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Germany's Energiewende Proves Electricity can be Clean and Reliable

October 21, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange
17

Germany's Energy Transition

Since 2004, the year of the first major revision of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the country has added at least 35 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 35 GW of wind to its electric grid, which is enough energy to offset upwards of 35 coal plants.[read more]

University Microgrid Manages Multiple Generation Assets

October 21, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

Combined heat and power tech are sometimes overlooked as assets that can be deployed in Smart Grids and microgrids in North America. Also known as cogeneration, it is defined as the production of electricity and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source, typically located at the point of consumption.[read more]

New Gas Plant Venture Aims at Carbon Capture From a Different Angle

October 21, 2014 by Christina Nunez
3

Carbon capture and storage is often promoted as a way for coal power to be made “clean”: Projects such as the Kemper power plant in Mississippi and the Petra Nova project in Texas aim to trap the carbon dioxide and then store it into underground storage or into previously depleted wells to extract more oil.[read more]

LanzaTech's Vulnerability

October 21, 2014 by Robert Rapier
5

LanzaTech proposes to take waste carbon monoxide from sources like steel manufacturers and ferment that to produce ethanol. Holmgren says that the bacterium they use for their fermentation, Clostridium autoethanogenum, is highly ethanol tolerant.[read more]

EU Commission: Europe Could Face 5 to 9 bcm Winter Natural Gas Shortfall

October 21, 2014 by Roman Kilisek
1

EU Natural Gas Shortfall

The EU Commission released the first “Energy Security Stress Tests” in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. The European Network of Transmission System Operators for gas modeled two disruption scenarios for a period of one or six months: Halt of Russian gas imports, and disruption of Russian gas imports via Ukraine.[read more]

Will the Export-Import Bank's Office of the Inspector General Ignore Human Rights Violations?

October 21, 2014 by Justin Guay

Energy Development and Human Rights

Sudarshan Rajak disappeared under suspicious circumstances after protesting the relocation of families for Reliance Power's 4,000-megawatt Sasan coal project in Singrauli, India. Some of his neighbors believe he was in his house when it was bulldozed by Reliance.[read more]

Abandoned Solar Energy Project Highlights Pitfalls of Tax Uncertainty

October 20, 2014 by Tom Carlson
1

Solar and Tax Risk

In the latest evidence of the need for stable federal tax policy, a major solar project in California was abandoned in part due to uncertainty around whether the project would be placed in service in time to qualify for the investment tax credit, which expires at the end of 2016.[read more]

From Artisanal to Integrated: How Data Is Remaking the Efficiency Industry

October 20, 2014 by Wego Wise

Data and Efficiency

The past few years have seen an abundance of software innovations designed to enhance the efficiency of the built environment. Taking advantage of inexpensive computing power and storage, these platforms are leveraging the torrent of data generated by and about our buildings.[read more]

Pentagon Sees Climate Change as Immediate Security Risk

October 20, 2014 by Peter Lehner
4

Defense and Climate Risk

The Department of Defense released its 2014 Climate Change Adaption Roadmap on Monday, outlining how the U.S. military plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change. For the first time, the Pentagon discusses climate change as an immediate risk.[read more]

Deniers Mistakenly Say that Global Warming Has Ended

October 20, 2014 by Henry Auer
40

Climate Denial and Global Warming

The global average temperature has increased by about 0.7-0.8ºC over pre-industrial temps. A pause of annual global temperatures began after 1997 even though the atmospheric concentration of CO2 continued to increase. Global warming deniers have seized on this to say that warming of the Earth has ended.[read more]

The Impact of the Global 'Sweet' Crude Bulge

October 20, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles

When the US went to war in 2003, the price of oil embarked on a trend that took it from around $30 per barrel to nearly $150 before collapsing in 2008. This time, as a new US-led coalition takes on ISIS with a bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria, the price of oil is falling, down 20% in the last two months.[read more]

Innovation Needed for Gas to Bridge to Somewhere

October 20, 2014 by Alex Trembath
7

Natural Gas and the Future of Energy

A new research letter in Nature concludes that natural gas will not “discernibly reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions.” The paper models a scenario in which the US shale gas revolution is scaled globally. While natural gas displaces higher-carbon coal-fired power, zero-carbon power like nuclear and solar are also displaced.[read more]

Still No Sign of the Rational Middle?

October 20, 2014 by David Hone
9

Energy and Politics

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott turned up in Queensland very recently to open a coal mine. In an interview he managed to inflame a number of commentators around the world with his quote that “Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future."[read more]

EU Energy Briefing: All You Need to Know for October 2014 [VIDEO]

October 20, 2014 by Kasper Peters

EU Energy Report

In this Brussels Briefing on Energy, leading energy journalist Hughes Belin for viEUws - the EU Policy Broadcaster, provides an overview of the European Union’s most pressing energy issues including the Juncker Commission, and the recent green light for the Hinkley Point C nuclear project.[read more]

How Microsynchrophasors Could Keep Solar-Saturated Grids Stable

October 19, 2014 by Jeff St. John
1

Solar Energy and Stable Grids

The electricity from rooftop solar PV is very different from conventional electricity. It sags and surges in response to the pattern of clouds crossing overhead, and is also provided by lots of inverters, which create electrical conditions very different from the alternating current supplied by big spinning generators.[read more]

