Energy News Recap: Record Energy Efficiency Investments In 2011, Chevron Still Must Pay $18bn Rainforest Destruction Fine

Here's what we reading today but the original authors said it so darn well we don't have any more commentary...

$18 Billion Dollar Ruling Against Chevron For Despoiling Ecuador's Rainforest Upheld
After Chevron failed to make the public apology specified in the original ruling against it for causing damage to Ecuador's rainforest and for health damages its citizens (the damage itself was done by Texaco but Chevron bought them), its fine jumped from $8.6 billion to $18 billion. Chevron was none too pleased and appealed the ruling, but an Ecuadorean judge said the oil giant still needs to pay up, Reuters reports.

On to some more pleasant news...

Chicago Power Grid Gets Modernized, And Smart
Gigaom brings the news that Chicago utility ComEd is investing "$2.6 billion into modernizing its power grid, including building out a smart grid using Silver Spring Network's technology, and creating thousands of jobs in the process."

US States Made Record Energy Efficiency Investments in 2011
A new report from the Institute for Electric Efficiency shows that US states increased their investments in energy efficiency programs—remember, the cheapest clean energy "source"—in 2011 by 25%, above 2010 levels. In total, $6.8 billion was invested in energy efficiency. California led the charge (big surprise...) with roughly $1.54 billion invested; New York came in second with just under $1.1 invested. Read more at Think Progress

310 MW Kenyan Wind Power Project Given Go Ahead
We've followed Kenya's Lake Turkana Wind Power Project for some time; it is after all the largest wind power project in the pipeline in sub-Saharan Africa. The latest news is the the 310 MW, $873.7 million dollar project can begin construction, with electricity production expected to begin in 2013. Once completed it is expected to provide roughly one-third of Kenya's electricity, augmenting the nation's hydropower production.

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