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Sustainability

New England Natural Gas Market 'Not Taking Full Advantage of Available Infrastructure'

September 15, 2014 by Jared Anderson
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New England and the Natural Gas Market

When temperatures plummeted across the Northeast last winter, spot natural gas prices along the Eastern Seaboard spiked to eye-popping levels causing many to call for additional pipeline capacity. However, as is often the case with energy issues, the situation is more complex than it may first appear.[read more]

Did Solar Capacity Beat Natural Gas in the First Half of 2014?

September 15, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
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Solar Capacity and Natural Gas

Last year, solar photovoltaics and concentrating solar power were the second-largest source of new generating capacity in the U.S. That trend continued through the first half of 2014, with solar coming in behind natural gas in terms of new power plant additions. Or did it?[read more]

Despite Decline in Some Regions, World Oil Consumption Still Seen Rising

September 15, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy
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Fuel Trends

The largest potential for growth in demand for liquid fuels lies in the emerging economies of China, India, and countries in the Middle East, while in the United States, Europe, Japan, and other mature industrialized economies, liquid fuel demand has leveled off and is projected to slowly decline.[read more]

Department of Energy's National Labs Can Also Be Regional Hubs

September 15, 2014 by Mark Muro

Labs as Hubs

The Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories are a $12.5 billion network of potentially transformative basic and applied R&D hubs located in or near many of the nation’s metropolitan areas. However, the labs are today underutilized as true economic assets. How can they be better leveraged?[read more]

Cleaning China's Smoggy Skies: China Released Draft Air Pollution Law Amendments for Public Comment

September 15, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

On Tuesday, September 9th, the Legislative Affairs Office of China’s State Council released the first draft of the highly-anticipated revisions to the national Air Pollution Prevention and Control Law, providing hope that blue skies won’t always be fleeting in China's future.[read more]

Opower Enters Rare Partnership With FirstFuel to Expand Into Commercial Building Efficiency

September 14, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Opower doesn't often enter into strategic partnerships with companies that overlap with its business. The company has been very successful landing utility partners so far, and other than starting a relationship with Honeywell for a smart thermostat deployment, it hasn't needed to rely on others to expand.[read more]

Going Back to School, Moving Forward with Solar Energy

September 14, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
1

School Energy Costs and Savings

While this may have been a tough week for some of New York’s school kids, who, in the last few days, have headed back to class, the school districts that educate them, just got some great news: A new, New York State program called K-Solar (read that: “K through Solar”) has just launched.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: Saudi Aramco Putting $40B of Its 'Money Where Its Mouth Is'

September 13, 2014 by Jared Anderson
1

Saudi Energy Investment

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company plans to invest $40 billion over the next decade to maintain oil production capacity at 12 million barrels per day, while doubling natural gas output. They face a dilemma with much of its associated gas already being consumed by the oil sector for enhanced recovery.[read more]

ViZn Energy: A New Flow Battery Contender in the Grid-Scale Storage Race

September 13, 2014 by Jeff St. John
1

Startups and researchers have been striving to create a rechargeable, grid-scale energy storage system using zinc, one of the world’s cheapest metals, but they tend to break down after just hundreds of charge-discharge cycles, and coming up with new technology innovations to overcome this remains a challenge.[read more]

The Era of Big Dams is Still Over, Even With the Water Bond

September 13, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Dams and the Water Bond

 

The potential for new water storage in California is in the news because of Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on California’s November ballot, which includes $2.7 billion for new groundwater and surface storage, and an additional $800M for groundwater remediation projects.[read more]

Australian Solar Energy Businesses Restructuring for Survival

September 13, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Notwithstanding the farcical goings on around the RET review, solar businesses in Australia continue to move and shake. Its seems the last few months have been all about mergers and acquisitions which is either a sign of industry maturity or desperation, depending on your perspective.[read more]

Sprung a Leak? Smart Water Meters to the Rescue

September 12, 2014 by Kate Zerrenner

Smart Water Readers

A few months ago I logged into my online utility account and noticed it was more than twice the amount I usually pay, all of the excess going to water. We are water and electricity savers in our household, so what on earth could this spike be?[read more]

Court Ruling Could Require BP to Pay Billions in Fines for Gulf Oil Spill Restoration

September 12, 2014 by Frances Beinecke

BP Liability

A federal judge ruled last Thursday that BP acted with “gross negligence” in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. This decision could result in the company paying an estimated $18 billion in fines. And the vast majority of that money must be spent on restoring the environment and coastal communities devastated by the spill.[read more]

Natural Gas, Solar, and Wind Led Power Plant Capacity Additions in the First Half of 2014

September 12, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Power Plant Capacity Additions

In the first six months of 2014, 4,350 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale generating capacity came online. Natural gas plants, almost all combined-cycle plants, made up more than half of the additions, while solar plants contributed more than a quarter and wind plants around one-sixth.[read more]

5 Key Proposals for New York's Grid Transformation

September 12, 2014 by Jeff St. John

New York’s has provided details of how it plans to transform the state’s electric grid and energy markets, with proposals to turn the state’s utilities into distributed system platform providers, identify use cases for replacing grid upgrades with distributed generation, and create open markets for third-party competition.[read more]