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Four Actions that Latin America's Cities Can Explore to Combat Climate Change

December 18, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Between now and 2050 global urban populations are projected to grow from 3.4 to 6.4 billion people. This type of rapid growth creates new and higher demand for resources, especially in the transport sector, a large source of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, as well as an inescapable energy cost.[read more]

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U.S. Uranium Supplies, Part 2: Mitigating Future Energy Security Risks from Large Imports Disruptions

December 17, 2014 by John Miller

Uranium Security and Supply Risk Prevention

In the previous ‘U.S. Uranium Supplies, Part 1’ report we covered current-future World & U.S. Nuclear Power generation, primary sources of nuclear fuels, and the growing risks to imported supplies. Here we will cover promising policies and strategies for mitigating future potential uranium fuel imports disruption risks.[read more]

DoE Announces $12.5B in Loans for Advanced Nuclear

December 17, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

DoE Advanced Nuclear Loans

The Department of Energy issued a loan guarantee solicitation for $12.5 billion on Wednesday for innovative nuclear projects. This comes on top of $8 billion for advanced fossil energy projects last December, and $6.5 billion for two nuclear reactors in February, the first new to be built in the U.S. in about 30 years.[read more]

Natural Gas Overwhelmingly Replaces Coal

December 17, 2014 by Alex Trembath
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Coal Replacement by Natural Gas

The growth of natural gas generation in the US has displaced coal generation. There is little evidence in the aggregate regional power generation data that cheap gas has displaced other low-carbon sources of electricity. Nor is there evidence that increased gas generation has induced new demand.[read more]

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America

December 16, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Solar's Breakthrough Year?

Over the next two years, America will build 13 gigawatts of utility-scale solar PV plants. Those projects will surpass the country's cumulative solar capacity across all sectors reached at the end of 2013. Why such a big surge in utility-scale solar after a brief slowdown in the project pipeline? The answer is price.[read more]

Decoupling and Distributed Energy

December 16, 2014 by Zane Selvans
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Distributed Energy and Generation

One of the main reasons that utilities fight against distributed generation like rooftop solar is that it erodes demand for their centrally generated electricity. Reduced demand is annoying for any business, but it’s especially bad for traditional monopoly utilities.[read more]

Big Utilities Begin to Warm to Rooftop Solar Energy

December 16, 2014 by Devashree Saha
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Utilities and Rooftop Solar Support

NRG Energy recently announced a major foray into California’s residential solar market, with a goal to have 35,000 to 40,000 home solar installations by the end of 2015. The development is indicative of the seismic changes underway in the utility industry. Utilities are slowly beginning to warm up to rooftop solar.[read more]

Finding the Way to Paris from Lima

December 16, 2014 by David Hone

With the choice of a high road and a low road from Lima to Paris, the Parties seem to have selected the dirt track off to the side, replete with rocks, obstacles, difficult terrain and an uncertain destination. However, the map they have crafted in Lima does at least have clear pointers to the outcome actually needed.[read more]

Is Cellulosic Ethanol All it’s Cracked Up to Be?

December 15, 2014 by Edward Dodge
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The EPA has long promoted cellulosic ethanol as the future of biofuels, but technical challenges have kept production far below targets. A recent rule change allows renewable natural gas to qualify as cellulosic biofuel even though RNG is not cellulosic, but this helps the EPA to appear to be meeting their goals.[read more]

Reading the Tea Leaves in the Oil Markets [VIDEO]

December 15, 2014 by Robert Rapier
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Oil Market Predictions

This week I would like to post a new interview that I did with Jason Burack of Wall Street for Main Street. I have been asked many times in recent weeks for comments on what’s happening in the oil and gas markets. Here I lay things out as I see them in a wide-ranging 40-minute interview.[read more]

Assessing the Outcome of the Lima Climate Talks

December 15, 2014 by Robert Stavins

On December 14th, the COP 20 of the UNFCCC concluded in Lima, Peru with an agreement among 195 countries, the “Lima Accord,” which represents both a classic compromise between the rich and poor countries, and a significant breakthrough after twenty years of difficult climate negotiations.[read more]

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Valuing Solar Energy: Two Models to Use

December 15, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Solar Energy Valuation

“A strong VOS approach,” ICF’s Steve Fine and colleagues concluded, “in which the real costs and benefits to the system are accurately valued, is not only a useful tool for integrating increasing amounts of SPV onto the grid, but will be critical for stakeholders to make planning and risk management decisions.”[read more]

Future Energy Fellows post

Lima Climate Talks: A Catalyst for Global Change? A Future Energy Fellows #EnergyChat Webinar

December 15, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins

TEC #EnergyChat

Is the UNFCCC still a viable pathway to confront climate change? Are bilateral deals, like the US-China partnership, an alternative to the UNFCCC process? In collaboration with Shell's Future Energy Fellows Program we hosted an #energychat webinar to find out how experts felt about the subjects.[read more]

Lighting Controls Could Save Boston $27M Annually

December 14, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
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Cities and Lighting Energy Savings

Earlier this year, the chair of Massachusetts' Department of Public Utilities was frank about her state’s need to come up with new solutions to unlock energy efficiency. New data from Retroficiency shows one domain where huge opportunity lies: commercial lighting.[read more]

Several States are Adding or Increasing Incentives for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

December 14, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

EV Charging Station State Support

During the past few years, several models of plug-in electric vehicles, including battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, have been introduced in the light-duty vehicle market, but are limited in driving range. Charging infrastructure is crucial to the success of these kinds of vehicles.[read more]