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When Politics Constraints Carbon Pricing, Part 2: 6 Tips for Improving Climate Change Policy

July 24, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Carbon Pricing and Politics

The repeal of Australia’s carbon tax last week put the political obstacles to establishing a price on carbon in stark relief. Yet the news from Canberra is just the most dramatic manifestation of a set of powerful political economy forces that can fundamentally constrain efforts to put a price on carbon.[read more]

The Great Electric Company Growth Opportunity

July 24, 2014 by Elias Hinckley
1

Utilities and Growth Choices

Energy use in the United States can be split into two large (very, very large) pies. One is electricity for use in homes, buildings, and industry, and the other is transportation, which is powered primarily by liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel) from oil.[read more]

Sure the Utility Business Model is Changing, but Not So Fast

July 24, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Changing Utility Business Models

The changing utility business model has been a major theme in the news and industry circles this year, with many bemoaning that fact that as distributed generation and energy efficiency proliferate, utilities sell less of their product. The trend has even been dramatically called the “utility death spiral.” Scary.[read more]

Solar and Other Renewables Maintain Lead in U.S. Generating Capacity Installed

July 24, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
1

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]

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 Yet much of this infrastructure is outdated, under-maintained, and in desperate need of repair.[read more]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
3

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]

High-Energy Africa

Africa and Energy Development

Six of the best performing economies have come from Africa in the past six years, but energy poverty continues to be a significant barrier for development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa will need to power its factories, hospitals, schools, and other foundational infrastructure with cheap and reliable sources of electricity.[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]

Why we Need CCS - Part 5: Bridge to a Sustainable Energy Future

July 22, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
33

Carbon Capture and Sustainable Energy

If climate science is correct, the world has little choice other than aggressive pursuit of the bridge technologies of CCS and bio-energy through a true technology-neutral CO2 mitigation framework. Pursuing renewables and nuclear power as a primary climate change mitigation strategy can do much more harm than good in the long run.[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]

Four Reasons Why Energy Efficiency Programs Fail

July 22, 2014 by Nick Blandford

Efficiency Failures

So you’ve decided to take the initiative to achieve sustained energy savings at your organization. By addressing every source of electricity consumption your goal can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time. But for every goal, there’s a wrong and right way to reach it.[read more]

Third-Party Financing Was Solar's Catalyst. Can Energy Efficiency Find the Same Model?

July 22, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Energy Efficiency and Third-Party Investment

Energy efficiency professionals are increasingly looking to the success of third-party financing in the solar industry as a model for attracting large investors. Is it working? If a new survey of hundreds of project developers is any indication, the efficiency industry still hasn't found financing momentum.[read more]

Steam from the Sun

July 22, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Steam and New Materials

A new and innovative material structure developed at MIT generates steam by soaking up the sun. The structure, which consists of a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam, is a porous, insulating material structure that floats on water.[read more]

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Why Does Politics Keep Getting in the Way of Pricing Carbon? - Part 1

July 21, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
27

Carbon Pricing and Politics

If you ask an economist the best way to combat climate change, you are very likely to get a pretty simple answer: put a price on carbon. Tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. Make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive.[read more]