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Cleantech

Abandoned Solar Energy Project Highlights Pitfalls of Tax Uncertainty

October 20, 2014 by Tom Carlson

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

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]

This Diagram Will Help You Visualize How Opower's Software Platform Operates

October 18, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Opower Software Platform

After giving its software and analytics engine a powerful tuneup earlier this year, Opower is unveiling yet another set of offerings for utility customers. The release includes three new analytics capabilities designed to make it even easier to target specific customer segments for efficiency.[read more]

How Apple Became One of the Greenest Companies in America

October 18, 2014 by Sarah Battaglia

Green Apple

There’s one thing you probably don’t know about Apple. The technology conglomerate was ranked 48th on Newsweek’s Greenest Companies of America list this year. To put that in perspective, of the six million businesses registered in the United States, only 47 are considered “greener” than Apple.[read more]

World's "First Fuel" - Energy Efficiency - Coming Out of Hiding

October 18, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Energy Efficiency and the Main Stream

The International Energy Agency (IEA) just released its second annual Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 confirming energy efficiency’s place as the world’s “first fuel” and estimating the value of the energy efficiency market at between $310 and $360 billion and growing.[read more]

"Reforming the Energy Vision": Transforming NY Utility Regulation

October 18, 2014 by Jim Kennerly

New York Energy Reform

In the coming years, distributed energy resources will very likely continue on a rapid path toward broad-scale deployment. Despite much of the escalating controversy surrounding net energy metering and solar PV, few executives would dispute the need for utility regulation to adapt to these changes.[read more]

Georgia Is the Latest State to Procure Dirt-Cheap Solar Power

October 17, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
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In Obama's America, according to conservatives, utilities are forced to consume expensive green energy mandated by the government. But in an ideal conservative America utilities would procure the cheapest and most reliable resource to deliver value to consumers. Those worlds have officially collided.[read more]

Former Indian Minister for Rural Development Discusses India's 'Growth Imperative' and Energy Future

October 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
4

India Growth and Planning

Former Indian Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh gave a talk at MIT entitled “The Growth Imperative: Plotting a Sustainable Energy Future for India.” Ramesh drew on his years of experience as a leader in the Indian government to discuss India's energy policies and plans.[read more]

Life-Cycle Study Confirms Global Environmental Benefit of Low-Carbon Energy Technologies

October 16, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Low-Carbon Tech Benefits

A new study examines the environmental impacts and resource requirements of large-scale global implementation of a variety of low-carbon power generation tech as backbone of a new low-carbon power supply infrastructure. Basically, this research goes one step further than previous life-cycle assessments.[read more]

​In Defense of LEDs: Why the Rebound Effect for Solid-State Lighting May Be Overblown

October 16, 2014 by Rob Day
15

Energy Efficiency and Rebound Effects

LED lighting is one powerful tool for addressing climate change. And the people working hard to accelerate adoption of LED lighting should be very proud of what they are doing. We can do even more, too. But to say that LEDs are "unlikely" to make a positive impact on climate change is just not true.[read more]

Why Energy Efficiency Can Increase Energy Consumption in Poor Countries

Energy Efficiency and Consumption Growth

Over the last several decades there has been a broad consensus that energy efficiency is a cheap way to reduce emissions. Make cars and bulbs more efficient and energy use will go down. But behind the scenes, a growing group of energy researchers were quietly discovering a more complicated reality.[read more]

Are Rebound Effects a Problem for Energy Efficiency?

October 15, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Efficiency Rebound and Value

The New York Times got the headline wrong in "The Problem With Energy Efficiency." Rebound effects are only 'problem' for energy efficiency if you believe efficiency’s unalloyed goal is to cut energy consumption. But that is hardly the case.[read more]

Wisconsin: The Latest Solar Energy Battleground

October 15, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
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You might not expect Wisconsin, a state with just a few hundred solar installations, to become the next solar battleground. But utility We Energies is attempting an attack on solar — and on all its electric customers — so extreme that it’s making headlines around the country.[read more]