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Renewable energy industry news roundup: May 9–15, 2016

Nine companies in the RE100 reach their goal of operating on 100 percent renewable energy, Facebook and Microsoft launch a national effort to make purchasing renewable energy easier, and the Better Buildings Challenge delivers $1.3 billion in savings. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup:

Students Learn to Install Solar Panels for Uganda School

Two Cherry Creek High School students, along with their teacher, are bringing solar panels to an orphanage in Uganda, with some help from Ecotech Institute. Solar energy technology instructors and students from Ecotech Institute are helping the high school students learn about the solar panel system so they can install it themselves when they travel to the orphanage in June.

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These Companies Now Run on 100% Renewable Power

RE100 is a collaboration of businesses which launched in 2014, set up by non-governmental organizations The Climate Group and CDP. Members of the collaboration committed converting their operations to 100 percent renewable energy. According to its 2016 report, nine of the companies have already achieved this goal, including Microsoft, Pearson and Biogen.

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Facebook, Microsoft Aim to Shift the Nation to Green Energy

Facebook, Microsoft and environmental groups have started a national effort to drive utilities to make purchasing renewable energy easier, which they say is surprisingly difficult in most states. The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, or REBA, was created to lead the effort as a federation of groups, and primarily big technology companies, seek to make renewable energy more available in all states. Microsoft, one of the principal members of the group, will hold a summit next week at its headquarters in Washington state, officially beginning the effort.

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Better Buildings Challenge Delivers $1.3 billion in Savings

Latest results from the federal Better Buildings Challenge show that the initiative has delivered $1.3 billion in savings and that participating businesses are decreasing their energy use on average by over 2 percent each year. Through Better Buildings, the Department of Energy aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade.

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