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Floating Nuclear Plants Could Ride Out Tsunamis

April 17, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Floating Nuclear Plants

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores due to a shutdown of all power, that caused the harm.[read more]

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Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia

April 17, 2014 by Willem Post
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According to Russian leaders, after the demise of the USSR, when Russia was in disarray under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Europe and US leaders, brushing aside historic Russian geo-political interests as irrelevant, took geo-political advantage by steadily expanding NATO and the EU into East Europe.[read more]

Abbot's Systematic Destruction of Solar Energy Support in Australia Continues

April 17, 2014 by Nigel Morris
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The rationale behind the Abbott Government’s incessant unravelling of support for solar power is unclear. What is clear is that almost every single day, we find another example of their systematic destruction of an opportunity that many countries would be jumping at.[read more]

Climate Preparedness Task Force Should Use Water Infrastructure Funding to Protect Communities from Climate Risks

April 16, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Climate Preparedness

Recent disasters in U.S. communities illustrate risk from flooding and drought events. Downpours swept across the South recently, causing at least one death and widespread flooding. More than 60 percent of the West, including greater than 99 percent of California, now is facing drought conditions.[read more]

Fossil Fuels are for Making Stuff

April 16, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson
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Fossil Fuel Makes Stuff

The IPCC has just recently released its third assessment report on mitigating climate change. I have spent the morning reading the full summary, and to help you save a little time I have whittled it down to a six word summary: Fossils fuels are for making stuff.[read more]

The Smart Grid and Multifamily Dwelling Challenges

April 16, 2014 by Christine Hertzog

There are many disconnects and dysfunctions in the multifamily real estate market that are beyond the ability of renters or property owners alone to resolve. There are multiple challenges in a market segment that includes stakeholders with sometimes vastly different financial perspectives.[read more]

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Spurring a Manufacturing Renaissance: Increasing Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency

April 16, 2014 by Matthew Stepp
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Efficiency and Competitiveness

United States Representative Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Job Creation through Energy Efficient Manufacturing Act (H.R. 4162), which would encourage the use of energy efficient technologies in the manufacturing sector of the economy.[read more]

ABCs of LNG

April 16, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles
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The international reaction to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula has put a spotlight on liquefied natural gas (LNG), which was already under debate in the US as a mechanism for exporting increasingly abundant shale gas. Meanwhile, LNG is emerging as a fuel in its own right.[read more]

Facing the Climate Crisis Without Hysteria

April 16, 2014 by Steven Cohen
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The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability," was released last week to the usual fanfare, hype and alarm. The New York Times headline summarized the report by stating, "the worst is yet to come".[read more]

German Demand Response: Almost Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2014 by Katherine Tweed

When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables. But the grid still needs a lot of balancing resources during times that renewables dominate.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Coal

April 15, 2014 by Schalk Cloete
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Internalized Coal Cost Consensus

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of coal. Please chip in with your opinion so that we can gather a statistically significant sample size and get a meaningful indication of the current consensus (or lack thereof).[read more]

Fracking Linked to Earthquakes in Ohio

April 15, 2014 by Briana Mordick

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced that recent earthquakes in Ohio were likely caused by fracking. This is the fourth documented case of induced seismicity linked to hydraulic fracturing, and the latest in a series of earthquakes in Ohio caused by oil and gas production activities.[read more]

IPCC Double Standards on Energy Barriers

April 15, 2014 by Barry Brook
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IPCC and Consistency

The IPCC have released statements regarding their Working Group III report for AR5, on mitigation, with the full report to be released on April 15th. Recently, a colleague pointed out to me what appears to be double standard in how IPCC depicts problems with nuclear versus renewable energy.[read more]

A Rising Tension: 'Value-of-Solar' Tariff Versus Net Metering

April 15, 2014 by Herman Trabish
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Pricing Solar

The Alliance for Solar Choice, a group made up of leading solar service providers, is a staunch defender of net energy metering. And that has brought it into conflict with solar advocates calling for a more precise "value of solar" calculation.[read more]

A Molecular Approach to Solar Energy

April 15, 2014 by Energy @ MIT

Solar Tech Innovation

 

It’s an obvious truism, but one that may soon be outdated: The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine.Now a team at MIT and Harvard University has come up with an ingenious workaround, a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store energy in chemical form.[read more]

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Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

April 15, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins
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Renewables and Nuclear Cooperation

Nuclear power and variable renewable energy sources like wind and solar power “don’t play well together.” The more I think about this, however, the more I’m convinced that the accepted wisdom that renewables and nuclear mix like oil and water is true only up to a point.[read more]

