Environment

Warmest End to the Warmest Year on Record

February 6, 2016 by Tom Schueneman

Temperature Records in 2015

The latest State of the Climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues with its broken record of broken records. The NOAA report states that not only was 2015 the warmest year on record, it broke the record by the widest margin ever.[read more]

Strong Fuel Economy Standards Needed Even When Oil Prices Are Low

February 6, 2016 by NRDC Switchboard

Fuel Economy Standards and Oil Prices

Now that pump prices have dropped so low, automakers are once again rushing to sell the public on gas-thirsty Sport Utility Vehicles and heavy pickups and calling for a weakening of the coming historic 54.5 miles-per-gallon fuel economy standard.[read more]

BLM Tackles Waste, Methane Pollution on Federal and Tribal Lands

February 6, 2016 by EDF Energy Exchange

Waste on Tribal Lands

In an important step forward in curbing methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas sector, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced a regulatory proposal aimed at wasteful practices that shortchange taxpayers, squander energy resources and threaten the Earth’s climate.[read more]

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3 Ways To Get Closer to the Smart Home with Modern Techniques

February 6, 2016 by Ryan Kh

Green Home Ideas

Quality of life is a difficult category to quantify. It has to do with health and well-being. It also has to do with how you benefit or detract from the world around you. This is not about adding the perfect lamp to a space. For these improvements, you have to think bigger, longer term, and in more holistic terms.[read more]

Corporate Interest In Green Energy Requires New Thinking From Electric Utilities

February 5, 2016 by Dennis Wamsted
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Green Corporate Efforts and Utility Response

There was a news nugget in the American Wind Energy Association’s latest market report, released last week, that should be required reading for electric utility executives everywhere. Basically: Corporate America is going green and if you don’t give them what they want, they are going to get it on their own.[read more]

The Future of RPS Policies

February 5, 2016 by Alex Gilbert

Future RPS Policies

State renewable portfolio standards are widely recognized for their critical role in driving renewable energy growth. However, their full impacts on future renewable energy development have not been fully recognized, even by key government agencies.[read more]

Going Off Grid: Tata Researchers Tackle Rural Electrification

February 5, 2016 by Energy @ MIT

Rural Electrification

More than 300 million people in India have no access to grid electricity, and the problem is especially acute in rural communities, which can be difficult and expensive to reach with grid power. But researchers are exploring ways to extend electricity access to such communities using microgrids.[read more]

Laying it All Out: How Low Income Communities can Win with the Clean Power Plan

February 5, 2016 by NRDC Switchboard

Clean Power Plan Impacts

A hidden gem in the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the potential to benefit low-income communities. However, residents and advocates of these communities - often the hardest hit by dirty power - need to be ready in order to realize these benefits.[read more]

Understanding the Clean Energy Incentive Program

February 5, 2016 by Frank Swigonski

Clean Energy Incentives and Analysis

EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation, the Clean Power Plan, won’t take effect until 2022, but planning is already well underway in states across the country. Initial state compliance plans are due in September of this year but many states will opt for an extension and submit final plans in 2018.[read more]

Preventing Future Aliso Canyon-Sized Gas Leaks: the Importance of Well Integrity

February 5, 2016 by EDF Energy Exchange

Leaks and Well Integrity

Southern California is now in month three of one of the country’s worst environmental disasters. In October 2015, a natural gas storage well operated by SoCal Gas sprung a massive leak hundreds of feet underground, releasing nearly 1,400 tons of gas into the air each day at its peak.[read more]

Keystone Redux: TransCanada is Now Seeking An Ocean Route for its Dirty Tar Sands

February 5, 2016 by Danielle Droitsch

Tar Sands Risks

The company that eventually lost a bid to build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (and has filed a lawsuit against the United States government for $15 billion for lost profits) is eyeing to get its tar sands oil to the Gulf Coast another way: by sea.[read more]

A Global Agreement on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

February 5, 2016 by Henry Auer

Paris Agreement and Greenhouse Gases

2015 was the warmest year on record, using temperatures measured over the entire year on both land and ocean surfaces. The high temperatures averaged worldwide have produced large numbers of extreme weather events, especially heat waves, over the last five years.[read more]

State RPSs Central to Renewable Energy Growth

February 4, 2016 by Alex Gilbert

RPSs and Energy Growth

Federal energy policy developments received a significant amount of attention in 2015: The Clean Power Plan and renewable energy tax credits dominated headlines. However, this focus on national issues tends to obscure critical actions at the local and state levels that are just as important for energy systems.[read more]

Does Electricity Deregulation Hurt Renewable Energy Policy?

February 4, 2016 by Johannes Urpelainen

Renewables Policy and Deregulation

 

Over the past three decades, the governance of electricity generation has undergone a number of important reforms. In many countries, governments have moved away from the traditional state monopoly of generation, transmission, and distribution of power.[read more]

Sensible Subsidies

February 4, 2016 by Energy @ MIT

Designing Useful Subsidies

Governments often offer subsidies to consumers for clean-technology products, from home solar panels to electric vehicles. But what are the right levels of subsidy? Governments can easily make subsidies too low when they ignore a basic problem: Consumer demand for these products is usually highly uncertain.[read more]