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Renewable Energy
A home with a Powerwall 2 and solar panels. Tesla

World's Largest Virtual Power Plant Coming to Australia in Deal With Tesla

South Australia—already home to the world's largest battery—will soon host the world's largest virtual solar plant under a landmark plan from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the state government.

The plan involves installing a 5-kilowatt solar system and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery on roughly 50,000 homes across the state over the next four years. The setup will be installed at no charge to the households and financed through the sale of electricity.

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Will Shell Turn From Big Oil Into Big Energy?

By Andy Rowell

On the surface, the good times are back for Big Oil. Later this week, Shell is expected to unveil its biggest profits in a decade since the oil price crash.

As the oil price recovers to over $65 a barrel last year, so do Shell's fortunes, with reported earnings of nearly $16 billion.

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Renewable Energy
Storage solutions, such as Tesla's Powerwall domestic battery, are "moving from the grid to the garage to the landing at home." Tesla Motors

Battery Storage Revolution Could 'Sound the Death Knell for Fossil Fuels'

If we want to accelerate the world's renewable energy transition, we'll have to modernize the electric grid and we'll need much better batteries. Just look at Germany, which generates so much clean energy on particularly windy and sunny days that electricity prices are often negative.

Sure this is good news for a German person's wallet, but as the New York Times noted, "Germany's power grid, like most others around the world, has not yet adapted to the increasing amounts of renewable energy being produced."

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Renewable Energy
China's State Power Investment Corp operates the São Simão dam in Brazil. NASA / ISS

China Leading on World’s Clean Energy Investment, Says Report

By Jocelyn Timperley

China is by far the largest force in global clean energy development and its firms are increasingly looking abroad for opportunities, a new report says.

The report, released Tuesday by the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), details the rising importance of China's firms and investors for low-carbon projects outside the country.

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NOAA

2017 Year in Review

As we look back on the most noteworthy environmental stories of 2017, one cannot help but start with the extreme weather that has caused so much destruction to so many around the globe. And with that, the year brought heightened concern for protecting our planet with focused attention on issues like renewable energy, electric vehicles and plastic pollution. And while 2017 was also marked by challenges with the U.S. pulling out of the Paris agreement and making other questionable environmental policy changes, we all enter a new year with the ability to make positive change.

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Renewable Energy
Tesla's massive Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Tesla's Massive Australian Battery Responds to Coal Power Outages in Milliseconds

Tesla's massive lithium-ion battery storage facility, which was designed to feed South Australia's unstable power grid, is already proving itself by responding to power outages within milliseconds.

The system—the largest of its kind on planet Earth—was tested twice just this month. According to CleanTechnica, on Dec. 14, the Loy Yang coal power plant in the neighboring state of Victoria suddenly went offline. Remarkably, the Hornsdale Power Reserve battery system (the Tesla system's official name) kicked in within 140 milliseconds and injected 100 megawatts of power into the grid.

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Trump Watch

Energy Innovation Funds Were Illegally Withheld by Trump Administration

The Trump administration violated the law by withholding funds from an Energy Department program that supported research and development of advanced energy technologies, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on Tuesday.

The GAO said the Trump administration had violated the Impoundment Control Act by not spending $91 million that was intended for the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Administration officials planned to cancel half of the unspent $91 million and use the other half to shut down the program.

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Renewable Energy
Austin's Pecan Street Project. Pecan Street Inc.

Rooftop Solar and EVs Save Water and Cut Pollution: Better Use of Data Will Optimize the Benefits

By Beia Spiller

Thanks to improvements in technology, it's easier than ever to be green.

Solar panels and electric vehicles (EVs) are two prime examples of technologies that can help people minimize their environmental footprint, without sacrificing comfort or having to radically change their daily behavior. But the question still remains: How much of an environmental benefit do these technologies actually produce? And, are there actions that owners of these technologies can take to minimize their pollution footprint even more?

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Renewable Energy
Tesla's Powerpack system paired with solar, like the one shown here in Hawaii, helps provide sustainable energy around the clock. Tesla

Tesla Installs Six More Battery Systems in Puerto Rico in 'Humanitarian Effort'

After deploying a solar and battery system to a children's hospital in San Juan this October, Tesla has installed six more similar systems to help power the hurricane-wrecked islands of Vieques and Culebra in Puerto Rico.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Governor Ricardo Rossello's office said that Tesla installed the new units as “a humanitarian effort."

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