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China's War on Pollution Is Gaining Traction

April 1, 2015 by Barbara Finamore

China Energy Transition

Beijing announced the closure of the last of its four major coal-fired power plants in 2016, avoiding an estimated 30 million tons of carbon. Carried out as part of China's national Air Pollution Action Plan, this is the latest evidence that China is putting teeth into its pledges to tackle air pollution and cap its emissions.[read more]

A Roundup of Energy, Water, and Climate Bills in the 84th Texas Legislative Session

March 29, 2015 by Kate Zerrenner

Texas Energy Legislation

We’ve almost made it to the midway point of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature, so it's a good time to check which climate, clean energy, and energy-water nexus bills have been filed this Session. Here’s a look at a few that are likely to rise to the top, and ones we hope will cross the finish line by June 1st.[read more]

Power Plant Owners can Reduce Emissions with Energy Efficiency: Here's How

March 29, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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When the Environmental Protection Agency proposed carbon pollution targets for fossil fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Power Plan last summer, the agency recognized that energy efficiency is a powerful tool for reducing emissions in the electricity sector.[read more]

Plant Closure Opportunity: Hitting Those Clean Energy Notes

March 28, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Plant Closure and Green Policies

It may seem logical that once a power plant closes, another one needs to be built to replace it – after all, we need to make up for its potential energy generation with more natural gas or nuclear-powered energy, right? Maybe, but plant closures are also an opportunity for clean energy.[read more]

Carbon Pollution Standards that Begin by 2020: Vital for Climate Security, Human Health

March 26, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Carbon Pollution Standards

The EPA is working on the Clean Power Plan – the first national carbon pollution standards for power plants. It is critical that EPA finalize carbon pollution standards for the power sector that include protective, well-designed standards beginning in 2020.[read more]

Could India's Coal Plans Derail the Global Climate?

March 26, 2015 by Tobias Engelmeier

India Energy Needs and Coal

If India grew its electricity system based on coal (as China has done), would it derail the global climate? Under a “coal-heavy” scenario, India would need to increase is coal-fired power generation capacity from the 156 GW in early 2015 to 677 GW in 2035. What would be the CO2 implications of such a strategy?[read more]

China's Power System: The Green and the Black

March 24, 2015 by Armond Cohen
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China Energy Needs and Sources

If you follow energy discussions, you will often hear one of two visions of China’s energy system emphatically described by various pundits and advocates. At first blush, the two visions seem fundamentally in conflict. Only one must be true! How can China be both “green” and “black” at the same time?[read more]

The Decoupling of Energy, Carbon, and GDP in the United States

March 20, 2015 by Cutler Cleveland
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Decoupling and Energy Economics

The recent announcement by the International Energy Agency that CO2 emissions fell in 2014 while GDP expanded was welcome news. The decoupling of carbon and economic activity has been a steady trend for a long time in the United States.[read more]

Power Can Be Both Clean and Reliable

March 19, 2015 by Doug Vine
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A number of analysts have raised concerns that the proposed Clean Power Plan, aimed at reducing power plant carbon emissions, could threaten the reliability of electric power. But a closer look at the U.S. power system and the safeguards in place suggests that these reliability issues are manageable.[read more]

The Greening of China's Black Electric Energy System? Insights from 2014 Data

March 19, 2015 by Hao Tan
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China Energy and Fuel Sources

While China’s energy system is still a “black” system depending on fossil fuel, the electric power system is greening at the margins. We demonstrate, using 2014 data on additions to China’s electric power system, that the system is greening– with powerful implications for the future of the country’s energy profile.[read more]

IEA: CO2 Emissions Decouple From Economic Growth For First Time In 40 Years

March 18, 2015 by Joseph Romm

Emissions and Economic Growth

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions flatlined globally in 2014, while the world economy grew. The International Energy Agency reports that this marks “the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.”[read more]

The Divestment Distraction and a Positive Vision of Sustainability

March 17, 2015 by Steven Cohen
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Actions like stopping a pipeline or fossil fuel divestment come from a view of environmental protection as damage control. While prevention is necessary, we also need sustainability to incorporate a positive vision and a set of lifestyle choices that reduce damage while delivering a high quality of life.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Scheduled 2015 Capacity Additions Mostly Wind and Natural Gas; Retirements Mostly Coal

March 13, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Capacity Additions and Subtractions

In 2015, electric generating companies expect to add more than 20 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale generating capacity to the power grid. The additions are dominated by wind (9.8 GW), natural gas (6.3 GW), and solar (2.2 GW), which combine to make up 91% of total additions.[read more]

Contrarian Steve Palmer's Balancing Act Stretches from Western Canada to the East China Sea

March 12, 2015 by Jim Patrick

Steve Palmer is a founding partner, president and chief investment officer of AlphaNorth Asset Management and currently manages the award winning AlphaNorth Partners Fund. Prior to founding AlphaNorth in 2007, Palmer was employed as vice president at one of the world's largest financial institutions.[read more]

Who in the United States will be Most Harmed by Ocean Acidification?

March 12, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

In 2007, when Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery in Oregon experienced extreme die-offs of baby oysters, the company became the first known economic victim of ocean acidification in the United States. Ocean acidification continues to worsen as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations rise.[read more]