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3 Climate Lessons From Lima

December 18, 2014 by Durwood Zaelke

Lessons from Lima

Climate change cannot be solved without leadership from heads of government, without immediate mitigation of near-term warming, and without cutting short-lived climate pollutants to complement the United Nations climate agreement.[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
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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]

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Thoughts on Climate Change After Crossing Asia

December 16, 2014 by David Kroodsma

Climate Change Views in Asia

Six months after leaving Istanbul, and cycling 5,500 miles, we reached the coast of China, thus officially crossing Asia with our bicycles. In addition to enjoying the open road and making friends with farmers, yak herders, and businessmen, we've talked to people we've met along the way about climate change.[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]

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20th UN Climate Summit: Catalyst for Global Action?

December 12, 2014 by Amelia Smith

A virtual discussion about the events, decisions and conversations from the 20th UNFCCC climate summit in Lima. Is the UNFCCC still a viable pathway to confront climate change? Can the Lima talks capture momentum from a recent US-China climate agreement and set the stage for international agreement in Paris in 2015? Are bilateral deals,...[read more]

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Is the US-China Climate Change Deal a Game-Changer? An Interview with MIT's Valerie Karplus

December 11, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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US China Climate Partnership

Climate diplomacy made global headlines with a new partnership between the world's two largest carbon emitters: the United States and China. In this interview, I catch up with MIT's Valerie Karplus, an expert on both American and Chinese energy and climate policy, to dig into the details of the deal.[read more]

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Beyond Electrification: Why Fuels Matter for Energy Access

December 9, 2014 by Angi Acocella
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Energy Access and Clean Fuels

Though awareness of energy access challenges in developing countries grows, most of the attention goes to electricity. The statistics on access to clean cooking and heating fuels are just as, if not more staggering as the electrification challenge. Ensuring access to modern fuels demands as much urgency.[read more]

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Energy Innovation Doesn't Just Happen: How Government Policies Destroyed and Regenerated the U.S. Wind Turbine Industry, Twice

December 8, 2014 by Nathaniel Horner
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Wind Industry and Government Policy

Policies like the PTC and Renewable Portfolio Standards have not only incentivized wind turbine construction, they also have an effect on the rate of turbine innovation. The way in which these sorts of policies are implemented can make or break new tech, as the history of wind development in the U.S. shows.[read more]

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Russia's Turn to the East: Expanded Oil and Gas Exports to East Asia Help Reduce Dependence on European Buyers

December 2, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Russia Fuel Export Changes

In large part to decrease dependence on European buyers, Russia is increasing exports of oil and gas to East Asia as it shifts production from mature, declining fields in Western Siberia to untapped resources in the East. Japan and China are major new buyers or Russian oil and gas.[read more]

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U.S. Uranium Supplies, Part 1: Growing Energy Security Risks

December 1, 2014 by John Miller
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Uranium Supply and Risk

Nuclear Power is the largest source of U.S. ‘zero carbon’ electricity generation. Expansion of this baseload power generation capacity is needed to replace coal and enable future expansions of variable Wind and Solar Power. The U.S. unfortunately imports most nuclear fuels, which are subject to growing supply disruption risks.[read more]

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A New Platform to Guide Utility Regulations To Let Solar and Distributed Energy Flourish

November 28, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Utility Regulations and Future Energy Planning

If you could start from a clean slate to regulate electric utilities, how would you begin such a task, and how would you reflect the changing dynamics in the electricity industry, especially with respect to solar energy and distributed generation?[read more]

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Future Cities Need 'Intelligent' Local Energy Systems

November 28, 2014 by Sophie Curtis

Urban Energy Systems

In cities we are faced with systems of multiple spatial as well as temporal scales. Slowly changing urban infrastructure systems are required to react to sometimes rapid societal changes. In addition cities bring together a large variety of different stakeholders their own specific viewpoints.[read more]

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Five Energy Moments To Be Thankful For In 2014

November 26, 2014 by Stephanie Kays

An Energy Thanksgiving

As we wind down the year 2014, there have been a few moments – some forward thinking and others outright overdue – in the world of energy that we can look back on and be thankful. Overall, countries around the world took a good step forward in the direction of a cleaner planet.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Distributed Solar PV

November 25, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Solar PV Internal Costs

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of distributed solar PV energy. Please add your opinion so we can gather a statistically significant sample and get a meaningful indication of the consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

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What Does 'Energy Access' Even Mean Anyway?

November 24, 2014 by Patricia Levi
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Energy for Human Development

What does it mean for a household or business in a developing country to have electricity access? This apparently simple question has a complex and contested answer. How electricity access is defined has important implications for what types of interventions planners design for future electrification progress.[read more]

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Coal Ash Waste Disposal by Utilities Set to Improve December 19th, But What About the Growing Risks of‘ 'Legacy' Pits?

November 24, 2014 by Jim Pierobon
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Coal Ash Waste Disposal Risk

140 million tons of waste ash is dumped by utilities along major waterways every year throughout the United States. Recent ruptures have done a great deal to underscore the growing public health and safety risks to both human beings and wildlife.[read more]

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The U.S.-China Deal on Climate Change: Minilateralism at Work

November 17, 2014 by Robert Stowe
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The deal between China and the United States to limit greenhouse-gas emissions is very significant—more because China and the United States are now cooperating so closely on climate change than because of the specifics of the deal.[read more]

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Why Wind Farms Can Be Relied On For Almost Zero Power

November 17, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Wind Farms and Back Up

A common claim about wind farms is that every unit of installed wind capacity needs to be backed up by one unit of fossil fuel capacity. Some claim that wind farms do not reduce carbon emissions; while others tell us that wind farms do not need much back up in the first place. Both assertions are demonstrably false.[read more]

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The "Historic" US-China Climate Change Deal Confirms that We are Failing in the Fight Against Climate Change

November 13, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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US-China Climate Agreement

Optimism has broken out among those concerned about climate change. Secret negotiations between America and China have given us a "game changing" deal, one that gives us a "fighting chance" to limit global warming. But like it or not, this deal does not appear to give us a chance to win this particular fight.[read more]

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Why Does the U.S. Still Need So Much Fracking Oil?

November 12, 2014 by John Miller
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Fracking Oil and Energy Needs

United States petroleum consumption peaked in the year 2005, and it has been declining from that high ever since. Can this improvement of U.S. petroleum consumption be sustained and possibly achieve a 30 percent reduction in 2005 to 2030?[read more]