Chinese solar-panel maker Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) is set to become the first renewable energy company in history to sponsor the FIFA World Cup.

The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) is strongly promoting a long-term solar energy incentive plan, according to SustainableBusiness.com. With a goal of meeting, by 2015, 45 percent of its electricity demand through renewables and improvements in energy efficiency, New York has a long way to go.

It simply does not get any better than this: Solar energy. Hawaii. Beer. Via Hawaii 24/7 comes news of solar-powered beer in Hawaii. The Kona Brewing Company said it signed a contract for a 229-kW solar PV system at its Kailua-Kona brewery and pub on Hawaii’s Big Island. By getting solar, Kona joins the likes of New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Company, two Colorado breweries that have recently installed solar panels. Kona’s system is expected to generate an amount of electricity equal to about 60 percent the facility’s demand.

In related news, CSMonitor reports that Hawaii is on track to meet its renewable energy goals.

For you Californians out there, NOW is the time to take action to ensure steady growth in the state’s solar energy resources. (See Margaret Collin’s post below for more info on the what, when and why.)

The Obama Administration’s proposed 2011 federal budget sets aside about one-sixth of the Department of Energy’s $28 billion budget for clean energy technologies, via Recharge Energy News.

In other news from Washington, the Atlantic’s Nicole Allen reports on the growing discord over the administration’s proposal of $36 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction of new nuclear power plants. In a nutshell, groups and individuals are worried about (1) ballooning deficit spending, and/or (2) terrorist-related security concerns. Good pull quote: “Supported by tax credits and subsidies, our new energy policy is a lot like our old energy policy, with a different host of recipients.” This time, it’s nuclear, not oil, that’s lucking out.

Finally, several months back we reported on a $515 million plan in New Jersey that envisioned, among other things, utility poles outfitted with a solar panel each. It looks like the state’s largest utility, PSE&G, is making progress on what will be the largest project of its kind in the world.