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From Rooftops to Algae Pools: Orlando’s Vision for Carbon-Free Energy

ORLANDO, Fla. — This city has long been a leading tourist destination. Now, it is vying for another distinction: to be a pioneer in weaning itself from carbon-based energy.You can see its aspirations in the thousands of ponds all over the city that collect the runoff from Central Florida’s frequent downpours. Floating solar panels rise and fall in the water, sending power to the grid.There is also evidence along city streets, where solar panels sit atop streetlights to power them instead of using the electric grid. About 18,000 of the 25,000 in the city already have been converted to high-efficiency light-emitting diodes.Even algae pools may play a…

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After a Fiasco, California Aims Again at Remaking the Power Grid

“This is not either-or, it’s not local versus regional — it’s getting the best out of both,” said Ralph Cavanagh, staff lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council and a longtime proponent of the measure. “You will use the existing system more efficiently.”For example, at certain times of the year, California produces more solar and wind energy than it can use, and must pay other states to take it to avoid overloading the system and causing blackouts. A regional grid would enable better coordination with other generation sources without additional payments.As for the potential for energy companies in coal states to send more power from fossil fuels…

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Trump’s Solar Tariffs Cause a Scramble in the Industry

“I think that any action that brings new investment to the United States is welcome,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “But the tariffs have slowed down the growth of our industry. The growth has been muted, and that means jobs are not being created.” Her group said the tariffs could cost as many as 23,000 American jobs this year.Photo A production operator at the SolarWorld factory in Hillsboro, Ore., in January. SolarWorld filed for bankruptcy twice in the last year because it couldn’t compete against foreign prices. Now it is being acquired. Credit Natalie Behring/Reuters In addition, the 30 percent tariffs…

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Can a City Ditch the Power Company? Not Without a Fight

Critics of the San Diego plan — backed by an affiliate of the local utility, the San Diego Gas and Electric Company — have started a political-style ad campaign on social media, raising concern that taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars if the program went wrong.They have made the case that major changes to California’s energy policies gave rise to an energy crisis in 2000 and 2001 that caused rolling blackouts and soaring power bills. And they formed an alliance, the Clean Air Coalition, that includes leaders of organizations funded by the power company, among them a group of African-American pastors.That’s when the…

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