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The Final Five Smart Grid Predictions: A Progress Report

December 17, 2014 by Christine Hertzog
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I made ten predictions all the way back in January 2014 about Smart Grid and Smart City trends and changes that will occur between 2014 and 2020. Here is an update on the final five predictions. You can review the full predictions and judge for yourself the quality of my crystal ball.[read more]

Trending Topics in Electricity Today: Will the EPA's Clean Power Plan Really Break the Grid?

December 17, 2014 by America's Power Plan

Well-established power groups are drawing different conclusions regarding the feasibility of maintaining grid reliability as states act in order to abide by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. What’s causing these reliability authorities to reach such different conclusions, and is more analysis needed?[read more]

Natural Gas Overwhelmingly Replaces Coal

December 17, 2014 by Alex Trembath
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Coal Replacement by Natural Gas

The growth of natural gas generation in the US has displaced coal generation. There is little evidence in the aggregate regional power generation data that cheap gas has displaced other low-carbon sources of electricity. Nor is there evidence that increased gas generation has induced new demand.[read more]

Lima Call For Climate Action: The Long Road to Paris Begins

December 17, 2014 by Tom Schueneman

COP 20 and Looking Forward to Paris

Negotiations spilled into a marathon session at the COP 20 talks, finally ending Sunday morning, 31 hours after the scheduled end of the two-week conference, with what many call a “watered down” agreement. Sound familiar? It should. It has been the modus operandi for international climate negotiations for years.[read more]

Evaluating Fifteen Years of IEA Energy Forecasts

December 16, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Analyzing IEA Forecasts

This article takes a look at the accuracy and consistency of International Energy Agency forecasts by comparing a range of historical forecasts with actual data. The largest deviations are observed when looking at oil, coal and renewables other than hydro.[read more]

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America

December 16, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Solar's Breakthrough Year?

Over the next two years, America will build 13 gigawatts of utility-scale solar PV plants. Those projects will surpass the country's cumulative solar capacity across all sectors reached at the end of 2013. Why such a big surge in utility-scale solar after a brief slowdown in the project pipeline? The answer is price.[read more]

Decoupling and Distributed Energy

December 16, 2014 by Zane Selvans
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Distributed Energy and Generation

One of the main reasons that utilities fight against distributed generation like rooftop solar is that it erodes demand for their centrally generated electricity. Reduced demand is annoying for any business, but it’s especially bad for traditional monopoly utilities.[read more]

Big Utilities Begin to Warm to Rooftop Solar Energy

December 16, 2014 by Devashree Saha
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Utilities and Rooftop Solar Support

NRG Energy recently announced a major foray into California’s residential solar market, with a goal to have 35,000 to 40,000 home solar installations by the end of 2015. The development is indicative of the seismic changes underway in the utility industry. Utilities are slowly beginning to warm up to rooftop solar.[read more]

Finding the Way to Paris from Lima

December 16, 2014 by David Hone

With the choice of a high road and a low road from Lima to Paris, the Parties seem to have selected the dirt track off to the side, replete with rocks, obstacles, difficult terrain and an uncertain destination. However, the map they have crafted in Lima does at least have clear pointers to the outcome actually needed.[read more]

TransCanada's Other Pipeline Problem: Can Provinces Impose Conditions on Energy East?

December 16, 2014 by Martin Olszynski

On the heels of a unanimous vote of non-confidence by Quebec’s legislature in the National Energy Board, that province’s Environment Minister sent a letter to TransCanada with seven conditions the company must meet before the province accepts the Quebec portion of the company’s Energy East pipeline.[read more]

Is Cellulosic Ethanol All it’s Cracked Up to Be?

December 15, 2014 by Edward Dodge
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The EPA has long promoted cellulosic ethanol as the future of biofuels, but technical challenges have kept production far below targets. A recent rule change allows renewable natural gas to qualify as cellulosic biofuel even though RNG is not cellulosic, but this helps the EPA to appear to be meeting their goals.[read more]

Countries Know They Must Be Bold and Ambitious Next Year: What Lima Has Set in Motion

December 15, 2014 by Jake Schmidt

COP 20 and Looking Forward to Paris

The international climate negotiations have just wrapped up in Lima, Peru. This meeting was to set key directions for the new international climate agreement next December in Paris, where countries are to agree on a new international climate agreement that will require much deeper action by all countries.[read more]

Reading the Tea Leaves in the Oil Markets [VIDEO]

December 15, 2014 by Robert Rapier
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Oil Market Predictions

This week I would like to post a new interview that I did with Jason Burack of Wall Street for Main Street. I have been asked many times in recent weeks for comments on what’s happening in the oil and gas markets. Here I lay things out as I see them in a wide-ranging 40-minute interview.[read more]

Assessing the Outcome of the Lima Climate Talks

December 15, 2014 by Robert Stavins

On December 14th, the COP 20 of the UNFCCC concluded in Lima, Peru with an agreement among 195 countries, the “Lima Accord,” which represents both a classic compromise between the rich and poor countries, and a significant breakthrough after twenty years of difficult climate negotiations.[read more]

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Valuing Solar Energy: Two Models to Use

December 15, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Solar Energy Valuation

“A strong VOS approach,” ICF’s Steve Fine and colleagues concluded, “in which the real costs and benefits to the system are accurately valued, is not only a useful tool for integrating increasing amounts of SPV onto the grid, but will be critical for stakeholders to make planning and risk management decisions.”[read more]