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U.S. Electricity Rates Are Jumping - Or Are They?

March 26, 2015 by Katherine Tweed
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Electricity Rate Analysis

Despite the volatility in wholesale markets, and the billions of dollars in upgrades to the electricity grid, the price most homeowners pay for energy is likely going to stay relatively flat in coming years, according to the EIA, rising only about 1 percent for 2015.[read more]

The Shale Debt Redux

March 26, 2015 by Deborah Lawrence

Shale debt, falling prices and slack demand has tight oil producers in trouble. And yet, there is still burgeoning production. Why? Well, we’ve seen this before. It’s the shale debt redux. Operators did it a few years ago in natural gas and prices have yet to recover.[read more]

Springing Eternal: Seven Reasons for Hope on Climate Change

March 26, 2015 by Peter Dykstra
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Hope on Climate Change

Let’s look at what’s been happening in climate change action lately, because after years of bitter disappointment, things look different now. Because after years and years of cynicism, I see elements of a sea change in urgency and attitude on climate.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: Chinese Official Urges Emphasis on 'Climate Security'

March 26, 2015 by Edward Dodge

China and Climate Action

A top Chinese weather scientist told the Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a serious threat. It was a rare admission for a Chinese official, while the government has acknowledged global warming, it does not usually elaborate on potential problems from climate change.[read more]

Could India's Coal Plans Derail the Global Climate?

March 26, 2015 by Tobias Engelmeier

India Energy Needs and Coal

If India grew its electricity system based on coal (as China has done), would it derail the global climate? Under a “coal-heavy” scenario, India would need to increase is coal-fired power generation capacity from the 156 GW in early 2015 to 677 GW in 2035. What would be the CO2 implications of such a strategy?[read more]

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The Utility of the Future

March 25, 2015 by Amelia Smith

Podcast for The Utility of the Future webinar.[read more]

Carbon-as-a-Service Businesses?

March 25, 2015 by Noah Deich

Cleantech Business Development

The Cleantech Group’s annual San Francisco Forum wrapped up earlier this week. The event’s theme was “Cleantech-as-a-service,” and featured parallel tracks named “Cloud” and “Connect.” Overall, this focus on technology-enabled business model innovation shows how mature the cleantech field has become.[read more]

U.S. Commercial Crude Oil Inventories Now Provide the Most Days of Supply Since 1985

March 25, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Crude Oil Inventories

With lower U.S. refinery runs and increases in domestic crude oil production, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories at the end of February provided the most days of supply since the mid-1980s. Inventories were sufficient to supply 29 days of U.S. refinery demand, based on expected refinery runs in March.[read more]

Energy Efficiency 2.0: A New Definition Underway in California

March 25, 2015 by Christine Hertzog

What does energy efficiency mean to you? In states like California that employ aggressive energy efficiency policies and standards from widget to building envelope, it’s been a successful strategy to reduce per capita energy consumption.[read more]

The Emergence and Importance of President Obama's Climate Policy

March 25, 2015 by Steven Cohen

President Obama recently signed an executive order directing federal agencies over the next decade to cut their emissions by an average of 40 percent compared with their levels when he won office in 2008, and to increase their use of electricity from renewable sources by 30 percent.[read more]

How Should We Design Government Policies to Stimulate Innovation?

March 25, 2015 by Lucas Davis

Policy Supporting Innovation

 

Innovation needs to take center stage not only in Washington DC, but also here in California, which produces only 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. So the success or failure of California’s climate policies hinges on stimulating innovation that can be exported to the rest of the world.[read more]

When Reasonable Policy Discussions Become Unreasonable Personal Attacks

March 25, 2015 by Robert Stavins
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Coral Davenport wrote a story in the New York Times about the political debates in Washington regarding the proposed Keystone pipeline: “… most energy and policy experts say the battle over Keystone overshadows the importance of the project as an environmental threat or an engine of the economy."[read more]

Nuclear Safety in a Post-Fukushima World: Is the US Falling Behind?

