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Finance

Can New Hybrid Models Make Up for Slowing Growth in Traditional Demand Response?

October 1, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Hybrid Models and Demand Response

The previously growing demand response market in the United States took a hit in May when an appeals court ruled against a federal order requiring grid operators to pay wholesale prices for demand reductions bid into the system in real time.[read more]

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Growing Middle East Threats to U.S. Energy Security

October 1, 2014 by John Miller

Middle East Conflict and Energy Security

The recent undeclared war on ISIS is in response to increasing terrorist threats against the U.S. Besides increased air strikes and developing a new Coalition against Middle East terrorists, should the Obama Administration also address the increasing risks to U.S. energy security?[read more]

Rationalizing California's Residential Electricity Rates

September 30, 2014 by Severin Borenstein
1

California Home Electricity Rates

California is talking seriously about changing the way utilities price electricity for residential customers. As a result of recent legislative actions, the CPUC now has some flexibility to modify the extreme increasing-block pricing schedules that were adopted after California’s 2000-01 electricity crisis.[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Power Markets and the Changing Color of the Grid

September 30, 2014 by Alexander Goodman
1

Markets and the Grid

Across the Midwest and Eastern US and into Canada, the extreme weather events of 2014’s winter tested the regional energy markets in unprecedented ways. Successive polar vortexes swept cold over North America and pushed energy prices to record highs.[read more]

Solar Policy Battle: IRS Now Part of Fierce Debate Over How to Value Solar Energy

September 30, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
6

The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), a downstream solar advocacy group whose members include SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sungevity, Sunrun, and Verengo, just sent out a release revealing that the conflict over solar valuation has escalated to the point of requiring a decision from the IRS.[read more]

Companies are Part of the Equation to Address Climate Change

September 30, 2014 by Bob Perciasepe
1

In recent years, many companies have acknowledged the risks of climate change and worked to improve their energy efficiency and sustainability. Recently, companies announced new efforts to fund clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, and support a price on carbon.[read more]

Information and Efficiency: Is Data A Painkiller?

September 30, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

Can data kill your pain? Los Angeles is hoping it will, at least where some data sources are concerned. Back in May, the city launched a new DataLA site that features data downloads on topics such as crime statistics and budget information, as well as easy to understand visualizations of key metrics.[read more]

A New Approach to Valuing the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Energy Resources

September 30, 2014 by Ryan Katofsky

Distributed Energy Resources

For "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) program to be successful, utility regulators need a new framework for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) to accurately assess the full value of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and to compare it to traditional solutions.[read more]

How a Top Liberal State Is Creating an Electricity Market That Conservatives Should Love

September 29, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
6

Imagine an electricity market that gives small businesses and consumers the same ability to compete and make money that utilities have always had. The market has no explicit technology mandates that require utilities or individuals to "pick winners and losers." It simply sets some basic rules.[read more]

Did the UN Summit Shift the Dial?

September 29, 2014 by David Hone
1

The UN Climate Summit has come and gone and leaders from many countries have made announcements, pledges or at least offered moral support. But are we any better off as a result? Reflecting on the last few days of meetings, events, panels and speeches in New York, I would have to argue “yes.”[read more]

Creating an Integrated Grid: Regulators, Legislators Can Help

September 28, 2014 by Chris King
1

Grid Integration and Regulation

Integrating more distributed power generation and energy storage can help make a grid more flexible, resilient, sustainable and environmentally friendly. But in the U.S., there's a catch -- so far, utilities here are effectively barred from owning generation and storage assets at the distribution level.[read more]

As Hawaii Prepares for Utility Reform, the State's Solar Industry Sheds 3,000 Workers

September 28, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Hawaii's solar industry is in a precarious situation. As regulators and the state's utility company prepare to negotiate a sweeping reform plan to support more distributed energy, solar installers are finding it harder than ever to get permits for residential solar projects from the utility.[read more]

Advanced Energy Technology of the Week: Energy Service Company (ESCO) Services

September 27, 2014 by Matt Stanberry

Energy Service Companies

Energy Service Companies reduce customers’ energy use and costs by implementing comprehensive efficiency solutions. This involves retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficient equipment like efficient lighting, heating, AC, and motors, as well as energy management and control systems.[read more]

Solar in Texas: It's Really Happening this Time (Really)

September 27, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
7

Texas and Solar

Every year, it seems, is predicted to be the “year for solar,” and for certain states this may ring true. But in Texas, despite having a close relationship with the sun and its heat (2011 gave us 100 days over 100 degrees and no rain), we have yet to realize our potential for solar energy development.[read more]

Low Oil Prices: Sign of a Debt Bubble Collapse, Leading to the End of Oil Supply?

September 27, 2014 by Gail Tverberg
24

Oil Prices and Supply Economics

Oil and other commodity prices have recently been dropping. Is this good news, or bad? I would argue that falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that the debt bubble which has been holding up the world economy for a very long–since World War II, at least–is failing to expand sufficiently.[read more]