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Sustainability

The Sun May Promote Adoption of Storage Technology In More Ways Than One

July 28, 2014 by James Greenberger

An interesting story in the press recently may portend a major driver of the storage market, this one also driven by the sun. NASA reports that in 2012 the earth narrowly missed being hit by a powerful coronal mass ejection event, which would have devastated the electricity grid, had it hit the earth directly.[read more]

Why Do We Need More Women in Solar?

July 28, 2014 by Rosana Francescato

Women in Solar

As the solar industry grows, women still make up just a little below nineteen percent of the workforce. How do we change that, and why is it important that we do? A panel at Intersolar and a number of recent articles shed light on these questions.[read more]

SolarWorld Wins Again: Big Anti-Dumping Tariffs in US-China Solar Panel Trade Case

July 28, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
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The Department of Commerce has again found for the petitioner, SolarWorld, in its Chinese solar module trade case. The preliminary decision imposes significant tariffs on Chinese solar modules in the anti-dumping portion of this case.[read more]

The US and Russia are Gas Giants

July 28, 2014 by Robert Rapier

Natural Gas Production

In 2013 global natural gas production advanced 1.1% to a new all-time high of 328 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd). Except for a one-year decline in 2008-2009, global gas production has risen fairly steadily for about three decades, and production has more than doubled during that time span.[read more]

Why VATs on Solar Energy Hinder Progress on Energy Poverty

July 28, 2014 by Justin Guay

Solar Taxes and Energy Poverty

What difference can a value added tax make to the lives of those living in energy poverty? A big one. Currently, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa apply a value added tax (VAT) to clean energy products like solar lanterns and solar home systems.[read more]

GE Tackles Fuel Cells, Google Issues 'Little Box' Challenge, and Smart Grid Drones Prepare for Takeoff

July 27, 2014 by Lexie Briggs
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GE, Google, and Drones

Energy giant and AEE member General Electric is expanding its advanced energy product line to include fuel cells. Google is looking to shrink inverters. And utility San Diego Gas & Electric is getting ready to launch drones to check on transmission lines.[read more]

Colorado Town to East Coast Anti-Fracking Activists: You're Wrong

July 27, 2014 by Simon Lomax

Local officials in Erie, Colorado, are pushing back hard against a national environmental group for misrepresenting the outcome of a failed “ban fracking” campaign in their town. The officials say the Massachusetts-based group has “ignored or misstated” the facts.[read more]

International Scorecard Highlights Room for Improvement in Energy Efficiency

July 27, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

International Energy Efficiency

A recent scan of energy efficiency in 16 nations showed that all fall short of their potential. But the collective wisdom among these countries offers a path forward. Following close upon their World Cup win in Brazil, Germany also comes in first in the latest International Energy Efficiency Scorecard.[read more]

Con Ed Looks to Batteries, Microgrids, and Efficiency to Delay $1B Substation Build

July 26, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

Consolidated Edison is taking a new approach to delivering reliable power that is as radical as the gentrification sweeping New York’s outer boroughs. Con Ed filed a proposal for a Brooklyn/Queens Demand Management Program, or BQDM, that it hopes can defer the cost of building a $1 billion substation.[read more]

SDG&E Becomes First Utility to Test Drones

July 26, 2014 by Sarah Battaglia

Drones and Utilities

San Diego Gas & Electric became the first utility in the country to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test-drive drones. The utility has been granted a Special Airworthiness Certificate that allows it to operate drones for research, testing, and training flights in Eastern San Diego County.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: On Major Oil Field Development Woes

July 26, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Oil Field Issues

The hits keep on coming for companies invested in the North Caspian Operating Company, the consortium developing Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oil field. One of the world’s largest and most complex oil field development projects, Kashagan has been plagued by delays and cost overruns for years.[read more]

High-Efficiency Planet

Dramatic increases in energy efficiency historically have allowed for cheaper energy services, and rather than reducing the amount of energy people used, these improvements increased energy consumption. As such, consumers play an important role in energy transitions.[read more]

World Oil Production at 3/31/2014: Where are We Headed?

July 25, 2014 by Gail Tverberg

Oil Production and Energy Future

The standard way to make forecasts of almost anything is to look at recent trends and assume that this trend will continue, at least for the next several years. With world oil production, the trend in oil production looks fairly benign, with the trend slightly upward. However, we may be dealing with an unstable situation.[read more]

IEA Executive Director Denounces Subsidy-Fueled 'Wasteful Consumption'

July 25, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
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Fuel Subsidies and Waste

Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently expressed her view that “ending ‘wasteful fossil fuel subsidies’, which may encourage overconsumption of oil and gas, particularly in the Middle East,” still constitutes a big challenge around the world.[read more]

Here's What Utilities Really Think About Microgrids

July 25, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Microgrids and Utility Opinions

There is just over a gigawatt worth of microgrids scattered throughout the country. While many of those projects have proved their value during major storms or extended outages, they are largely custom-engineered and limited to public facilities like schools, hospitals and military bases.[read more]