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Obama-Xi Climate Agreement Opens Door to Success in Paris in 2015

November 20, 2014 by Durwood Zaelke

US-China Climate Deal, and Preparing for Paris

 

President Obama's historic agreement Wednesday with President Xi Jinping of China is the kind of bold action needed to reinvigorate the world's efforts to slow and eventually reverse climate pollution. The president has opened the door to success with a global climate agreement in Paris next December.[read more]

Keystone Falls Short in Senate, Cable News Battle Continues

November 20, 2014 by Matthew Nisbet

Keystone XL and Cable News

In the U.S. Senate Tuesday evening, supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline failed by a single vote to pass a bill approving the project. As the battle over the pipeline lives on for at least a few more months, a forthcoming study indicates that cable news and other partisan news outlets have played a significant role in distorting how Democrats and Republicans view even the most basic facts of the debate.[read more]

Clinton (well, Gore) Went to Kyoto. Obama Went to Beijing

November 20, 2014 by Maximilian Auffhammer
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Obama and International Climate Deals

 

Last week, United States President Obama and China's Premier Xi stood together announcing a deal on emissions reductions between these two great nations. The fact that such a bilateral agreement is possible and sealed with a handshake is a big deal.[read more]

Study Finds no Energy-Related Water Contamination in Bakken Region, But...

November 20, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Bakken Fracking and Water Risk

Oil and gas development in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana has not impacted shallow water resources, according to a new study. However, the age of the groundwater sampled and the sample locations indicate additional research should be conducted to fully evaluate energy production impact.[read more]

Renewable Business Acquisitions Continue in Australia

November 20, 2014 by Nigel Morris

Over my years in renewables, I’ve lived with and installed a range of technologies including the odd small wind turbine. I’ve visited properties where committed owners have installed these devices appropriately and have enjoyed low cost reliable energy without a power line in sight, for decades.[read more]

Cooling India: Financing the Cost of Transition to Refrigerants with Lower Climate-Change Impact

November 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

At the Montreal Protocol meeting, starting on Monday in Paris, countries could seize one “low hanging fruit” opportunity by agreeing to move forward on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent and fast-growing heat-trapping gases.[read more]

U.S Commits $3 Billion to Green Climate Fund

November 19, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
1

Green Climate Fund and Funding

On Friday, sources revealed the Obama administration’s intention to pledge $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to serve as a “call to arms” for focusing attention on climate change at the G20 summit over the weekend in Brisbane, Australia.[read more]

What Does New York's 'Energy Vision' Mean for Utility Jurisdiction and Regulators? [VIDEO]

November 19, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
1

New York's Energy Vision

Before the New York Public Service Commission’s vision of a grid operated by Distributed System Platform Providers (DSPPs) can become a reality, there are just a few points to hammer out -- to say the least. The issues are complex and wide open for debate.[read more]

Three Global Utility Metatrends

November 19, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

European Utility Week serves as an excellent venue to obtain more global industry perspectives than what is typically found in most industry events. In the case of the 2014 event, it served to reinforce the conclusion that there are really three global metatrends in play for electric utilities.[read more]

The Importance of the U.S.-China Climate Accord

November 19, 2014 by Steven Cohen

Last week, the US pledged to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 26% from 2005 levels before 2025. China agreed to stop growing its emissions by 2030. Since we don't have a world government and are unlikely to get one soon, we are dependent on the actions of nations if we are to mitigate global warming.[read more]

Two Political Lessons from Germany's Energiewende

November 19, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Lessons of the Energiewende

 

Political actors in countries with coordinated market economies, such as Germany, prefer a process giving rise to decisions unanimous among main stakeholders. But for the Energiewende – Germany’s plan to transition to nearly 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 – unanimity is constrained.[read more]

Why Hydraulic Fracturing is Not Necessarily Contaminating Water or Using More Water Per Unit of Oil Production

November 19, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
3

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Usage

The 2014 US Midterm Elections significantly altered the balance of power in the US Congress. This, however, has not been the only big result from Election Night 2014. Voters in some communities in California, Ohio, and perhaps most surprisingly in Texas, chose to enact bans on fracking.[read more]

European Residential Electricity Prices Increasing Faster than Prices in United States

November 19, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Residential Energy Price Changes

European residential electricity prices have historically exceeded U.S. prices, and the gap has widened in recent years. In 2013, average residential electricity rates in European Union (EU) countries were more than double rates in the United States.[read more]

US-China Climate Pact a 'Game Changer' for Clean Energy

November 18, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

US-China Climate Pact

For the first time, the two largest greenhouse gas emitting countries in the world have pledged to reduce carbon pollution. This is a game changer. The agreement between the United States and China will be a giant boost for clean-energy markets.[read more]

