Hydrofracking, Marcellus Shale, wind power, solar power, nuclear power, and renewable energy stories from across upstate New York.

As work continues on the site of the future SolarCity manufacturing center in Buffalo, Senator Charles Schumer is pushing for changes in a solar tax energy tax credit that supporters say will promote more solar power use and secure the jobs expected to come to the giant Riverbend facility.


In a move expected to drive down costs to the industry, Natcore Technology says it has developed  a way to swap silver for aluminum in its solar cells.

Silver is a highly conductive metal, and that efficiency is one reason it has been used in solar cells for nearly 60 years.

When sunlight hits a silicon cell, it generates electrons, and silver has been used to collect these electrons in order to form a useful electric current.


Watch as EPA Regional Administrator, Judith Enck, sits down with Innovation Trail to discuss the Clean Power Plan. Enck talks about:

  • How is New York state positioned to address emission reduction?
  • Will the Plan result in additional costs for consumers?
  • Will the Plan reduce grid reliability?
  • What will the role of renewables be in the new energy mix?
  • What should communities  close to coal-fired power plants do?

(Full video after the jump.)

States have until 2030 to get their carbon emissions down to 32-percent below 2005 levels, under guidelines laid out in the Clean Power Plan announced by President Obama earlier this week.

The regulations have drawn cheers from environmentalists but there’s also plenty of criticism. But Northeast Regional Director, Judith Enck ,says the rules aren’t as draconian as opponents claim.

WATCH: Will the Clean Power Plan threaten the grid's reliability?

Aug 5, 2015
Kate O'Connell/WXXI

Forty percent of America's power comes from coal. On August 3, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency rolled out the Clean Power Plan, a set of new regulations and emissions goals aimed at power plants.

(Video after the jump)