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Echelon Ditches the Smart Grid to Focus on the Internet of Things

August 30, 2014 by Jeff St. John

As the smart meter market has hit the doldrums, we’ve seen a number of grid networking players start to look for opportunities in the “internet of things,” or IOT for short -- a broad term that can include everything from smart street lights and building controls to IT-enabled industrial equipment and medical devices.[read more]

Women in Power: Managing California's Electric Grid Takes Nerves of Steel, and a Knack for Collaboration

August 30, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Women and California's Grid

In California – just beyond the outlets, thermostats, and light switches – are more than 40,000 miles of interconnected power lines, some 1,000 generation facilities with more than 55,000 megawatts of capacity, and some of clean energy’s most brilliant women in the control room.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: "You're Handing a Bat to Your Opponents..."

August 30, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Climate Change and Political Ads

Tom Steyer the billionaire hedge fund manager turned enviro-political activist is spending big bucks to sway voters toward pro-climate-action democrats in the midterm elections this fall, but some are questioning the factual integrity of ads sponsored by Steyer’s super PAC NextGen.[read more]

Musings on the Second Great Recovery Experiment and the Promise of Natural Gas: Interview with Ron Muhlenkamp

August 30, 2014 by Jim Patrick

Recovery and Energy Investment

Ron Muhlenkamp is the founder and portfolio manager of Muhlenkamp & Co. Inc., established in 1977 to manage private accounts for individuals and institutions. In 1988, the company launched a no-load mutual fund as an investment vehicle for all investors, large or small.[read more]

U.S. Liquid Fuels Production Growth more than Offsets Unplanned Supply Disruptions

August 29, 2014 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Production and Supply Disruption

Record-setting liquid fuels production growth in the United States has more than offset the rise in unplanned global supply disruptions over the past few years, although differences in quality and location suggest that the substitution may not be exactly 1-for-1.[read more]

Can Modular Desalination Provide Cheap, Clean Water and Demand Response Too?

August 29, 2014 by Jeff St. John
1

Modular Deslination

The process of desalination isn’t nearly as energy-intensive as it was just a decade ago, thanks to new reverse-osmosis plant designs and nano-structured membranes that have drastically improved the energy efficiency of turning salt water into fresh water.[read more]

New Study: America's Data Centers Consuming, and Wasting, Growing Amounts of Energy

August 29, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
3

Data Centers and Energy Use

All of our online activity is delivered through nearly 3 million data centers across America, from small closets and larger server rooms, to mammoth “cloud” server farms. Their explosive growth is gulping huge amounts of energy, and despite some efficiency improvements much of it is still wasted.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: On US Coal Exports to Asia Reducing Global Carbon Emissions

August 29, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Global Carbon Emissions and Coal Exports

With US natural gas production growth and subsequent natural gas price declines coal has been backed out of the power generation fuel mix to some extent. As a result, US coal producers are exporting greater volumes to European and Asian buyers.[read more]

Climate Scientists Spell Out Stark Danger And Immorality Of Inaction In New Leaked Report

August 29, 2014 by Joseph Romm
2

Climate Science Report

The message from climate scientists about our ongoing failure to cut carbon pollution: The catastrophic changes in climate that we are voluntarily choosing to impose on our children and grandchildren — and countless generations after them — cannot plausibly be undone for hundreds of years or more.[read more]

Materials Innovation: Designing Better Surfaces for Energy

August 29, 2014 by Energy @ MIT
1

Better Surfaces for Energy

Solid core material is almost a given for technology. But just because the guts are right doesn’t guarantee success. The surface layer, in fact, can hold the key in some applications. Yet its importance is still easy to overlook. This area is where Bilge Yildiz keeps her focus.[read more]

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Lessons from Kyoto: A Vision for Effective Global Action on Climate Change

August 29, 2014 by Spencer Schecht
7

Lessons from Kyoto

With two decades of experience to draw on, the UNFCCC may be the most influential forum on climate change in the world. The deadline is set for 2015 for an all-inclusive global agreement to halt climate change. But what is necessary to bring 195 countries onboard to limit global warming to 2 degrees C?[read more]

Let's Keep Florida Breathable

August 28, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Florida and Environmental Action

Last week former environmental officials released a statement supporting Governor Rick Scott’s “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful” conservation plan. While conservation is a worthy goal, it will mean very little if state leaders don’t also develop a plan focused on addressing climate change.[read more]

Greenland And West Antarctic Ice Sheet Loss More Than Doubled In Last Five Years

August 28, 2014 by Joseph Romm
2

Growing Ice Loss

A new study finds that both the Greenland ice sheet and West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) have seen an astonishing increase in ice loss in just the past five years. This first-ever extensive mapping of the two great ice sheets using the CryoSat-2 satellite confirms the findings.[read more]

Renewable Energy Provides 100 Percent of New Electrical Generation in July

August 28, 2014 by Tom Schueneman
3

Renewables and New Generation

Data from the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report just released from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects shows that 100 percent of new U.S. electrical generating capacity put into service for July came from renewable energy sources.[read more]

Update on US Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear, and Renewables

August 28, 2014 by Gail Tverberg
8

Fuel, Electricity, and the US

United States natural gas production leveled off in 2013, because of the low level of US natural gas prices. In 2013, there was growth in gas production in Pennsylvania in the Marcellus, but many other states, including Texas, saw decreases in production.[read more]

Finding Ways to Pollute Less, and Employ More

August 28, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

Employment and the Environment

 

