Sign up | Login with →

Sure the Utility Business Model is Changing, but Not So Fast

July 24, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Changing Utility Business Models

The changing utility business model has been a major theme in the news and industry circles this year, with many bemoaning that fact that as distributed generation and energy efficiency proliferate, utilities sell less of their product. The trend has even been dramatically called the “utility death spiral.” Scary.[read more]

'Pay-As-You-Go' Solar Financing Hits New Milestone

July 24, 2014 by Justin Guay

Pay-As-You-Go Solar

From Pakistan to Kenya, anecdotal reports have been trickling in that pay-as-you-go solar finance -- the off-grid solar market's version of a "solar lease" -- is driving record sales. Now, we can add one more data point to add to the mounting evidence.[read more]

Solar and Other Renewables Maintain Lead in U.S. Generating Capacity Installed

July 24, 2014 by Rosana Francescato

The latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” reports that renewable energy sources provided 55.7% of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity in the first half of 2014, with solar coming in at 1,131 MW. The trend is expected to continue, both in the U.S. and globally.[read more]

The Coming Storage Boom: Project Proposals Nearly Double California's Storage Target

July 24, 2014 by Jeff St. John

California’s push to transform the market for grid-scale energy storage is working even better than expected -- at least on paper. Last year, California created a mandate calling for 1,325 megawatts of energy storage projects by 2020, to be scaled up every two years.[read more]

Building Climate-Resilient Communities with State Revolving Funds

July 24, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Climate Resiliency and State Funding

Water and wastewater infrastructure systems play a vital role in our daily lives. Without these critical systems, life as we know it would not be possible. Yet much of this infrastructure is outdated, under-maintained, and in desperate need of repair.[read more]

A New Paper on Disaster Losses and Climate Change

July 23, 2014 by Roger Pielke, Jr.
4

Disasters and Climate Change

A new paper appeared in Climatic Change this week by Visser et al. which looks at disasters and climate change. Like other studies and the IPCC assessment, Visser et al. find no trends in normalized disaster loses, looking at several metrics of economic and human losses.[read more]

exclusive

Should the U.S. Implement a New 'Value-Added Carbon Tax' to Replenish the Federal Highway Trust Fund?

July 23, 2014 by John Miller
3

Carbon Taxes and Highway Funding

As Congress struggles to develop revenue generation solutions for needed Highway and Roads infrastructure projects the Federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. Is it time to consider generating needed, long-term revenues by implementing a new tax such as a ‘value-added carbon tax’?[read more]

exclusive

Power Over Pollution: How Legal Enforceability Will Drive Implementation of EPA's Power Plant Rule

July 23, 2014 by Ari Peskoe

Under EPA's Clean Power Plan proposal, states will submit plans to the EPA describing how they will meet 2030 carbon intensity targets. A state can include any strategy that will produce a quantifiable and verifiable reduction in carbon intensity, so long as it has legal authority to enforce its implementation.[read more]

High-Energy Africa

Africa and Energy Development

Six of the best performing economies have come from Africa in the past six years, but energy poverty continues to be a significant barrier for development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa will need to power its factories, hospitals, schools, and other foundational infrastructure with cheap and reliable sources of electricity.[read more]

The Climate Protection-Urban Expansion Nexus

July 23, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Climate Change and Urbanization

Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and this urban growth trend continues uninhibited at a fast clip. By 2050 it is projected that 67 per cent of the world’s population will consist of urban dwellers. They will have to deal with Climate Change.[read more]

Why we Need CCS - Part 5: Bridge to a Sustainable Energy Future

July 22, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
29

Carbon Capture and Sustainable Energy

If climate science is correct, the world has little choice other than aggressive pursuit of the bridge technologies of CCS and bio-energy through a true technology-neutral CO2 mitigation framework. Pursuing renewables and nuclear power as a primary climate change mitigation strategy can do much more harm than good in the long run.[read more]

Daniel Yergin: US Oil Output Helping Avert Crisis

July 22, 2014 by Edward Dodge
2

US Oil Production and Crisis Aversion

Daviel Yergin stated that if not for the recent domestic boom in tight oil production the U.S. would be in trouble. “I’m convinced we’d be looking at an oil crisis,” he said. “We’d have panic in the public. We’d have inflamed congressional hearings and we’d have the U.S. economy falling back into a recession.”[read more]

Geoengineering - Insanity? All the More Reason to Discuss It

July 22, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
3

Geoengineering and Hard Choices

Is geoengineering the key to solving the global climate change problem? That’s the kind of question that evokes a knee-jerk reaction from those who consider it, including me. I believe we’re already doing enough geoengineering on the planet, albeit unplanned and perhaps unintended.[read more]

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]

exclusive

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

July 21, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
27

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
1

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]