U.S. emissions fall to two-decade low in shift from coal

EMISSIONS: As utilities shift away from coal in favor of solar, wind and natural gas, U.S. carbon emissions have slipped to their lowest level since 1994, according to a new report. (Bloomberg)

SUPERCOMPUTER: The U.S. Department of Energy will give Argonne National Laboratory $200 million for a high-performance supercomputer to develop more powerful and efficient batteries and solar panels. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: Denver-based Western Energy Partners is moving forward with a 750-megawatt clean-fueled natural gas power plant meant to help replace aging coal plants in New Mexico. (Denver Business Journal)

JOBS: Missouri’s clean energy employment grew 4.8 percent in 2014 to almost 40,000, and that figure is expected to grow another 7.1 percent this year, according to a new report. (St.

Algae tubes at the University of Dayton Research Institute. Photo courtesy of University of Dayton.

University of Dayton divests dirty energy

The move by Ohio’s largest Catholic university is one of the latest steps in a growing movement to use divestment as a way to address climate change and promote social justice. The University of Dayton is first divesting its domestic holdings in large coal and fossil fuel companies. After that, it will unload various foreign investments and then restrict future investments in private equity or hedge funds involving fossil fuels.

Detroit streets will get brighter with LED lights. Photo by Jellaluna via Creative Commons.

LED street lighting kindles interest in Michigan

LED street lights are spreading worldwide, providing smaller carbon footprints, brighter streets and jobs in places like Detroit, which has installed its 10,000th LED street light, putting it ahead of schedule on a plan for 65,000 new such lights through 2016. Other municipalities statewide are also moving to adopt LED street lights, thanks to federal supports and an optional energy efficiency program providing rebates throughout most of the state.