breathes new life into U.S. wind power

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. wind industry is powering up once again after Congress extended a critical tax credit that wind companies say will save tens of thousands of domestic jobs and allow more clean energy projects to ramp up this year.

About half of the sector’s 75,000 jobs in the United States had been expected to disappear if the wind production tax credit had been allowed to expire at the end of last year, according to trade group the American Wind Energy Association.

Jan 2, 2013

SunPower inks $2.5 billion deal with Buffett utility

By Garima Goel and Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – SunPower Corp (SPWR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it sold two solar projects in California to a company controlled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and would receive up to $2.5 billion in proceeds and related contracts.

Berkshire utility MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co will pay SunPower between $2.0 billion and $2.5 billion for the 579-megawatt (MW) Antelope Valley solar projects and for designing, installing and constructing them, the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. (link.reuters.com/bag94t)