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GE Tackles Fuel Cells, Google Issues 'Little Box' Challenge, and Smart Grid Drones Prepare for Takeoff

July 27, 2014 by Lexie Briggs
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GE, Google, and Drones

Energy giant and AEE member General Electric is expanding its advanced energy product line to include fuel cells. Google is looking to shrink inverters. And utility San Diego Gas & Electric is getting ready to launch drones to check on transmission lines.[read more]

Colorado Town to East Coast Anti-Fracking Activists: You're Wrong

July 27, 2014 by Simon Lomax

Local officials in Erie, Colorado, are pushing back hard against a national environmental group for misrepresenting the outcome of a failed “ban fracking” campaign in their town. The officials say the Massachusetts-based group has “ignored or misstated” the facts.[read more]

Con Ed Looks to Batteries, Microgrids, and Efficiency to Delay $1B Substation Build

July 26, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Consolidated Edison is taking a new approach to delivering reliable power that is as radical as the gentrification sweeping New York’s outer boroughs. Con Ed filed a proposal for a Brooklyn/Queens Demand Management Program, or BQDM, that it hopes can defer the cost of building a $1 billion substation.[read more]

SDG&E Becomes First Utility to Test Drones

July 26, 2014 by Sarah Battaglia

Drones and Utilities

San Diego Gas & Electric became the first utility in the country to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test-drive drones. The utility has been granted a Special Airworthiness Certificate that allows it to operate drones for research, testing, and training flights in Eastern San Diego County.[read more]

More Evidence Global Surface Temperatures Poised To Rise Rapidly

July 26, 2014 by Joseph Romm
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Potential Surface Temp Jump

A new study finds that when climate models factor in the temporary warming and cooling impact of El Niño and La Niña, they accurately predict recent global warming. And that is consistent with recent studies that led one climatologist to say, “Global temperatures look set to rise rapidly.”[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: On Major Oil Field Development Woes

July 26, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Oil Field Issues

The hits keep on coming for companies invested in the North Caspian Operating Company, the consortium developing Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oil field. One of the world’s largest and most complex oil field development projects, Kashagan has been plagued by delays and cost overruns for years.[read more]

IEA Executive Director Denounces Subsidy-Fueled 'Wasteful Consumption'

July 25, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
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Fuel Subsidies and Waste

Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently expressed her view that “ending ‘wasteful fossil fuel subsidies’, which may encourage overconsumption of oil and gas, particularly in the Middle East,” still constitutes a big challenge around the world.[read more]

Here's What Utilities Really Think About Microgrids

July 25, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Microgrids and Utility Opinions

There is just over a gigawatt worth of microgrids scattered throughout the country. While many of those projects have proved their value during major storms or extended outages, they are largely custom-engineered and limited to public facilities like schools, hospitals and military bases.[read more]

Change In Antarctic Sea Ice Trend Not So Extreme, Study Finds

July 25, 2014 by Joseph Romm

Antarctic Ice Change Study

A new study finds that the change in the trend of Antarctic sea ice growth over time is “not as extreme as the published literature indicates,” as one coauthor put it. The most important thing to know about Antarctica and ice is that a large part of the South Pole’s great sheet of land ice is close collapse.[read more]

What Will the 21st Century Grid Look Like?

July 25, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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It seems everyone involved with renewable energy and climate change is asking the same question these days. What will the 21st century grid look like? This is one of the key questions the Department of Energy is asking as part of the first “Quadrennial Energy Review.”[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Oil and Natural Gas Sales Accounted for 68% of Russia's Total Export Revenues in 2013

July 25, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Russia Fuel Sales

Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. Sales of these kinds of fuels accounted for 68 percent of Russia's total export revenues in the year 2013, based on data from Russia's Federal Customs Service.[read more]

'Pay-As-You-Go' Solar Financing Hits New Milestone

July 24, 2014 by Justin Guay

Pay-As-You-Go Solar

From Pakistan to Kenya, anecdotal reports have been trickling in that pay-as-you-go solar finance -- the off-grid solar market's version of a "solar lease" -- is driving record sales. Now, we can add one more data point to add to the mounting evidence.[read more]

Solar and Other Renewables Maintain Lead in U.S. Generating Capacity Installed

July 24, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
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The latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” reports that renewable energy sources provided 55.7% of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity in the first half of 2014, with solar coming in at 1,131 MW. The trend is expected to continue, both in the U.S. and globally.[read more]

The Coming Storage Boom: Project Proposals Nearly Double California's Storage Target

July 24, 2014 by Jeff St. John
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California’s push to transform the market for grid-scale energy storage is working even better than expected -- at least on paper. Last year, California created a mandate calling for 1,325 megawatts of energy storage projects by 2020, to be scaled up every two years.[read more]

Building Climate-Resilient Communities with State Revolving Funds

July 24, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Climate Resiliency and State Funding

Water and wastewater infrastructure systems play a vital role in our daily lives. Without these critical systems, life as we know it would not be possible. Yet much of this infrastructure is outdated, under-maintained, and in desperate need of repair.[read more]