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California to Utilities: Connect Battery-Solar Energy Systems to the Grid

April 22, 2014 by Jeff St. John

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed decision that would exempt most storage-solar projects from extra utility fees and interconnection studies. Instead, it would require utilities to treat them as regular net-metered solar systems, as long as they meet certain requirements.[read more]

Oceans, Islands, Energy, and Climate Change

April 22, 2014 by Jim Baird

Oceans, Heat, and Climate

 

Over 30 years ago scientists failed to make the link between climate change and the thermal inertia of the oceans. We are paying now for the oversight and will into the future. Particularly island nations who must make the clean energy required for their self-preservation.[read more]

How I Went to an Energy Storage Conference and a Data Analytics Session Broke Out

April 22, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

Rodney Dangerfield had a great line about how he went to the fights and a hockey game broke out. It's a witty commentary on the frequency of fist fights between hockey teams. We’re going to witness a similar trend in energy storage conferences. Many will transform into data analytics events.[read more]

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One Weird Trick To Power Your City with 100% Renewable Energy

April 22, 2014 by Silvio Marcacci
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Renewables Growth

There’s strength in numbers, but what if that axiom was key to empowering entire cities to shift to renewables? It may sound like a weird trick, but bundling together power demand from thousands of utility customers into one large pool – aggregation – is doing just that in cities across the US.[read more]

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How Far Can States Go In Supporting Renewable Energy?

April 22, 2014 by Ari Peskoe
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Renewable Energy and States

State policies and legislation promoting the deployment of renewable energy have played important roles in the rapid growth of wind and solar energy. But over the past few years, those policies are increasingly being challenged as unconstitutional.[read more]

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How the Top-Rated Colleges for Sustainability Are Raising the Bar: From Princeton Review's Annual 'Guide to Green Colleges'

April 22, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Green Colleges Raising the Bar

More colleges are offering sustainability majors, have greenhouse gas reduction programs underway, and are ramping up interaction with administrators about sustainability. But the percentage offering locally grown and organic foods actually dipped slightly from last year. -Princeton Review's Davie Soto[read more]

Why a Climate Treaty or Carbon Tax Is Unlikely

April 22, 2014 by Steven Cohen
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Treaties and Taxes and Likelihood

For a long time colleagues have argued that we must limit greenhouse gas emissions via a binding international treaty. Often the same colleagues will say that we need to limit emissions by pricing carbon to discourage its use. As economists say: all things held equal; that solution should work.[read more]

Will Smog in China Spur Climate Solutions?

April 22, 2014 by Catherine Wolfram

China's Smog and Climate Solutions

I have read a number of news stories about air pollution in the major Chinese cities recently. A smog of particulates, ozone, sulfur and nitrogen oxides hangs over cities. The concentration of particulate matter in Beijing is more than 15 times the highest recorded value in Los Angeles County.[read more]

The Losing Economics of Investing in Aging Coal Plants: Part 2

April 21, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Investors have projected another bleak year for the US coal industry – but 2014 may be the worst year for coal producers. In contrast, investors are increasingly warming up to the economic viability of alternative energy sources, including energy efficiency, and giving the dirty coal industry the cold shoulder.[read more]

How to Really Disrupt the Retail Energy Market With Solar Energy

April 21, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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Solar Energy and Market Disruption

The U.S. Solar Energy market is still very concentrated, with the top seven states accounting for 88 percent of the market. But, with the exception of Hawaii, which remains an outlier in almost every case, even the top solar states, including California, satisfy very little of their overall load with PV.[read more]

Preaching to the Climate Converted

In the first episode of the $20 million Showtime series on climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, which aired last Sunday, we meet a 46-year-old evangelical Christian named Nelly Montez. Montez was laid off from a local meatpacking plant that closed due to a drought.[read more]

Plotting China's Air Quality: The Good, The Bad, The Un-Breathable [INFOGRAPHIC]

April 21, 2014 by Kate Rosow Chrisman

China Air Pollution

It’s common knowledge that the air in China is bad. After all, the country uses 50% of the world’s coal. But just how bad the air is – is it unhealthy or lightly polluted? – is more than just semantics. It’s been the source of debate and controversy between the US and Chinese governments.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Gas

April 21, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Internalized Costs of Gas

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of gas. Please chip in with your opinion so that we can gather a statistically significant sample size and get a meaningful indication of the current consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

What Can We Expect from the Smart Grid?

April 21, 2014 by Rosana Francescato

Smart Grid Expectations

There’s no doubt that the smart grid is coming, but it’s not well understood by most people. What will it look like? How will it help us? At a recent Women in Cleantech and Sustainability event, a panel of smart and well-informed women was on hand to shed light on the mysteries of the smart grid.[read more]

Mitigation Talk Vs. Mitigation Cost

April 21, 2014 by David Hone
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Mitigation and Future Plans

The last of the three IPCC 5th Assessment Reports has now been published, but with a final Synthesis Report to come towards the end of the year. The “Mitigation of Climate Change” details the various emission pathways that are open to us.[read more]

Is This The End Of China's Coal Boom?

April 21, 2014 by Joseph Romm
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China Coal Boom Ending?

“The End Of China’s Coal Boom,” is a new, must-read, and chart-filled report from Greenpeace. It documents the continuing response of China to the almost unimaginable life-shortening air pollution caused by its rapid growth in coal use.[read more]

IPCC Working Group III Recommends Nearly Quadrupling Nuclear Energy

April 20, 2014 by Rod Adams
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A few of my pronuclear friends have been disappointed by the treatment of nuclear energy in the recently released final draft of the IPCC working group III Summary for policy makers. Steve Aplin at Canadian Energy Issues thinks that the IPCC is prejudiced against nuclear energy.[read more]

Will Utilities Control Behind-the-Meter Solar Batteries?

April 20, 2014 by Jeff St. John
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Ken Munson, CEO of Stockton, Calif.-based startup Sunverge Energy, doesn’t want you to think of his company’s product as a “battery in a box,” backing up a roof full of solar panels -- even if that’s one very accurate way to describe what it packages up into a closet-sized, UL-certified form.[read more]