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Cleantech

Industry Input Sought by New Wind-Energy Research Center

October 22, 2014 by Christine Gillette

A new research center led by UMass Lowell and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation is bringing industry and university experts in wind energy development together in an attempt to solve mutual problems and advance the field.[read more]

Plug In Hybrid: Saving Carbon and Dollars?

October 22, 2014 by Maximilian Auffhammer
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I'm in the market for a new car. At a recent visit to a dealer I was confronted with the choice between the regular hybrid-electric version of the C-Max (think standard Prius but made in the USA!) and the plug-in hybrid electric version of the same model. The difference between the two is the plug-in, well, plugs in.[read more]

Why We Are Working With Colleagues in China to Develop Sustainability Metrics

October 22, 2014 by Steven Cohen

Developing Sustainability Metrics

I visited Beijing last week to finalize a partnership between Columbia University and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. Our goal is to develop a set of sustainability metrics that can be used by businesses and governmental agencies in China, the United States, and around the world.[read more]

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The Alternative to the Climate Nuclear Option is Innovation

October 22, 2014 by Matthew Stepp
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Climate Nuclear Option Alternatives

Out of fear the world is running out of time to act on climate change, some advocates are calling for the nuclear option: limiting economic growth to deeply decarbonize the global economy. It’s easy to see why: world leaders continue to propose weak policy options that guarantee dangerous global warming.[read more]

A Development-Savvy Climate Strategy for India

October 22, 2014 by Durwood Zaelke
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India Development Strategy

During his first official visit to the U.S., India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, met with President Obama, as well as with CEOs of top U.S. corporations, to encourage investment to support India's development goals, which include providing renewable energy for the 400 million citizens who lack access today.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Onshore Wind

October 21, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Internalized Costs of Wind

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of onshore wind energy. Please add your opinion so we can gather a statistically significant sample and get a meaningful indication of the consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

Will Stem's Battery Systems Combined With Kyocera's Solar Boost Energy Storage Adoption?

October 21, 2014 by Jeff St. John
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Energy Storage Adoption

The convergence of rooftop solar PV and behind-the-meter batteries continues. On Tuesday, Japanese solar module giant Kyocera announced it has teamed up with Stem to “offer an integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage solution for commercial power users.”[read more]

Germany's Energiewende Proves Electricity can be Clean and Reliable

October 21, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Germany's Energy Transition

Since 2004, the year of the first major revision of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the country has added at least 35 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 35 GW of wind to its electric grid, which is enough energy to offset upwards of 35 coal plants.[read more]

University Microgrid Manages Multiple Generation Assets

October 21, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

Combined heat and power tech are sometimes overlooked as assets that can be deployed in Smart Grids and microgrids in North America. Also known as cogeneration, it is defined as the production of electricity and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source, typically located at the point of consumption.[read more]

New Gas Plant Venture Aims at Carbon Capture From a Different Angle

October 21, 2014 by Christina Nunez
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Carbon capture and storage is often promoted as a way for coal power to be made “clean”: Projects such as the Kemper power plant in Mississippi and the Petra Nova project in Texas aim to trap the carbon dioxide and then store it into underground storage or into previously depleted wells to extract more oil.[read more]

LanzaTech's Vulnerability

October 21, 2014 by Robert Rapier
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LanzaTech proposes to take waste carbon monoxide from sources like steel manufacturers and ferment that to produce ethanol. Holmgren says that the bacterium they use for their fermentation, Clostridium autoethanogenum, is highly ethanol tolerant.[read more]

Abandoned Solar Energy Project Highlights Pitfalls of Tax Uncertainty

October 20, 2014 by Tom Carlson
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Solar and Tax Risk

In the latest evidence of the need for stable federal tax policy, a major solar project in California was abandoned in part due to uncertainty around whether the project would be placed in service in time to qualify for the investment tax credit, which expires at the end of 2016.[read more]

From Artisanal to Integrated: How Data Is Remaking the Efficiency Industry

October 20, 2014 by Wego Wise

Data and Efficiency

The past few years have seen an abundance of software innovations designed to enhance the efficiency of the built environment. Taking advantage of inexpensive computing power and storage, these platforms are leveraging the torrent of data generated by and about our buildings.[read more]

Innovation Needed for Gas to Bridge to Somewhere

October 20, 2014 by Alex Trembath
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Natural Gas and the Future of Energy

A new research letter in Nature concludes that natural gas will not “discernibly reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions.” The paper models a scenario in which the US shale gas revolution is scaled globally. While natural gas displaces higher-carbon coal-fired power, zero-carbon power like nuclear and solar are also displaced.[read more]

How Microsynchrophasors Could Keep Solar-Saturated Grids Stable

October 19, 2014 by Jeff St. John
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Solar Energy and Stable Grids

The electricity from rooftop solar PV is very different from conventional electricity. It sags and surges in response to the pattern of clouds crossing overhead, and is also provided by lots of inverters, which create electrical conditions very different from the alternating current supplied by big spinning generators.[read more]