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Energy

A Prudent Action on the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline: Waiting for a Legal Pipeline Route through Nebraska

April 24, 2014 by Danielle Droitsch

Keystone Nebraska Route

The State Department has extended the comment period for the agencies weighing in on the Keystone pipeline. In their announcement, State cited the fact there is no legal route through the state of Nebraska and there won’t likely be one for at least another 6 months to a year or more.[read more]

Earth Day Pioneer Denis Hayes' New Challenge: Greenest Commercial Building in the World

April 24, 2014 by Christina Nunez

Denis Hayes and Green Buildings

Forty-four years ago, Denis Hayes convened the first Earth Day, an event that drew millions to events across the United States and heralded a new global awareness of the need to preserve our natural resources. Hayes is now at the vanguard of an effort to rethink our buildings and our growing cities.[read more]

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Renewable Wood Fuels, Part 1: Environmentally Beneficial or a Chronic Problem?

April 24, 2014 by John Miller
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Renewable Wood Fuels Impact

Wood has historically been one of the most important sources of energy and is currently the second largest source of US renewable energy. But smoke from burning wood is a major cause for past and current world health problems. Should the US regulate renewable wood fuels?[read more]

10 Charts that Explain Climate Change Mitigation (Plus 2 More that Explain Negotiation)

April 24, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson

Climate Change Mitigation and Negotiation

I really love the IPCC (high confidence), but if you read the summary for policymakers (medium confidence), some of the wording doesn’t exactly role of the tongue (robust evidence, medium agreement). You know what I mean? (medium evidence, medium agreement).[read more]

RET Review: Roadblock or Opportunity?

April 24, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Sometimes I wish I had decided to sell solar systems instead of research and advice. From the outside, it often seems like you guys are all making the big money and I’m just fiddling round the edges, but then I look at the volatility and complexity that you face and think I made the right decision.[read more]

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Biomass: The World's Biggest Provider Of Renewable Energy

April 23, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Biomass and Renewables

If I asked you to think of renewable energy what comes to mind? I imagine it is skyscraper-sized wind turbines, solar panels on suburban roofs or massive hydro-electric dams. You probably do not think of burning wood or converting crops to liquid fuel to be used in cars.[read more]

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Primetime Debate: Will an Ultra-High Voltage Transmission Supergrid Solve China's Air Pollution Crisis?

April 23, 2014 by Michael Davidson

China Pollution Crisis and Solutions

It’s hard to imagine coverage of electricity transmission policy here in the U.S. The contrast with Chinese television’s treatment of these issues shows how public concerns over air pollution and renewables are being injected into a decade-old discussion on the relationship between the grid and the state.[read more]

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One Weird Trick To Power Your City with 100% Renewable Energy

April 22, 2014 by Silvio Marcacci
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Renewables Growth

There’s strength in numbers, but what if that axiom was key to empowering entire cities to shift to renewables? It may sound like a weird trick, but bundling together power demand from thousands of utility customers into one large pool – aggregation – is doing just that in cities across the US.[read more]

Why a Climate Treaty or Carbon Tax Is Unlikely

April 22, 2014 by Steven Cohen
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Treaties and Taxes and Likelihood

For a long time colleagues have argued that we must limit greenhouse gas emissions via a binding international treaty. Often the same colleagues will say that we need to limit emissions by pricing carbon to discourage its use. As economists say: all things held equal; that solution should work.[read more]

The Losing Economics of Investing in Aging Coal Plants: Part 2

April 21, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Investors have projected another bleak year for the US coal industry – but 2014 may be the worst year for coal producers. In contrast, investors are increasingly warming up to the economic viability of alternative energy sources, including energy efficiency, and giving the dirty coal industry the cold shoulder.[read more]

How to Really Disrupt the Retail Energy Market With Solar Energy

April 21, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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Solar Energy and Market Disruption

The U.S. Solar Energy market is still very concentrated, with the top seven states accounting for 88 percent of the market. But, with the exception of Hawaii, which remains an outlier in almost every case, even the top solar states, including California, satisfy very little of their overall load with PV.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Gas

April 21, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Internalized Costs of Gas

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of gas. Please chip in with your opinion so that we can gather a statistically significant sample size and get a meaningful indication of the current consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

Mitigation Talk Vs. Mitigation Cost

April 21, 2014 by David Hone
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Mitigation and Future Plans

The last of the three IPCC 5th Assessment Reports has now been published, but with a final Synthesis Report to come towards the end of the year. The “Mitigation of Climate Change” details the various emission pathways that are open to us.[read more]

Climate One: Overselling the Fracking Boom

April 20, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
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Fracking Boom Merits?

Despite the good news that at the end of 2012 US carbon emissions were down 12 percent relative to 2005, there remains a long road to sustainable and sufficient emissions reductions to meet the goals scientists increasingly warn is required to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.[read more]

Excitons Observed in Action for the First Time

April 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Advancements

A quasiparticle called an exciton — responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits — has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within materials has never been directly observed.[read more]