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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]

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Should the U.S. Implement a New 'Value-Added Carbon Tax' to Replenish the Federal Highway Trust Fund?

July 23, 2014 by John Miller
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Carbon Taxes and Highway Funding

As Congress struggles to develop revenue generation solutions for needed Highway and Roads infrastructure projects the Federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. Is it time to consider generating needed, long-term revenues by implementing a new tax such as a ‘value-added carbon tax’?[read more]

A New Paper on Disaster Losses and Climate Change

July 23, 2014 by Roger Pielke, Jr.
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Disasters and Climate Change

A new paper appeared in Climatic Change this week by Visser et al. which looks at disasters and climate change. Like other studies and the IPCC assessment, Visser et al. find no trends in normalized disaster loses, looking at several metrics of economic and human losses.[read more]

How One Industry Association Would Transform the Grid

July 23, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

Back in January 2014 when we were still packing up holiday decorations, the Obama administration initiated a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), a comprehensive survey of energy production, infrastructure, and transport in the United States.[read more]

Setting State Carbon Pollution Targets

July 23, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

In June, the EPA proposed the first-ever carbon pollution standards for fossil-fuel power plants. Since then, a bevy of pundits have been busy finding fault with various aspects of the proposal. For the most part, these critiques are off-base, failing to highlight the most important issues.[read more]

Daniel Yergin: US Oil Output Helping Avert Crisis

July 22, 2014 by Edward Dodge
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US Oil Production and Crisis Aversion

Daviel Yergin stated that if not for the recent domestic boom in tight oil production the U.S. would be in trouble. “I’m convinced we’d be looking at an oil crisis,” he said. “We’d have panic in the public. We’d have inflamed congressional hearings and we’d have the U.S. economy falling back into a recession.”[read more]

"At Some Point of Time We Will Go With This Proposal" - Despite Opponents, Sense of Inevitability Grows at Talks on Curbing the Super-Warming HFCs

July 22, 2014 by David Doniger

Countries jousted again over proposals to replace the super-potent heat-trapping chemicals called hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol, the world’s most successful environmental treaty. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait emerged as the most vociferous opponents.[read more]