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Finance

Regulators Approve Major Upgrades to California's Largest Low-Income Energy Efficiency Program

August 20, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Low-Income Energy Efficiency

The California Public Utilities Commission today unanimously adopted significant program enhancements for the state’s largest energy efficiency program dedicated to cutting bills and electricity waste for low-income households.[read more]

Utility 2.0: NY Utility Regulators Should Consider Change to "Formula for Success"

August 20, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Utility Regulators' New 'Formula'

Acquire more customers, sell more electricity. This primary formula has fueled the runaway success of utility companies. But in an era when customers are technologically savvy, price conscious, and environmentally aware, more families are pursuing opportunities that will cut electricity bills and carbon emissions.[read more]

Building Skills Among Renewable Industries' Workforce

August 20, 2014 by Dan Liggett

Rewables Workforce Skills

With increased global demand for energy and concerns over climate change, renewable energy industries worldwide are projected to be in a growth phase for the foreseeable future. That creates not only funding, political and infrastructure challenges, but workforce challenges as well.[read more]

A Quiet Confession: China Cuts 2020 Shale Gas Goals in Half  

August 20, 2014 by Kate Rosow Chrisman

China and Shale Gas

China quietly cut its 2020 goals for shale gas, a goal that was so ambitious that few took the number seriously. The goal – to ramp up from zero commercial production of shale gas to 60-80 billion cubic meters by 2020 – was met with skepticism both inside and outside China when first announced.[read more]

Recycling Old Batteries into Solar Cells

August 19, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Batteries Recycled Into Solar

This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.[read more]

How Badly Is the Wave and Tidal Industry Struggling? Likely Worse Than You Thought

August 19, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

A decade after the surge of attention in marine energy technologies, the industry has not been able to overcome severe technical and financial challenges. As a result, installations have remained at pilot scale, while financing has been largely limited to government programs for testing and demonstrations.[read more]

Raising Gas Prices to Grow An Economy

August 19, 2014 by Lucas Davis

Gas Prices and Economies

Two weeks ago, Yemen increased gasoline prices from $2.20 to $3.50 per gallon, while increasing diesel prices from $1.70 to $3.40. These are significant increases. These reforms in Yemen bring the price of both fuels up to market levels.[read more]

Opening the Multi-Trillion Dollar Market for Energy Management

August 19, 2014 by Elias Hinckley

Energy management is one of the most important parts of our changing energy landscape. It is a market made up of part energy efficiency, part Big Data solution and part Internet of Things. Energy management will be a multi-trillion dollar industry that will reverberate across industrialized economies.[read more]

Corporate Buyers Demonstrate Demand for Renewables, Now it’s Time for the Market to Catch Up

August 18, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Renewables and Corporate Adoption

Last month, twelve major corporations announced a combined goal of buying 8.4 million megawatt hours of renewable energy each year, and called for market changes to make these large-scale purchases possible. Their commitment shows that demand for renewables has reached the big time.[read more]

As Coal Declines, U.S. Poised for Leadership in LNG Exports

August 18, 2014 by Lexie Briggs

Coal and LNG Exports

 

Just last year we noted that the U.S. was poised to become a major exporter of liquid natural gas. We saw another step in that direction as the DoE announced that it had conditionally authorized Oregon-based LNG Development Co., LLC to export LNG to countries without a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.[read more]

Survey: Utilities See Threat, Opportunity in Distributed Generation

August 18, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Utilities and Distributed Generation

 

United States utilities see both threat and opportunity in the rise of customer-owned solar systems. Sure, all that new distributed generation could help them avoid building new power plants in the future. But it could also threaten utility business models.[read more]

Why Natural Gas Prices Collapsed

August 18, 2014 by Robert Rapier

Natural Gas Prices

I have laid out the argument since last winter that because of the deep inventory hole that developed over the course of the exceptionally cold winter, natural gas prices would remain high relative to last year, and that as a result natural gas producers would likely report higher year-over-year profits.[read more]

New Report Finds California Solar Installations Nearly Doubled in 2013, Thanks to Good Solar Policy

August 16, 2014 by Rosana Francescato
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California Solar Policies

A new report ranks the top states in terms of solar energy, with California once again taking the top place for installed solar energy capacity. The report emphasizes the importance of favorable governmental and state policies in encouraging solar energy adoptions.[read more]

Energy and the Economy: Twelve Basic Principles

August 16, 2014 by Gail Tverberg
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Energy Economic Principles

There is a standard view of energy and the economy that can briefly be summarized as follows: Economic growth can continue forever; we will learn to use less energy supplies; energy prices will rise; and the world will adapt. My view of how energy and the economy fit together is very different.[read more]

America's First Oil Sands Producer and Other Natural Resources Surprises: Interview with Peter Epstein

August 16, 2014 by Jim Patrick

In 2011, CFA Peter Epstein left his senior analyst position at a $3B hedge fund and formed MockingJay Inc., a consultancy for companies in the natural resources space and an informal investment adviser to high-net-worth investors, family offices and funds.[read more]