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Green Business Roundup – December 23rd 2011

Paying for Clean Energy Investments Through On-Bill Financing

At CleanTechnica, Zachary Shahan writes about on-bill financing and the options it provides for paying for energy efficiency.  Basically, energy companies help fund energy efficiency investments which are then paid back over time with regular utility payments.  There are many advantages in what looks like a real win-win idea.  Since the improved efficiency will lower bills, there may be little or no increase in customer payments to pay off the investment.  From the utility’s point of view, it has the advantage that on-bill financing tends to have very low default rates, so it is seen as a safe bet.
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Facebook ‘Unfriends’ Coal and ‘Likes’ Clean Power

This one was all over the Internet but we spotted it first from the UK’s Guardian newspaper.  Facebook is moving from coal to clean energy.  The move follows a Greenpeace report and campaign lobbying for a change in Facebook’s energy practices, given the significant impact they have.
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BP to Close Solar Unit

BP has announced that it is to close its solar unit due to unprofitability.  The solar market is facing price pressures and rising competition and experiencing quite a shake up in recent times.  The Bloomberg coverage points out that this announcement appears to buck a trend of several major investments in solar in recent times.
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EU Court Rules on Carbon Emissions for International Airlines

Airlines flying to and from the European Union will be charged for carbon emissions from January 1st, 2012.  This is likely to set up a bit of a spat with the US.
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EPA Issues Limits on Mercury Emissions

The NY Times covers new standards released by the EPA to limit emissions of mercury, arsenic and other poisonous chemicals from the burning of fossil fuels.  The EPA expects these measures to return economic and health benefits that will more than offset their costs of $9.6 billion a year.  You can be sure that some people won’t see it that way.
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US Administration Approves Two Huge Renewable Energy Projects

Cleantechnica reports on approval from the Obama Administration for 2 huge green energy projects.  The Tule Wind Project and the Sonoma Solar Energy Project will reportedly create enough energy  for nearly 150,000 homes.
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