Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

December 10, 2016

Weekend reads: Trump's EPA pick; the world's largest solar plant; Apple Maps pull EV charge data & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from the prior week that you may have missed from around the web. This weekend's reads: 

Clean Energy ‘Moving Forward’ Despite Trump’s E.P.A. Pick, Experts Say (The New York Times): President-elect Donald J. Trump's choice of a fossil-fuel advocate and climate-change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency comes at a moment when the American energy market has already shifted away from the most polluting fossil fuels, driven more by investors and economics than by federal regulations. Those market forces could make Mr. Trump's promise to create at least half a million energy jobs a year in the nation’s coal mines and oil shale fields all but impossible.

The Human Cost of Consol Energy's Shift From Coal to Gas (The Wall Street Journal): Consol Energy Inc.’s shift from coal miner to natural-gas producer has pleased investors and kept the company out of bankruptcy. But it has come with a human cost. Consol employs about a third of the roughly 8,900 workers that were on its payroll at the start of 2013, before the Pittsburgh-area company began selling off its mines, according to securities filings. Three years ago, nearly a third of its workers were United Mine Workers of America members. Now, none are in the union.

Illinois passes huge, bipartisan energy bill, proves democracy still works (Vox): Last week, the Illinois legislature passed a sweeping, comprehensive new energy bill. With the possible exception of California’s recent bill, it might be the most significant state energy legislation passed in the US in decades. The Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814) is notable not only for its scale, but for the process that produced it. 

India's Kamuthi solar plant is now the world's largest, and it was built in record time (Quartz): India's push for solar power is gaining steam. At the end of November, the country turned on the world’s largest solar power plant spanning 10 km sq in Kamuthi in the state of Tamil Nadu. It packs 648 megawatts of power—nearly 100 more than California’s Topaz Solar Farm, which was previously the largest solar plant at a single location. At full capacity, the Kamuthi plant can provide enough electricity to power around 150,000 homes.

Apple Maps adds EV charging station data from ChargePoint (TechCrunch):  Just in time for that cross-country holiday trip, Apple’s bringing some key electric vehicle charging info to its ecosystem, courtesy of ChargePoint. The partnership brings location info for 30,000 charging stations, which will pop up in Maps as badges, along with available pricing and hours of operation.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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