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Breaking Free of Big Oil: Despite Oil Company Opposition, California is Moving Toward a Cleaner Future

August 26, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

California and Big Oil

The results of California’s latest cap-and-trade auction were released, marking another milestone in the state’s landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32, which put limits on harmful climate pollution. But playing out in the background, the oil industry’s long-running campaign against AB 32 continues to escalate.[read more]

Upholding FERC Order 1000 Unlocks Efficiency and Spurs Clean Energy Solutions

August 26, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

FERC Order 1000 Effects

Because the power grid crosses state and utility boundaries, a coordinated planning approach to electricity transmission (that is, moving electricity from one place to another) is more efficient and cost effective than multiple entities planning in isolation.[read more]

Failed Fuel Cell Maker Lilliputian, Cleantech VC, and Due Diligence

August 26, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

Investment, Technology, and Risk

Failed MIT spinout and consumer fuel cell startup Lilliputian Systems faces the sell-off of its assets and IP after more than twelve years of development and hype, $150 million in VC investment and dozens of press releases attesting to the strength of its portable charging technology.[read more]

Nearly 100% of New Generating Capacity This Year is Advanced Energy

August 26, 2014 by Lexie Briggs

Advanced Energy and Generating Capacity

Advanced energy is on the march. A new report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows that, of all the new electric generating capacity installed in the U.S. since January, more than 97 percent was advanced energy.[read more]

The Evolution of 'Just-in-Time' for Utilities

August 26, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

The electric utility sector has been quite successful at managing power on a just-in-time basis. It had to be just-in-time, because since the days of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, there were very few cost-effective ways to store energy, and those options were mostly limited to solutions like pumped hydro.[read more]

New Brunswick Begins Ingenious Fracking Research

August 26, 2014 by Jessica Kennedy

New Study on Fracking and Water

 

In a brilliant initiative that I wish was implemented sooner, New Brunswick is going to investigate water quality in locations where hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations to extract oil and natural gas from shale are likely to happen – before they happen.[read more]

Energy Reform Could Increase Mexico's Long-Term Oil Production by 75%

August 26, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy
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Mexico Energy Production

On August 11, 2014, Mexico's president signed into law new legislation that will open its oil and natural gas markets to foreign direct investment, effectively ending the seventy-five-year-old monopoly of state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).[read more]

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Who Says Solar Energy Doesn't Make Sense in Virginia?

August 25, 2014 by Jim Pierobon

Virginia and Solar Energy

“People like to be part of something positive,” said Aaron Sutch, Program Director of VA SUN, an offshoot of Community Power Network in Washington, DC. “The social aspect of participating as a community in a technology that enables self-reliance while helping the environment is a real driver.”[read more]

Energy Experts Unplugged, Volume 10

August 25, 2014 by America's Power Plan

Energy Expert Interview

In a new study released at the summer conference of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan Tierney and Vice Presidents Paul Hibbard and Andrea Okie concluded that states are already well positioned to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.[read more]

Climate Change-Related Risks and Costs Exist Today

August 25, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Climate Change Risk and Cost

The risk categories with climate change need to be distinguished: first, risks based on historical data tend to occur with some degree of frequency and therefore can be expected and accounted for. Second, risks that are utterly unexpected and exhibit sudden changes with negative impacts.[read more]

US Coal Exports Do Not Offset Massive Emissions Reductions from Natural Gas

August 25, 2014 by Alex Trembath

Coal, Natural Gas, and Emissions

In the end, achieving deep reductions in emissions will require that gas must be a bridge to lower-carbon energy sources, not an endpoint. But for now, emissions are declining and gas is displacing coal, which until recently, virtually everyone agreed was the most important climate mitigation objective.[read more]

Microgrid at Italian University Generates Savings, Knowledge

August 25, 2014 by Chris King

Microgrid Savings and Research

Autonomy and flexibility can support energy resilience, while also benefitting the power grid. This February, the Savona campus of the University of Genoa, Italy, opened a campus-wide microgrid. It combines both electrical and thermal energy resources, as well as thermal and battery storage.[read more]

Climate Interest, But No Action in the 113th Congress

August 25, 2014 by Jason Ye

Congress and Climate

The 113th Congress is on track to be one of the least productive and most divided in history. No legislation explicitly mentioning climate change has been enacted into law, but more bills and resolutions related to climate change have been introduced in this Congress than in the previous one.[read more]

The Catch-22 of Energy Storage

August 25, 2014 by Barry Brook
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Energy Storage Issues

Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power. There is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization.[read more]

Building Smart Cities in India

August 25, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

India Smart Cities

In his Independence Day speech from Old Delhi’s famed Red Fort, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to replace the country’s 64-year-old Planning Commission with a new central government think-tank led by a mix of experts.[read more]

Which Solar Company Boasts the Highest Market Cap?

August 24, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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Coming in with a $6.92 billion market cap (the total dollar market value of the company's outstanding shares) is First Solar, the cadmium-telluride thin-film solar panel builder and project engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company.[read more]

Natural Gas Serves a Small, but Growing, Portion of China's Total Energy Demand

August 24, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

China and Natural Gas

China relies heavily on domestic coal (and to a lesser extent oil) to meet rising energy consumption. To reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, the Chinese government is attempting to replace some of the country's coal and oil use with natural gas.[read more]