Energy Trend Tracker: Warren Buffett says he’d like to double down on the $15 billion he already has invested in clean energy.

Jay Owen Green Prosperity

Time again for another summary update of items we’ve added to our Energy Trend Tracker <> . There doesn’t appear to be any slowing on momentum in stories that continue to show the superiority of clean energy over coal. Since our last update in late April, here’s a capsule of some the best items illustrating the changing energy landscape. Hopefully, they’ll help you in your efforts to spread the news.

On clean energy:

  • Warren Buffett says he’d like to double down on the $15 billion he already has invested in clean energy.
  • Barclay’s downgrades the entire utility sector based on the threat posed by widespread adoption of solar and storage to the centralized utility model.
  • Analysis by the folks at NREL shows state renewable energy standards have minimal costs – less than 1 percent of retail electricity rates– beyond what would have been incurred without an RPS.
  • Global wind turbine installations are projected to more than double by 2020, led by China.
  • Approval of the first-ever deal for windpower in Georgia, which Georgia Power said will bring immediate savings to customers.
  • Projections by CitiGroup analysts that renewable energy will become the backbone of new electric generating capacity within the next eight years.
  • A 320 MW solar project planned for southern Utah is expected to generate 500 construction jobs and pump $66 million in property and income taxes into the state’s economy over the next 20 years.

On the continued rough road for coal:

  • Citigroup forecasts dark days for coal, with the “structural decline” in coal markets making investments a risky proposition.
  • Institutional shareholders sue Duke Energy and its board in May, accusing them of exposing investors to billions of dollars in liabilities by mismanaging 33 coal-ash waste ponds.
  • Based on their continued poor performance, stock analysts say it’s time to start thinking about the possibility of some coal companies filing for bankruptcy.
  • The governors of both Washington and Oregon state they want their states to be coal free and that they will do everything in their power to keep proposed coal export terminals from being built.
  • Duke Energy loses $97 million during the first quarter of 2014, much of which was blamed on $1.4 billion in lost value of its coal-burning power plants.
  • Stanford became the first major university to divest itself – and its $18.7 billion endowment – from any coal-related companies.
  • Montanans will be paying more on their electricity bills to cover extra energy costs related to a breakdown that left part of Colstrip coal-burning plant out of commission for half of 2013.

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