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Communications and Messaging

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]

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 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]

Why a Climate Treaty or Carbon Tax Is Unlikely

April 22, 2014 by Steven Cohen
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Treaties and Taxes and Likelihood

For a long time colleagues have argued that we must limit greenhouse gas emissions via a binding international treaty. Often the same colleagues will say that we need to limit emissions by pricing carbon to discourage its use. As economists say: all things held equal; that solution should work.[read more]

Preaching to the Climate Converted

In the first episode of the $20 million Showtime series on climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, which aired last Sunday, we meet a 46-year-old evangelical Christian named Nelly Montez. Montez was laid off from a local meatpacking plant that closed due to a drought.[read more]

Plotting China's Air Quality: The Good, The Bad, The Un-Breathable [INFOGRAPHIC]

April 21, 2014 by Kate Rosow Chrisman

China Air Pollution

It’s common knowledge that the air in China is bad. After all, the country uses 50% of the world’s coal. But just how bad the air is – is it unhealthy or lightly polluted? – is more than just semantics. It’s been the source of debate and controversy between the US and Chinese governments.[read more]

What Can We Expect from the Smart Grid?

April 21, 2014 by Rosana Francescato

Smart Grid Expectations

There’s no doubt that the smart grid is coming, but it’s not well understood by most people. What will it look like? How will it help us? At a recent Women in Cleantech and Sustainability event, a panel of smart and well-informed women was on hand to shed light on the mysteries of the smart grid.[read more]

Mitigation Talk Vs. Mitigation Cost

April 21, 2014 by David Hone
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Mitigation and Future Plans

The last of the three IPCC 5th Assessment Reports has now been published, but with a final Synthesis Report to come towards the end of the year. The “Mitigation of Climate Change” details the various emission pathways that are open to us.[read more]

IPCC Working Group III Recommends Nearly Quadrupling Nuclear Energy

April 20, 2014 by Rod Adams
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A few of my pronuclear friends have been disappointed by the treatment of nuclear energy in the recently released final draft of the IPCC working group III Summary for policy makers. Steve Aplin at Canadian Energy Issues thinks that the IPCC is prejudiced against nuclear energy.[read more]

Climate One: Overselling the Fracking Boom

April 20, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
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Fracking Boom Merits?

Despite the good news that at the end of 2012 US carbon emissions were down 12 percent relative to 2005, there remains a long road to sustainable and sufficient emissions reductions to meet the goals scientists increasingly warn is required to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.[read more]

Four Years After BP Oil Disaster Many Lessons Remain Unlearned

April 20, 2014 by Frances Beinecke

BP Oil Disaster and Lessons Unlearned

Four years ago this weekend, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 men and sending 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I flew over the site after the blowout and was stunned by the vast reach of the oil and the enormous scale of the response effort.[read more]

Java for the Grid Edge: From Blu-Ray Players to Smart Grid Devices

April 19, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Java and the Grid

The long-promised goal of embedding open, flexible computing power in all types of smart grid devices is starting to be realized in 2014. Open platforms are being introduced. Multi-vendor partnerships driven by utilities are creating new ways for technology to interact on the grid edge.[read more]

Excitons Observed in Action for the First Time

April 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Advancements

A quasiparticle called an exciton — responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits — has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within materials has never been directly observed.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: ‘We Will Create Our Own Oil Company’

April 19, 2014 by Jared Anderson
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Oil Industry Changes

The changing global oil refining picture has seen several mid-range to large companies spin off their downstream operations in recent years, but the trend has yet to travel up the food chain to the world’s largest oil companies, despite pressure from investors to do so.[read more]