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Utilities

Former Coal Mining CEO Faces Prison Over West Virginia Safety Violations

November 22, 2014 by Christina Nunez

Mining and Safety

The indictment of a former coal mining CEO over safety violations Thursday sent a “strong message,” said the United Mine Workers of America. Don Blankenship faces four criminal counts and up to 31 years in prison for alleged safety violations at mines operated by Massey Energy.[read more]

Hawaii to Test Smart Water Heaters as Grid Resources

November 22, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Hawaii and Smart Water Heaters

Hawaiian Electric is trying out all sorts of distributed energy assets to help it manage its solar-impacted island electricity system, including behind-the-meter batteries, and smart-meter-enabled energy disaggregation. But one of the cheaper grid tools at its disposal could be the ubiquitous electric water heater.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'The West Will Have to Recognize we Have the Needs of the Poor'

November 22, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Energy Development and Energy Poverty

Notoriously complex global energy issues encompass science, economics, politics, the environment, demographics and social dynamics. One of the most stubborn problems is finding a way to simultaneously address energy poverty while reducing global carbon dioxide emissions.[read more]

Two Years After Sandy, the Conversation Around Energy Resiliency Still Going Strong

November 22, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency

New Jersey has made great strides forward and impressive progress toward making the Garden State’s energy infrastructure more resilient in the two years since the damage and flooding from Superstorm Sandy caused a massive weeks-long power outage.[read more]

SunPower Is Tripling Solar Capacity, Boosting Cell Efficiency, Adding Energy Management and Storage

November 21, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

SunPower acquired SolarBridge, an Austin, Texas-based VC-funded integrated microinverter startup. SolarBridge has a high-performance, premium-priced inverter that is a good match for the industry's highest-efficiency solar module from SunPower.[read more]

White House Climate Preparedness Task Force Releases Recommendations and Tools

November 21, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience rolled out its recommendations recently, and the White House announced a new user-friendly online ‘toolkit’ to help the public and decision-makers.[read more]

Eight Pitfalls in Evaluating Green Energy Solutions

November 21, 2014 by Gail Tverberg
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Green Energy Risks

Some citizens who are concerned about the long-term viability of the electric grid will no doubt want to purchase their own solar systems with inverters and back-up batteries. I won't discourage those who want to do this–the systems may prove to be of assistance. But I see no reason to subsidize these purchases.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Solar Photovoltaic Output Depends on Orientation, Tilt, and Tracking

November 21, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy
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PV Positioning and Efficiency

Because PV panels are able to capture more solar energy when they are pointed directly at the sun, installers may configure systems to optimize output by adjusting the orientation and tilt of a system, or by using mechanisms that track the sun as it traverses the sky.[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Future Energy Fellows: #energychat on Energy Storage Advancements

November 20, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins

Major advances in materials science and manufacturing are driving down the cost and upping the performance of energy storage at a rapid pace. With energy storage on the cusp, The Energy Collective hosted a live Twitter conversation to explore the implications for electricity systems and markets.[read more]

Senate Rejects Bid to Force Approval of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

November 20, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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The U.S. Senate defeated an effort to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This bill would have turned Congress into a permitting authority, overriding environmental law, and giving a green light to a pipeline project that would worsen climate change and threaten water quality.[read more]

California Utilities Likely to Be Back in the EV Charging Business

November 20, 2014 by Jeff St. John
1

Three years ago, the state of California banned utilities from becoming investors in public EV charging, saying they represented an unfair competitive threat to independent parties in a still-nascent market. But now the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has proposed lifting that ban.[read more]

Clean, Distributed Energy Can Benefit Low-Income Families

November 20, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
3

Clean Energy and Poverty

How will clean energy policies affect low-income families and communities of color? This is a critical question to answer because low-income families, including a disproportionately large percentage of African Americans and Latinos, spend a greater portion of their income on utility bills.[read more]

Keystone Falls Short in Senate, Cable News Battle Continues

November 20, 2014 by Matthew Nisbet

Keystone XL and Cable News

In the U.S. Senate Tuesday evening, supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline failed by a single vote to pass a bill approving the project. As the battle over the pipeline lives on for at least a few more months, a forthcoming study indicates that cable news and other partisan news outlets have played a significant role in distorting how Democrats and Republicans view even the most basic facts of the debate.[read more]

Renewable Business Acquisitions Continue in Australia

November 20, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Over my years in renewables, I’ve lived with and installed a range of technologies including the odd small wind turbine. I’ve visited properties where committed owners have installed these devices appropriately and have enjoyed low cost reliable energy without a power line in sight, for decades.[read more]

What Does New York's 'Energy Vision' Mean for Utility Jurisdiction and Regulators? [VIDEO]

November 19, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
1

New York's Energy Vision

Before the New York Public Service Commission’s vision of a grid operated by Distributed System Platform Providers (DSPPs) can become a reality, there are just a few points to hammer out -- to say the least. The issues are complex and wide open for debate.[read more]