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A Snapshot of Germany's Electricity Mix: Solar Capacity Reigns, but Coal Generation Sustains

December 26, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
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Germany Energy Sources

Germany was one of the few countries in the world to take a no-excuses approach to developing renewable energy by creating a highly ambitious set of policies to promote localized, distributed generation. In many ways, the policies were a resounding success. But Germany is also facing some hard realities.[read more]

Power Sector Employment Declines, Except for Renewable Electricity Generators

December 26, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Changes in Energy Sector Employment

The electric power generation sector lost more than 5,800 jobs from January 2011 through June 2014 despite a gain of nearly 1,800 non-hydro renewable electricity generation jobs, according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[read more]

How Dangerous is LNG?

December 26, 2014 by Edward Dodge

Liquid Natural Gas Safety

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is often regarded as extremely dangerous and toxic with container ships called floating bombs. But is this perception accurate? The historical reality is that LNG has the best safety record of all common fuel types and is completely non-toxic.[read more]

National Program Aims to Expand Minority Participation in Energy Sector

December 26, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Energy Industry and Minority Employment

 

It's no secret that minorities are underrepresented in the energy field. In the United States, Hispanics, African Americans, and American Indians make up 24 percent of the overall workforce, yet only account for nine percent of the country’s science and engineering workforce.[read more]

Good Energy Reading for the Beach?

December 25, 2014 by Catherine Wolfram
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Energy Beach Reading

Here are a couple books I’ve come across or that colleagues have recommended. Any thoughts, loyal blog readers? If you’ve read these books, which would you recommend? Any others to add to the list?[read more]

Texas Grid Regulator Cites Very Little Burden in Complying with EPA's Clean Power Plan

December 25, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Texas and the Clean Power Plan

Well, it didn’t take long before the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released, at the request of Texas’ very political Public Utilities Commission, another report about the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rules designed to protect public health.[read more]

From Court Battles to International Expansion, a Look at the State of Demand Response

December 25, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Last December, we got it right when forecasting demand response trends for this year, but we did not foresee one major hit to the market: the decision by a U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate FERC Order 745. This year, we'll look at what mattered this year and how those factors will carry over into next year.[read more]

Can Electric Vehicles Be 'Environmental Villains'?

December 25, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
3

EVs and the Environment

Researchers found in a new study assessing the life cycle air quality impacts on human health of 10 alternatives to conventional gasoline vehicles “that electric vehicles (EVs) powered by electricity from natural gas or wind, water, or solar power are best for improving air quality."[read more]

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Solar Panel Maintenance Poses Unforeseen Challenge in Developing World Electrification

December 24, 2014 by Adam Hashian
10

Solar Panel Maintenance in the Developing World

It would be an affordable and practical solution for new electrical generation installations in developing nations to be fueled by low-carbon sources. But there are many challenges with solar electrification, including installation and maintenance, infrastructure, and financing.[read more]

With US Nuclear in Decline, Scientists and Analysts Urge Support for Next-Generation Technologies

December 24, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
21

Even with countries like China and India looking to boost their low-carbon energy supplies with nuclear, project developers around the world have faced long delays, cost overruns, and strong competition from natural gas and distributed resources, as well as policies designed to phase nuclear out entirely.[read more]

Untapped Incentives for Energy Efficiency Projects

December 24, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Energy Project Incentives and Support

As an EDF Climate Corps fellow back in 2013, one task that was of particular interest to me was figuring out how to help my host organization fund, in whole or in part, its efficiency upgrades. In my research, the most unique funding source I found was the energy efficiency forward capacity market.[read more]

Lima COP Negotiations Recap: Interesting Implications for the CDR Field

December 24, 2014 by Noah Deich

COP and CDR

On the bright side of the COP 20 outcome, some commentators are still more optimistic than ever that a meaningful deal will be reached in the next COP negotiations in Paris in 2015. This optimism springs from a proposed plan to have individual nations to develop their own emission-reduction commitments.[read more]

Coal Ash and Fracking Fluid: Two More Victories for Environmental Protection

December 24, 2014 by Steven Cohen
1

While America recently elected a new and possibly anti-environmental Congress, we are still ending 2014 on a high note with two environmental victories. Both originated in the executive branch of government--one in our national government and the other in the New York state government.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: On Approaching an Oil Price Floor

December 24, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Oil Price Collapse

It appears the largest oil price decline since the 2008 economic and financial crises could be reaching a bottom. Maybe. Benchmark global oil futures prices rebounded recently partially due to comments made by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi that appear to have, at least temporarily, calmed the market.[read more]

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Mining the Climate Data

December 24, 2014 by Jim Baird
14

Climate Information and Analysis

It is confounding to understand how otherwise highly technically literate individuals can be collectively blind to the climate record. The bonanza that can be derived from mining that record is the most significant and beneficial legacy we can leave our children.[read more]

India, Climate, and the Coal Conundrum

December 24, 2014 by Lewis Perelman
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India Energy Needs and Growth

The gridlock in another round of UN climate talks stems from fundamentally conflicting interests. The only effective solution will come not from the regulatory approach the UN has emphasized but rather from the technical fix: developing breakthrough technologies that can provide cheap clean energy alternatives.[read more]