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For First Time Ever, U.S. Gets 10% of Electricity From Wind and Solar

Renewable energy set a new record this past March, accounting for 10 percent of electricity generation in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Specifically, wind power comprised 8 percent and solar came in at 2 percent.


The EIA expects April's renewable energy slice to also exceed 10 percent of total generation when the numbers are finalized. The agency said that wind and solar generation usually reaches its highest level in either the spring or fall due to low electricity demand.

Sure, the renewable energy bump can be attributed to seasonal bouts, but March's 10 percent benchmark is still a remarkable increase from the same time last year. As Quartz pointed out, the U.S. produced 65 percent more solar and 17 percent more wind in March 2017 than it did in March 2016.

Despite the Trump administration's push for fossil fuels, recent surveys show that majority of U.S. consumers prefer to use renewables if given the option. Utility leaders also overwhelmingly anticipate substantial solar and wind power growth in the next 10 years.

This chart shows a number of states where wind and solar made up more than 10 percent of electricity generation in 2016. More than a third of Iowa's energy now comes from wind and solar and Texas generates more wind than any other state.

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Stinkhorns, Truffles, Smuts: The Amazing Diversity—and Possible Decline—of Mushrooms and Other Fungi

By Alexander Weir

"Whatever dressing one gives to mushrooms ... they are not really good but to be sent back to the dungheap where they are born."

French philosopher Denis Diderot thus dismissed mushrooms in 1751 in his " Encyclopedie." Today his words would be dismissed in France, where cooks tuck mushrooms into crepes, puff pastry and boeuf Bourguignon (beef Burgundy), to name just a few dishes.

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Cell Phone Radiation Risks: California Issues Groundbreaking Guidelines

By Olga Naidenko

This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children's developing brains could be at greater risk.

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Celebrating the Biggest Conservation Wins of 2017

It's been a big year for conservation.

Together we assured the world that the U.S. is still an ally in the fight against climate change through the We Are Still In movement, a coalition of more than 2,500 American leaders outside of the federal government who are still committed to meeting climate goals. WWF's activists met with legislators to voice their support for international conservation funding. And we ensured that Bhutan's vast and wildlife-rich areas remain protected forever through long-term funding.

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3 Extreme Weather Events in 2016 'Could Not Have Happened' Without Climate Change, Scientists Say

Three of 2016's extreme weather events would have been impossible without human-caused climate change, according to new research.

The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society published a collection of papers Wednesday focused on examining the effect of climate change on 27 extreme weather events last year. The research found that climate change was a "significant driver" in 21 of these weather disasters, and that three events—the temperatures making 2016 the hottest year on record, the heat wave over Asia in the spring, and a "blob" of extremely warm water in the Pacific—"could not have happened" without climate change.

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These Butterflies Have Lawyers

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Don't mess with Texas butterflies. They have lawyers.

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The price of offshore wind energy has dropped significantly in recent years. Wikimedia Commons

Netherlands Launches Landmark Zero-Subsidy Wind Power Auction

The Netherlands has launched the world's first “zero subsidy" tender on Friday to build 700 megawatts of offshore wind. Shortly after the announcement, the country already found its first bidder.

Zero subsidy tenders have been labeled as a “game-changer" for the sector because it means that potential bidders would rely solely on wholesale electricity prices without financial aid from the government.

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India is betting on a "green future" through clean energy and low carbon innovation. UK Department for International Development / Flickr

World's Largest Solar-Wind-Storage Plant Planned for India

A wind, solar and battery storage plant is being planned for the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which has faced power woes in recent months due to grid failure.

The renewable energy facility will consist of 120 megawatts of solar, 40 megawatts of wind, 20-40 megawatt-hours of battery backup and will be spread over 1,000 acres in the district of Anantapur.

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