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The Secret Art of Solar Finance

July 22, 2014 by Nigel Morris

If you're like me, practical with a mild hint of creative mania, then understanding how the widening array of solar financing products work can be tricky at best, boring at its worst. But no one in Australian solar can overlook the growth rates and new business opportunities that solar finance is bringing.[read more]

Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail

July 22, 2014 by Nick Blandford

Efficiency Failures

So you’ve decided to take the initiative to achieve sustained energy savings at your organization. By addressing every source of electricity consumption your goal can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time. But for every goal, there’s a wrong and right way to reach it.[read more]

Third-Party Financing Was Solar's Catalyst. Can Energy Efficiency Find the Same Model?

July 22, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Energy Efficiency and Third-Party Investment

Energy efficiency professionals are increasingly looking to the success of third-party financing in the solar industry as a model for attracting large investors. Is it working? If a new survey of hundreds of project developers is any indication, the efficiency industry still hasn't found financing momentum.[read more]

"At Some Point of Time We Will Go With This Proposal" - Despite Opponents, Sense of Inevitability Grows at Talks on Curbing the Super-Warming HFCs

July 22, 2014 by David Doniger

Countries jousted again over proposals to replace the super-potent heat-trapping chemicals called hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol, the world’s most successful environmental treaty. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait emerged as the most vociferous opponents.[read more]

Steam from the Sun

July 22, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Steam and New Materials

A new and innovative material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure, which consists of a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam, is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water.[read more]

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Why Does Politics Keep Getting in the Way of Pricing Carbon? - Part 1

July 21, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Carbon Pricing and Politics

If you ask an economist the best way to combat climate change, you are very likely to get a pretty simple answer: put a price on carbon. Tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. Make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive.[read more]

Condensate Pries Open the Oil Export Lid

July 21, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles
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Last month we learned that the Commerce Department gave two US companies permission to export condensate that would otherwise be trapped here under a 1970s-vintage ban on oil exports. This validates the view that the administration has the statutory authority necessary to allow such exports.[read more]

A Shift and a Slowdown: A Look Behind China’s 1H Oil and Gas Data

July 21, 2014 by Kate Rosow Chrisman

China Energy Data

Data and information for the first half of the year is trickling in on the world’s largest energy consumer. In this post, we take a deep look and examine the overall trends behind the numbers. Crude imports may be up, but that’s only half the story.[read more]

The Complicated World of Methane

July 21, 2014 by David Hone
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As governments struggle to find practical routes forward with positive outcomes for CO2 mitigation, attention is turning to dealing with other greenhouse gases, particularly methane. A number of methane emission initiatives are now underway or being planned.[read more]

Global Ranking for Energy Efficiency: US Near Bottom, Germany Near Top

July 21, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
2

Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Many industry observers will not be surprised to find out that Germany outranks the U.S. in terms of energy efficiency, according to the second International Energy Efficiency Scorecard. But it’s not just the Germans that best the U.S. in this category.[read more]

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Dismantling the Utility Model is the Fastest Path to a Cleaner Electricity Infrastructure

July 20, 2014 by Thomas Conroy
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Utility Market Disruption

In 1882 the Pearl Street Station became the first central electrical generation plant in the U.S.. In 1935 FDR labeled the power companies which were then providing electricity to increasing numbers of Americans “evil”, which marked the beginning of regulated and price controlled electric utilities.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'This has not Been Done Before,' Energy & Tech Increasingly Collide

July 20, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Energy and Tech Crunch

As energy technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, the distinction between pure-play energy companies and technology companies becomes increasingly blurred. Companies are adding computer scientists and other specialists to their pay rolls like never before.[read more]

President's Climate Resiliency Actions Include Risk-Mapping Tool

July 20, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

President Obama announced a series of climate preparedness initiatives aimed at strengthening the nation’s efforts to prepare for sea level rise and more frequent extreme weather events. Among this array of initiatives is a $13.1 million mapping project, called the 3D Elevation Program.[read more]

Resiliency Through Microgrids; EVs and PV: 'Great Tastes that Taste Great Together'

July 20, 2014 by Lexie Briggs
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Microgrids and Resiliency

 

The electrical grid is an aging beast, cobbled together from disparate pieces to form the infrastructure on which all modern life depends. Sometimes it seems like we are teetering at the edge of disaster, a single storm or terrorist attack away from a devastating outage. Can resiliency save us?[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'There’s Been a Monopoly on the Fuel System in this Country'

July 19, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Energy and Ownership

Utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel is a large component of Fuel Freedom’s agenda. The recent surge in US natural gas production and the commodity’s current price discount to oil and oil products like gasoline and diesel has made natural gas vehicles a popular concept in recent years.[read more]

California Ready to Fund the Next Wave of Microgrids Paired With Renewables and Storage

July 19, 2014 by Jeff St. John

California Grid Funding

Microgrids -- autonomous yet connected islands of energy generation and control -- could be important building blocks of a truly resilient, solar and wind-integrated power grid. Someday. But the vast majority of the microgrids in the U.S. use traditional combined heat and power and fossil-fuel-fired generation.[read more]

Obama Administration Recognizes the Climate-Resiliency Benefits of Green Infrastructure

July 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

As we‘ve seen play out in communities across the U.S., the impacts of climate change are already here. Multiple wildfires are currently burning in Western states, California’s drought is only intensifying, and extreme storms have caused flooding and heavy winds from the East Coast to the Rockies.[read more]

House Spending Bills Come Up Short; FERC Commissioners Finally Confirmed

July 19, 2014 by Tom Carlson

Energy Legislation and FERC Confirmations

Over the last week, the U.S. House of Representatives moved two spending bills forward that would be harmful to advanced energy interests. In the Senate, a long confirmation process came to an end with Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay confirmed as commissioners of the FERC.[read more]

Catalyst Check: Updating the Progress of Energy Stocks on the Natural Resources Watchlist

July 19, 2014 by Jim Patrick

Rick Rule, CEO of Sprott US Holdings Inc., began his career in the securities business in 1974. He is a leading American retail broker specializing in mining, energy, water utilities, forest products and agriculture. His company has built a national reputation on taking advantage of global opportunities.[read more]

ERCOT Report Shows Continued Cut Backs on Coal Reliance and Increases in Natural Gas and Renewables

July 19, 2014 by Carlee Quintas
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Changing Energy Industry

 

Over the next 20 years the role that coal plays in providing power to Texas will continue to diminish, perhaps just not as fast as experts had hoped. Rising prices of natural gas have slowed coal's reduction putting it's numbers at about 23% of the Texas energy generation capacity.[read more]