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Cleantech

Are There More Willing Investors Than Bankable Solar Projects?

April 24, 2014 by Herman Trabish

There are now more investors with cash seeking projects. But there still is not enough tax equity, construction and term debt financing available for bankable renewables projects. While there is a distinct lending class for utility-scale solar and wind, there aren't for commercial and industrial distributed generation.[read more]

Earth Day Pioneer Denis Hayes' New Challenge: Greenest Commercial Building in the World

April 24, 2014 by Christina Nunez

Denis Hayes and Green Buildings

Forty-four years ago, Denis Hayes convened the first Earth Day, an event that drew millions to events across the United States and heralded a new global awareness of the need to preserve our natural resources. Hayes is now at the vanguard of an effort to rethink our buildings and our growing cities.[read more]

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Renewable Wood Fuels, Part 1: Environmentally Beneficial or a Chronic Problem?

April 24, 2014 by John Miller
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Renewable Wood Fuels Impact

Wood has historically been one of the most important sources of energy and is currently the second largest source of US renewable energy. But smoke from burning wood is a major cause for past and current world health problems. Should the US regulate renewable wood fuels?[read more]

RET Review: Roadblock or Opportunity?

April 24, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Sometimes I wish I had decided to sell solar systems instead of research and advice. From the outside, it often seems like you guys are all making the big money and I’m just fiddling round the edges, but then I look at the volatility and complexity that you face and think I made the right decision.[read more]

Renewable Energy Gains in 2013 but Coal and Gas Still Dominate

April 23, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Renewables Growth

In January, renewable energy made up nearly 100 percent of new installed electricity capacity in the U.S., mostly driven by utility-scale solar. Last October, a study conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found the same level of domination by renewables.[read more]

What's Going on in Residential Solar? The View from Greentech Media's Solar Energy Summit

April 23, 2014 by Rosana Francescato

Residential solar was a hot topic at the recent Greentech Media Solar Summit. Nicole Litvak, Solar Analyst at GTM Research, started out the session on “Opportunities and Threats in the Residential Solar Market” by asking each panelist to share the key to success for residential solar, in five words.[read more]

Venture Capital, Family Offices, and the Drive for More Cleantech Success Stories

April 23, 2014 by Rob Day

A while back, I wrote about the role “impact investors” could play in funding the next wave of cleantech startups. This week I had the opportunity to sit in on a conversation between several such investors from the family office community and some of the smartest generalist VCs still investing in the sector.[read more]

India's Renewable Energy Efforts Poised for Resurgence

April 23, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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India and Renewables

National elections are underway, dominating headlines across India. In parallel, the release of the second report from the IPCC documenting the impacts of climate change, has confirmed again the current and growing risks to the economy, human health and food supply of India’s communities.[read more]

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]

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]