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First Takes: Solyndra's Collapse, London Olympics Renege on Carbon Plan, & More

<p>Solyndra's collapse, the London Olympics' pull-back on a broad carbon offset plan, an IBM shopping spree, and more are in the headlines today.</p>

• Would-Be Solar Star Implodes: The shutdown of California solar cell company Solyndra, whose $535 million federal loan guarantee was the first granted in the Obama administration's stimulus program, is a blow to its government and green supporters -- and predictably has red state critics of the recovery program calling for blood. The San Francisco Chronicle has a detailed report and an ABC News package includes an interview with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.

• London Olympics Dump Carbon Offset Plan: Organizers of the 2012 Olympics now say they won't pursue a broad plan to offset greenhouse gas emissions from the games and travel associated with the competition. The abrupt switch, slammed by a Green Party member of the London Assembly, could save $4.4 million in costs, according to Bloomberg. The news came amid reports of mounting costs for the event.

• IBM Shopping Spree: IBM, ever on the market to add more firepower to its analytics might, plans to buy risk analysis firm Algorithmics for $387 million. Acquisition of the Canadian firm will expand IBM's services for financial institutions. The announcement this morning follows news of Big Blue's plans to buy i2, a UK firm that specializes in providing pattern recognition software for police and the military, according to the Financial Times.

• Feed-In Tariff Dawns in Land of the Rising Sun: In a boon for development of green power, Japan's parliament approved legislation that guarantees above-market rates for wind, solar and geothermal energy, according to Bloomberg. The feed-in tariff goes into effect in July 2012 and is expected to spur rapid development of clean energy in the country that is still reeling from the Fukushima nuclear crisis that followed an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.

• Green Light for 'Bison' Wind Farm: Minnesota regulators granted key approval for a $157 million wind farm in North Dakota that would bring more green power to Minnesota customers. The 105-megawatt Bison 2 project would be built beside a sister project (yep, called Bison 1) that's now under construction. Work on Bison 2, which is expected to feature 35 Siemens direct-drive wind turbines, could begin as early as 2012, says the Wind Energy News. Minnesota has a goal of sourcing 25 percent of its energy with renewables by 2025.

• And the Best Couple Award Goes to ... : Retailer Marks & Spencer, the sustainability proponent whose green vision is called Plan A, and Oxfam were named the "Most Admired Corporate-NGO Partnership 2011" for a second consecutive year by the annual C&E Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer report (pdf), notes the Civil Society.

Image Credit -- 2010 photo courtesy of Solyndra.

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