Shipping Oil by Rail: A Modern-Day Problem of Social Cost

April 15, 2014 by Meredith Fowlie
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Oil by Rail Risk

While environmental groups and other stakeholders have been working hard to delay, if not completely derail, major pipeline projects like Keystone, oil companies have also been working hard to find alternative ways to get their crude oil to market.[read more]

Revisiting Kaya

April 15, 2014 by David Hone
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Emissions Mitigation

Today we see a huge focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency as solutions for reducing CO2 emissions and therefore addressing the climate issue. Yet such a strategy may not deliver the outcome people expect and might even add to the problem, particularly in the case of efficiency.[read more]

Russia and the Ukraine: The Energy Angle Part 2

April 15, 2014 by Amy Myers Jaffe

Prior to Russia’s invasion of the Crimea, the United States tried to re-engage Russia as a strategic partner in the Middle East. Moscow has at least one concrete interest that is the same as Washington: radical Islamic jihadism is a national security threat in Moscow.[read more]

Solar Energy, Sky Cameras, and Hard Math: A New Way to Integrate PV on the Grid

April 14, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Sky Cameras and the Grid

Insanely complex math, and never enough data -- that’s the conundrum in trying to model the ebb and flow of solar power and energy storage on the grid edge. Large-scale transmission systems are well modeled. But the majority of the grid below the substation provides little to work with.[read more]

What is the Greenest Source of Electricity?

April 14, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson
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Greenest Electricity

Earlier this week the new French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reiterated President Hollande’s plan to cut French dependence on atomic power to half of all output by 2025, down from almost 75% currently. The plan is to curtail nuclear and ramp up renewables.[read more]

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap, But Only If We Act Now

April 14, 2014 by Joseph Romm
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Climate Change Mitigation

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued its third of four planned reports. This most recent one is on “mitigation” — “human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.”[read more]

A Concept for Optimizing Strategic Energy Infrastructure?

April 14, 2014 by Roman Kilisek

Optimal Energy Infrastructure

A timely new report published by the World Economic Forum in April 2014 titled “Strategic Infrastructure Steps to Operate and Maintain Infrastructure Efficiently and Effectively” addresses an important area for necessary investment globally: infrastructure.[read more]

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The Watt Hour, with Guest Eric Maltzer [PODCAST]

April 14, 2014 by Reid Capalino

To assess the re-emergence of climate change as a topic of intense public discussion, I sat down with Eric Maltzer, who for four years worked on clean energy and global climate policy at the US State Department. Our hour-long conversation covers a wide range of topics.[read more]

Oil Limits and Climate Change: How They Fit Together

April 14, 2014 by Gail Tverberg
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Climate Change and Oil

We hear a lot about climate change, especially now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published another report. At the same time, oil is reaching limits, and this has an effect as well. How do the two issues fit together?[read more]

Catalyzing the Climate Change Conversation with Eye-Catching Headlines

April 14, 2014 by Jenny Tang

The latest IPCC report has been covered by US and international media, and in the major media the story has achieved powerful headlines. Thus, the intensity of the media coverage begs the question – what has changed? Why has this report gained so much traction where previous reports failed?[read more]

Carbon Trading in China: Short-Term Experience, Long-Term Wisdom

April 14, 2014 by Lucas Bifera

China Carbon Trading

Last week, Hubei Province became the sixth jurisdiction in China to launch a pilot carbon emissions trading program, joining Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, and Guangdong Province. In the coming months, two additional programs will be introduced in Chongqing and Qingdao.[read more]

New Organization Could Help Push Energy Efficiency Programs to Even Higher Levels

April 13, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
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The California Technical Forum (Cal TF) will be comprised of experts who use independent professional judgment and a transparent process to develop and review energy-savings estimates related to California’s energy efficiency programs, policies, and energy resource plans.[read more]

FirstEnergy CEO: Renewables 'Sound Good' but Should Take Backseat to Coal

April 13, 2014 by Katherine Tweed
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FirstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander traveled to D.C. this week to speak in front of the Chamber of Commerce about the challenges his utility is facing. With electricity use flatlining and renewable energy eroding margins for traditional generators he called for a renewed focus on fossil fuels.[read more]

Lower Prices Pull Down Natural Gas Reserves in 2012

April 13, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Natural Gas Reserves

Lower natural gas prices drove down U.S. proved reserves in 2012, despite notable gains in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shale gas plays. The decline stopped a 14-year trend of consecutive increases in natural gas reserves, according to newly published estimates.[read more]