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Utilities

The Era of Big Dams is Still Over, Even With the Water Bond

September 13, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Dams and the Water Bond

 

The potential for new water storage in California is in the news because of Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on California’s November ballot, which includes $2.7 billion for new groundwater and surface storage, and an additional $800M for groundwater remediation projects.[read more]

Australian Solar Energy Businesses Restructuring for Survival

September 13, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Notwithstanding the farcical goings on around the RET review, solar businesses in Australia continue to move and shake. Its seems the last few months have been all about mergers and acquisitions which is either a sign of industry maturity or desperation, depending on your perspective.[read more]

Sprung a Leak? Smart Water Meters to the Rescue

September 12, 2014 by Kate Zerrenner

Smart Water Readers

A few months ago I logged into my online utility account and noticed it was more than twice the amount I usually pay, all of the excess going to water. We are water and electricity savers in our household, so what on earth could this spike be?[read more]

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: District Energy

September 12, 2014 by Matt Stanberry

District Energy

District energy systems produce steam, hot water, and/or chilled water at central plants and, through a network of insulated pipes (often underground), distribute the steam or water to multiple buildings. District energy plants often include power generation, typically CHP, which further increases overall efficiency.[read more]

Natural Gas, Solar, and Wind Led Power Plant Capacity Additions in the First Half of 2014

September 12, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Power Plant Capacity Additions

In the first six months of 2014, 4,350 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale generating capacity came online. Natural gas plants, almost all combined-cycle plants, made up more than half of the additions, while solar plants contributed more than a quarter and wind plants around one-sixth.[read more]

5 Key Proposals for New York's Grid Transformation

September 12, 2014 by Jeff St. John

New York’s has provided details of how it plans to transform the state’s electric grid and energy markets, with proposals to turn the state’s utilities into distributed system platform providers, identify use cases for replacing grid upgrades with distributed generation, and create open markets for third-party competition.[read more]

China's Coal Imports Drop For The First Time Since Country Became Net Coal Importer

September 12, 2014 by Justin Guay

China Coal Imports

An analysis compiled by Lauri Myllyvirta and Greenpeace International showed the unthinkable -- Chinese coal consumption fell for the first time this century in the first half of this year. China's GDP growth and coal consumption have decoupled, suggesting a structural shift in the Chinese economy.[read more]

On Becoming an Ecomodernist

September 11, 2014 by Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus
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Ecomodernism and Meaning

The last few years have seen the emergence of a new environmental movement that offers a positive vision of our environmental future, rejects Romantic ideas about nature, and embraces advanced technologies like nuclear power and GMOs, as necessary to reducing humankind’s ecological footprint.[read more]

The Local and Global Impact of Tesla's Giga Factory

September 11, 2014 by Jeff St. John
5

Tesla Factory Implications

 

Tesla Motors is finally ready to confirm that it’s building its $5 billion Giga factory in Nevada, putting to rest a five-state competition for what’s slated to be the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery plant. But the scope of Tesla’s plans extend far beyond the state’s borders.[read more]

Be Prepared - For a LOT More Solar by 2025

September 11, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
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2025 may sound a ways off, but it’s only 11 years away. What will the world look like in 2025? Expect a lot more solar power. In fact, according to a report by Thomson Reuters, in 2025, solar energy will be the primary source of energy on our planet.[read more]

Utility 2.0: New York Electricity Market Should Allow Third Parties to Compete

September 11, 2014 by John Finnigan

New York Electric Grid Development

The New York Public Service Commission has embarked on the landmark Reforming Energy Vision proceeding to design a new business model for electric utilities. Today’s business model allows utilities to earn revenues based on how much money they spend to supply and deliver electricity.[read more]

Data Avalanche and the 'Great Crew Change' in the Oil and Gas Industry

September 11, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Data Avalanche

The rapid progress of technology such as big data and analytics, sensors, and control systems offers oil and gas companies the chance to automate high-cost, dangerous, or error-prone tasks, thereby allowing them to position themselves to significantly improve their bottom lines.[read more]

How Monitoring and Control are Changing Solar Businesses

September 11, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Smart monitoring has come a long way and is just going to keep getting better. For solar businesses in Australia, systems that can help you build annuities, minimize costs, and back sell to past customers seems like pretty good sense to me.[read more]

Retrofitting Mahindra Towers: ESCO Model Enables Energy Efficiency Savings in India

September 11, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Tower Retrofit

More than ever, people are flocking to India’s cities, where increasing standards of living and rapid urbanization are causing enormous strain on the country’s energy supplies. At the same time, 400 million people in India lack any access to reliable power.[read more]

How New York Plans to Revolutionize the Electricity Utility

September 10, 2014 by Dan Cross-Call

New York State took a big step forward in what is arguably the most ambitious initiative to define the future of the electricity grid. The regulatory staff at the state’s Department of Public Service reached a major milestone in its Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding, releasing the Track One Staff Straw Proposal.[read more]