The World's Biggest Battery Is Being Built in Southern California

November 18, 2014 by Eric Wesoff
9

Battery Development in California

The world's biggest battery is coming to California. Last week, Southern California Edison (SCE) revealed the winners of a massive 250-megawatt energy storage procurement round, one that could set new standards for incorporating distributed and customer-owned energy assets into grid operations.[read more]

RGGI States' Clean Power Plan Comments Prove We Can Cut More Carbon Pollution Fast

November 18, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Last week, the nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) submitted their comments about the Clean Power Plan. Based on their considerable experience cutting carbon pollution, it’s no surprise the RGGI states expressed strong support for it.[read more]

Q&A: Christopher Knittel on the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Plan

November 18, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas

The EPA’s initial emissions proposal is now under public review, before the agency issues a final rule in 2015. Christopher Knittel, the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics at the MIT, is one of 13 economists who co-authored an article about the policy in the journal Science.[read more]

Getting Cleantech Through its Awkward Teen Years

November 18, 2014 by Matt Stewart

Cleantech and the Mainstream

Not so long ago, cleantech was mired in a troubled childhood. Efficiency bored people into a coma, solar was expensive. Some companies accepted government support, some failed, providing fodder for political attack. Cleantech was a dirty word. Just think Solyndra. Now the pendulum has swung back.[read more]

CCS Breakthrough: sCO2 Power Cycles Offer Improved Efficiency and Integrated Carbon Capture

November 18, 2014 by Edward Dodge
20

Carbon Capture and Storage

NET Power, a young company from Durham, North Caroline recently announced they will construct the first of a kind natural gas fueled power generation system with zero air emissions and complete carbon capture, which combines oxy-fuel combustion with a supercritical CO2 turbine to create power.[read more]

Trending Topics in Electricity Today: New Opportunities for Utilities

November 18, 2014 by America's Power Plan

Electricity News Today

The experts of America’s Power Plan discuss new opportunities for electric utilities to drive development of distributed energy resources. By leveraging their social mandate and aggregator status, utilities can become essential enablers for customers to take advantage of new investment opportunities.[read more]

Two Views on Mitigation Economics

November 18, 2014 by David Hone
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The annual Forum held by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is always an interesting event, and the recent Forum held in Boston was no exception thanks to a discussion on two very different approaches to triggering the necessary mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions.[read more]

New Report Shows Remarkable Reduction in Water Use by Power Plants

November 17, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
4

Power Plant Water Reduction

Among all the things that we use less of today than in 1970 – paper maps, postage stamps, and cameras without a phone are some of the items that immediately come to mind – water is the next thing that should be added to that list, according to the newest report released by the U.S. Geological Survey.[read more]

IEA: 'The Cost of Fossil Fuels to an Economy Is Not Reduced by Subsidies; It Is Just Redistributed'

November 17, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
6

Fossil Fuels and Actual Costs

Countries around the globe have committed to reducing subsidies for fossil fuels. But that commitment is not being put into practice quickly enough for cleaner energy solutions to gain a competitive edge in some regions, according to the 2014 World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency.[read more]

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

November 17, 2014 by Robert Stowe
1

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]

The U.S. and China Announce Joint Emissions Reductions

November 17, 2014 by Henry Auer

People in China and the United States feel the effects of global warming in their daily lives. The creeping smog hanging over Beijing and other cities, driven in part by burning coal for electric generation, severely impacts the lives of millions of Chinese citizens.[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]

How Good Is The New Emissions Deal with China?

November 17, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles
1

Only an event like Tuesday's agreement between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the two countries could top the unexpected scramble in the US Senate to pass a Keystone XL pipeline bill as the big energy story of the week.[read more]

Long Road to Paris 2015: Longer-Term National Climate Strategies

November 17, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Prepping for Paris

The coming year should be very interesting and time will tell where the common denominator – i.e., where all those post-2020 targets merge – is to be found in terms of dealing with climate change among UN member states and with what respective degree of urgency.[read more]

Despite Crackdown, Indian Courts Side With Public Health Against Coal

November 17, 2014 by Justin Guay

Court Rulings and Public Health in India

In another major setback for the expansion of the coal industry, a panel of judges rejected the environmental clearance for the IL&FS coal-fired power plant in Tamil Nadu, India. The judges upheld an appeal from local villagers determined to halt the project over concerns about water and air pollution.[read more]

Wind Can Deliver on U.S.-China Climate Deal

November 16, 2014 by Shauna Theel
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Wind Energy and US-China Climate Deal

U.S. and China reached a historic agreement to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, providing a strong signal for investors that wind energy, among other clean electric power solutions, is a smart economic decision.[read more]