Cleaner air, more American jobs: that’s a potential reality for the U.S. if it acts to curb emissions of methane. It’s a significant opportunity, and it’s one California Congresswoman Linda Sánchez encountered first-hand when she toured a Cerritos manufacturing plant last week.[read more]

SolarWorld Wins Trade Case, But Faces Sliding Stock, Faulty Lug Recall, and More

August 28, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

SolarWorld Successes and Difficulties

In June, the Department of Commerce found in favor of petitioner SolarWorld in that company's trade case against Chinese solar module makers. The preliminary decision imposed significant tariffs on Chinese solar modules in the anti-dumping portion of this case.[read more]

Huge Ponds Hold Tar Sands Sludge, And Great Risks

August 28, 2014 by Danielle Droitsch

Tar Sands Sludge Pools

On August 4, 2014, the catastrophic failure of a mining company's dam in British Columbia, Canada, released over two-and-a-half billion gallons of contaminated water and liquids from a containment pond into the upper Faser River watershed.[read more]

Tesla Trumps Toyota 3: Why Electric Vehicles Are Beating Hydrogen Cars Today

August 27, 2014 by Joseph Romm
5

Tesla and Toyota

While electric vehicles have experienced a marketplace renaissance in the last decade, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have not. Multiple models of EVs (like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf) and plug-in EVs (like the Chevy Volt) are selling in this country and around the world, but there are no commercial consumer FCVs yet.[read more]

Utility 2.0: NY's New Business Model Should Properly Value the Costs and Benefits of Distributed Energy Resources

August 27, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

New York's Utility Future

As we’ve mentioned before, New York is changing how it evaluates and compensates electric utilities. One goal of this change is increased consumer engagement, which makes customers allies in the development of a more reliable, resilient, and ‘smart’ electric grid.[read more]

Can Energy Companies Legally Use Drones?

August 27, 2014 by Kate Rosow Chrisman
1

Dones and Energy Companies

Over the past few years, drones have undergone a radical transformation. Once the purview of the military and hobbyists, drones have become big business, with companies as diverse as humanitarian groups to big oil trying to cash in on the promised efficiency. For the energy industry, the uses are well documented.[read more]

What's the Goal and Point of National Biofuel Regulation?

August 27, 2014 by Maximilian Auffhammer
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National Biofuel Regulation

While preparing a lecture for the 4th Berkeley Summer School in Environmental and Energy Economics, I returned to contemplating the regulation of biofuels as part of a general federal strategy to combat climate change and increase energy security.[read more]

Solar Could Grow Faster if We Had a Functioning Federal Government

August 27, 2014 by Steven Cohen
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It is obvious that the United States federal government is struggling to perform basic governance functions and, it is incapable of leading the transition to a renewable economy. Nevertheless, one of the key elements of that transition, the adoption of solar power, is well underway in the U.S.[read more]

Distributed Marginal Price: The New Metric for the Grid Edge?

August 27, 2014 by Jeff St. John

Metrics for the Grid Edge

The grid is changing from a one-way, centralized electricity delivery system to a distributed, networked system for generating, storing and consuming power, and the technology is changing a lot faster than the economic and regulatory systems that govern it.[read more]

India's Burgeoning Solar and Wind Energy Markets Jumpstarting Job Growth

August 27, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

India and Renewable Energy

India’s solar and wind programs have catalyzed rapid growth, providing much needed energy access while creating enormous employment opportunities for India’s workforce, as discussed during the launch of a new series of reports on Renewable Energy Jobs and Finance in New Delhi today.[read more]

Can Nuclear Energy Secure Financing? Nuclear Power and the Capital Challenge

August 26, 2014 by Milton Caplan
12

Paying for Nuclear Plants

Quite often we hear about the problem of attracting financing to support new build nuclear projects. While it is easy to agree that financing nuclear projects is a big challenge, in my view difficulty securing financing is not the issue – rather it is a symptom of a number of other very important issues that are the root cause.[read more]

Breaking Free of Big Oil: Despite Oil Company Opposition, California is Moving Toward a Cleaner Future

August 26, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard
1

California and Big Oil

The results of California’s latest cap-and-trade auction were released, marking another milestone in the state’s landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32, which put limits on harmful climate pollution. But playing out in the background, the oil industry’s long-running campaign against AB 32 continues to escalate.[read more]

Upholding FERC Order 1000 Unlocks Efficiency and Spurs Clean Energy Solutions

August 26, 2014 by EDF Energy Exchange

FERC Order 1000 Effects

Because the power grid crosses state and utility boundaries, a coordinated planning approach to electricity transmission (that is, moving electricity from one place to another) is more efficient and cost effective than multiple entities planning in isolation.[read more]

Failed Fuel Cell Maker Lilliputian, Cleantech VC, and Due Diligence

August 26, 2014 by Eric Wesoff

Investment, Technology, and Risk

Failed MIT spinout and consumer fuel cell startup Lilliputian Systems faces the sell-off of its assets and IP after more than twelve years of development and hype, $150 million in VC investment and dozens of press releases attesting to the strength of its portable charging technology.[read more]

Nearly 100% of New Generating Capacity This Year is Advanced Energy

August 26, 2014 by Lexie Briggs

Advanced Energy and Generating Capacity

Advanced energy is on the march. A new report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) shows that, of all the new electric generating capacity installed in the U.S. since January, more than 97 percent was advanced energy.[read more]