US Wind Installations Pick Up in 2014, but Industry Faces Yet Another Cliff

Bloomberg: U.S. Wind Power Quadruples in 2014 as Texas Leads Installations

Installations of wind turbines in the U.S. more than quadrupled last year led by growth in Texas, as developers took advantage of an expiring federal tax credit, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Developers completed 4,850 megawatts of wind farms, up from 1,087 megawatts that went into service in 2013, the Washington-based trade group said today in a statement. More than 1,100 megawatts were installed in Texas. The U.S. now has more than 65 gigawatts of wind power capacity, second only to China’s 96 gigawatts. At year-end there was more than 12,700 megawatts of capacity under construction, the majority in Texas.

Financial Post: We Are About to Find Out How Much Pain the Oil Crash Has Unleashed

The world’s biggest oil producers, historically resilient with their mix of energy exploration, refining and chemical manufacturing, are about to reveal how they are weathering the great oil crash.

Financial results will start trickling in Thursday for Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc from a fourth quarter that saw the price of oil drop from $115 a barrel in June to below $50 a barrel.

This could be the oil bust that breaks the pattern that integration always leaves you with one or two legs to stand on.

R&D Magazine: Researchers Work on New ‘Bulletproof’ Battery

New battery technology from the Univ. of Michigan should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013.

The innovation is an advanced barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery.

Made with nanofibers extracted from Kevlar, the tough material in bulletproof vests, the barrier stifles the growth of metal tendrils that can become unwanted pathways for electrical current.

Washington Post: Can Your Personality Explain How You Feel About the Keystone XL Pipeline?

On Monday, Senate Republicans came up short — temporarily, anyway — in their push to pass legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Democrats successfully filibustered the bill, but if a number of senators had not been absent, that strategy might have failed.

It’s the latest development in a saga featuring, well, unending developments — but if you only monitor the surface of politics, you may miss the tectonic plates moving underneath. Or at least, so suggests a recent study in the journal Environment and Behavior, which seeks to examine how someone’s personality — a feature that tends to be fairly stable over the lifetime and is likely rooted at least in part in genetic influences — may contribute to the development of a particular view of environmental issues.

Des Moines Register: Iowa Could Be a Battleground for Ethanol in 2016

Iowa will be Battleground Ethanol in the 2016 presidential race if a couple of seasoned political strategists have their way.

Their underlying message: Candidates who don’t support a federal renewable fuels rule have a history of losing races in corn-intense Iowa.

A coalition of Iowans led by Democrat Derek Eadon and Republican Eric Branstad intends to spend the next few months bringing presidential hopefuls up to speed on why they believe the Renewable Fuel Standard is crucial to the economy in Iowa and the nation. After that, they’ll make sure Iowa voters know which side each candidate has taken.

via Greentech Media: Headlines

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