Brazil World Cup
Taylon Chandler

Brazil Makes Headlines for Energy and More in Friday Fastbreak

Brazil in the Headlines for More Than the World Cup

All eyes were on Brazil this week as the country kicked off the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but it’s not just soccer people were talking about. Out of the 12 stadiums in use for the duration of the tournament, four have a combined solar capacity greater than 11 of the competing countries. Overall, the stadiums have a solar electricity capacity of 5.4 MW.

When it comes to hydropower, however, Brazil is struggling. A drought has caused electricity blackouts across much of the country’s northern region, while extensive rainfall in the south has plagued areas hosting the World Cup games. Brazil relies on hydropower for more than 75 percent of its electricity generation and is currently in the process of building the third largest dam in the world. The country is making an effort to combat decreased hydropower generation capacity by replacing its clean energy resources with liquefied natural gas and limiting the energy supply in areas not hosting the World Cup.

Senate Energy Committee Approves Pro-KXL Bill

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12-10 to pass a bill forcing the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, but don’t expect a final decision any time soon. It is quite unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will bring the bill to a vote in the full Senate. This is just the latest in a nearly six-year battle to approve the KXL.

Energy committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu cosponsored the bill with Sen. John Hoeven, and she vowed not to stop fighting until the bill received a full Senate vote.

“Today was the latest skirmish, and, unlike some, I’m not giving up until it is built. I’ve been in a lot of tough fights over the years, and the ones that matter the most are the toughest.”

Elon Musk Makes Another Move to Boost American Solar Power Reputation

Just days after announcing that Telsa was opening its patents for public use, owner Elon Musk was linked to another major clean energy story. SolarCity, a company on which Musk is the chairman, acquired Silevo, an innovative solar panel production company, and is in the works to construct one of the largest solar panel manufacturing plants in New York.

This announcement comes in the wake of reports that China’s solar panel production is not as green as many consumers would like to think. If all goes according to plan, Musk said the plant will be able to produce enough solar panels to provide 10 gigawatts of solar power per year.

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