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Communications and Messaging

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

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]

Oil Price Leverage Over Russia in Ukraine Crisis

April 18, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
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Oil Price Leverage Over Russia

Following Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, tensions between the West and the Kremlin have been dangerously simmering. Meanwhile, the spotlight has moved to Eastern Ukraine where unmarked soldiers appear to be keen on destabilizing the situation further.[read more]

Building Genome Project: Retroficiency Takes a City-Wide Approach to Efficiency

April 17, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Building Genome

If more than 30,000 commercial buildings in New York City adjusted their thermostats just one degree upward in summer and one degree lower in winter, the savings would add up to $145 million dollars annually. That finding is just one gleaned from Retroficiency’s new Building Genome project.[read more]

Climate Change Drying Out Southwest Now, With Worse To Come For A Third Of The Planet

April 17, 2014 by Joseph Romm

Southwest Drying Out

Two new studies confirm that warming-driven climate change is already drying the U.S. Southwest and other parts of the globe. More worrisome, nearly a third of the world’s land faces drying from rising greenhouse gases — including two of the world’s greatest agricultural centers.[read more]

How Do You Justify Consuming ExxonMobil's Oil?

April 17, 2014 by Robert Rapier
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There is a risk of misinterpretation with this article, so I want to spell out my intent up front. This should not be read as a defense of ExxonMobil or their business practices, because that’s not what it is. It’s an attempt to get the reader to understand how they think, and why they do the things they do.[read more]

Floating Nuclear Plants Could Ride Out Tsunamis

April 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Floating Nuclear Plants

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores due to a shutdown of all power, that caused the harm.[read more]

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Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia

April 17, 2014 by Willem Post
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According to Russian leaders, after the demise of the USSR, when Russia was in disarray under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Europe and US leaders, brushing aside historic Russian geo-political interests as irrelevant, took geo-political advantage by steadily expanding NATO and the EU into East Europe.[read more]

The Smart Grid and Multifamily Dwelling Challenges

April 16, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

There are many disconnects and dysfunctions in the multifamily real estate market that are beyond the ability of renters or property owners alone to resolve. There are multiple challenges in a market segment that includes stakeholders with sometimes vastly different financial perspectives.[read more]

Facing the Climate Crisis Without Hysteria

April 16, 2014 by Steven Cohen
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The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability," was released last week to the usual fanfare, hype and alarm. The New York Times headline summarized the report by stating, "the worst is yet to come".[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Coal

April 15, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Internalized Coal Cost Consensus

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of coal. Please chip in with your opinion so that we can gather a statistically significant sample size and get a meaningful indication of the current consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

IPCC Double Standards on Energy Barriers

April 15, 2014 by Barry Brook
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IPCC and Consistency

The IPCC have released statements regarding their Working Group III report for AR5, on mitigation, with the full report to be released on April 15th. Recently, a colleague pointed out to me what appears to be double standard in how IPCC depicts problems with nuclear versus renewable energy.[read more]

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The Watt Hour, with Guest Eric Maltzer [PODCAST]

April 14, 2014 by Reid Capalino

To assess the re-emergence of climate change as a topic of intense public discussion, I sat down with Eric Maltzer, who for four years worked on clean energy and global climate policy at the US State Department. Our hour-long conversation covers a wide range of topics.[read more]