Legislation Introduced to Address the Rising Impacts of Urban Flooding

October 19, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Urban Flooding Legislation

Urban flooding is a serious and growing problem. “Around 20-25 percent of all economic losses resulting from flooding occur in areas not designated as being in a “floodplain,” but as a consequence of urban drainage,” according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.[read more]

The High Cost of Hurricanes [INFOGRAPHIC]

October 19, 2014 by Tom Schueneman

Hurricane Damage Risk

The past ten years have seen a spike in catastrophic hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, causing more than $300 billion of damage, over 2000 deaths, and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Cities along the east coast and Gulf states are becoming more vulnerable to future large hurricanes.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'Consumers, Not the Federal Government, Should Determine What Goes in their Cars'

October 19, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Consumer Choice and Fuel Regulation

The always-ugly battle between US oil refiners and the biofuels industry over EPA’s renewable fuel standards heated up again recently when 31 oil executives sent a letter to President Obama urging EPA to stick with fuel blending volumes proposed last November.[read more]

This Diagram Will Help You Visualize How Opower's Software Platform Operates

October 18, 2014 by Stephen Lacey

Opower Software Platform

After giving its software and analytics engine a powerful tuneup earlier this year, Opower is unveiling yet another set of offerings for utility customers. The release includes three new analytics capabilities designed to make it even easier to target specific customer segments for efficiency.[read more]

How Apple Became One of the Greenest Companies in America

October 18, 2014 by Sarah Battaglia

Green Apple

There’s one thing you probably don’t know about Apple. The technology conglomerate was ranked 48th on Newsweek’s Greenest Companies of America list this year. To put that in perspective, of the six million businesses registered in the United States, only 47 are considered “greener” than Apple.[read more]

World's "First Fuel" - Energy Efficiency - Coming Out of Hiding

October 18, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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Energy Efficiency and the Main Stream

The International Energy Agency (IEA) just released its second annual Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 confirming energy efficiency’s place as the world’s “first fuel” and estimating the value of the energy efficiency market at between $310 and $360 billion and growing.[read more]

"Reforming the Energy Vision": Transforming NY Utility Regulation

October 18, 2014 by Jim Kennerly
2

New York Energy Reform

In the coming years, distributed energy resources will very likely continue on a rapid path toward broad-scale deployment. Despite much of the escalating controversy surrounding net energy metering and solar PV, few executives would dispute the need for utility regulation to adapt to these changes.[read more]

Energy Master Limited Partnerships Go Mainstream: Baird's Ethan Bellamy

October 18, 2014 by Jim Patrick

Ethan Bellamy specializes in the analysis of master limited partnerships at Robert W. Baird & Co. He was director of research for the Lehman Brothers MLP Opportunity Fund, where he was responsible for fundamental analysis and due diligence in public, PIPE and pre-IPO investments in natural resources.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'They’re Running Out of Luck'

October 18, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Oil Price and Supply

 

Oil market crystal balls are working overtime trying to find a floor to the current precipitous oil price decline that has seen both benchmark Brent and WTI dip below $90 per barrel. Most analysts agree that at the macro level weak demand coupled with ample supply are pushing down prices.[read more]

The Planet Just Had Its Hottest September On Record

October 17, 2014 by Joseph Romm
5

September Temp Record

Last month was the warmest September globally since records began being kept in 1880, NASA reported. January through September data have 2014 already at the third warmest on record. Projections by NOAA make clear 2014 is taking aim at hottest year on record.[read more]

Transitioning Away from HFCs: An Energy and Climate Change Opportunity

October 17, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Blackouts and power outages, like the recent September blackouts in Mumbai, are an unfortunate part of daily life in India. A couple of years ago, grid outages roiled large swaths of India, leaving more than 600 million people without electricity and services.[read more]

Georgia Is the Latest State to Procure Dirt-Cheap Solar Power

October 17, 2014 by Stephen Lacey
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In Obama's America, according to conservatives, utilities are forced to consume expensive green energy mandated by the government. But in an ideal conservative America utilities would procure the cheapest and most reliable resource to deliver value to consumers. Those worlds have officially collided.[read more]

Sustainable Consumption and the World of Endless Images, Voices, and Ideas

October 17, 2014 by Steven Cohen

The world we are creating with global communications and global economic production is fast becoming a true global society. Nevertheless, place continues to have meaning as both communities and nations become even more treasured in a world of mass-produced impressions and fear of homogenization.[read more]

Upcoming US Arctic Council Chairmanship Should not Focus on Military Security

October 17, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

The Arctic and the Military

Even though these developments seem to push military security on the US Arctic agenda, it better serves US interest to comprehend Russia’s moves in the Arctic as rational and expand the use of confidence-building measures, as well as prioritize climate change during its Arctic Council Chairmanship.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Net Energy Imports as Share of Consumption at Lowest Level in 29 Years

October 17, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Energy Imports and Consumption

U.S. net imports of energy as a share of energy consumption fell to their lowest level in 29 years for the first six months of 2014. Energy consumption in the first half of 2014 was 3% above consumption during the first six months of 2013, but consumption growth was outpaced by increases in total energy production.[read more]