March 25, 2015 by Roman Kilisek
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US Nuclear Safety

After Fukushima, re-examinations of nuclear reactor security were launched in many of the 31 countries around the world, which possess “over 435 [operable] commercial nuclear power reactors with over 375,000 MWe of total capacity [while about] 70 more reactors are under construction.”[read more]

Areva Struggles to Dig Out of Debt

March 25, 2015 by Dan Yurman

Areva and Debt Problems

Phillippe Knoche stated that while Areva is committed to building two EPRs at Hinkley Point, they may be the last of their kind, and that they're abandoning the firm’s strategy of leading “high profile, new build projects” and instead will concentrate on the supply chain including major components of nuclear reactors.[read more]

Ozone Pollution in the West: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

March 24, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Ozone in Western States

Long familiar in major urban areas, smog – what we experts call “ground-level ozone” pollution – is quickly becoming a serious problem in the rural mountain west, thanks to rapid expansion in oil and gas development.[read more]

Obama Signs Order to Cut Government GHG Emissions and Boost Renewable Energy

March 24, 2015 by Jared Anderson

Obama Administration and Emissions Reduction

Recently President Obama singed an executive order regarding government energy targets, toured a solar panel installation on the Department of Energy’s roof, and gave brief remarks before kicking off a roundtable with large US companies that do over $1 billion in business with the federal government.[read more]

Look Out for "Market Ingenuity" from Stressed LNG Project Developers

March 24, 2015 by Rod Adams

LNG and Market Competition

With the hundreds of billions of dollars at stake around the world in LNG infrastructure projects, nuclear professionals need to pay close attention to the fact that “market ingenuity” for LNG producers can include efforts to force nuclear plants to shut down.[read more]

Study: Solar PV in the Built Environment Could Power California Nearly 5 Times Over

March 24, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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In 2007, when the cost of a rooftop solar system hovered around $8 per watt, engineer and solar advocate Bill Powers proposed an ambitious plan: replace a proposed transmission line for Southern California with 2,000 megawatts of PV systems across San Diego.[read more]

China's Power System: The Green and the Black

March 24, 2015 by Armond Cohen
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China Energy Needs and Sources

If you follow energy discussions, you will often hear one of two visions of China’s energy system emphatically described by various pundits and advocates. At first blush, the two visions seem fundamentally in conflict. Only one must be true! How can China be both “green” and “black” at the same time?[read more]

A Path for Innovating Nuclear Energy

March 24, 2015 by Todd Allen
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Nuclear Innovation

At the heart of the modern energy debate is a struggle between the need for more energy globally, while simultaneously achieving lower emissions. Nuclear energy is uniquely positioned to help respond to these dueling necessities, but innovative advancements must overcome considerable barriers.[read more]

New U.S. Fracking Rules Earn Disdain from Both Sides, and a Lawsuit

March 24, 2015 by Christina Nunez

Government Fracking Rules and Reaction

No sooner had the Interior Department released new regulations pertaining to hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on about 756 million acres of federal and Indian land than industry groups announced a lawsuit to halt what they called “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns.”[read more]

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Building European Investor Confidence for Energy Efficiency Investment

March 24, 2015 by Clare Taylor

Hopes are high for the success of the Investor Confidence Project Europe, a new EU funded project designed to increase private investment in energy efficiency. The aim: to accelerate development of a global efficiency market by standardizing how efficiency projects are developed and savings is calculated.[read more]

Hong Kong Once Again Leading the Way in the Fight to Control Shipping Emissions

March 24, 2015 by Barbara Finamore

Hong Kong and Shipping Emissions

Hong Kong has just taken another giant step towards controlling marine emissions, the major source of its domestic air pollution. The Hong Kong Legislative Council has just approved a new rule mandating that Ocean-Going Vessels (OGVs) switch to clean fuel while at berth.[read more]

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The 100% Renewable Energy Nuclear Option, Part 1

March 23, 2015 by David Hess
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Renewables and Future Energy Options

 

It is time for the world to get serious about renewables, by formally recognizing that nuclear energy is one in all ways that matter. Usually the term renewables is taken to mean wind and solar, but this makes the idea of a life and death contest with nuclear all the more ridiculous.[read more]

Big Data Increasing Power Generation Reliability and Saving Money, GE Says

March 23, 2015 by Jared Anderson

Big Data and Energy Reliability

Recently GE announced its ‘predictive maintenance’ program driven by operational data from the company’s global fleet of more than 1,500 gas turbines helped decrease power plant downtime and saved customers an estimated $70 million in 2014.[read more]

Westinghouse Revives SMR Efforts

March 23, 2015 by Dan Yurman
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Westinghouse Electric Company said this week that the NRC gave permission for the company to test its small modular reactor design. It is a major reversal of the company’s decision in February 2014 to cancel its development efforts due to several factors.[read more]

Is it Time to Broaden the Scope of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard?

March 23, 2015 by Daniel Posen
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Changing the Renewable Fuel Standard

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires refiners, blenders and importers of transport fuels to meet targets that increase progressively through 2022. Seven years later, and the standard is facing two seemingly opposite stumbling blocks: weak supply (of cellulosic biofuel), and weak demand.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Internalized Costs of Energy Efficiency

March 23, 2015 by Schalk Cloete
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Energy Efficiency Internalized Costs

This article will gather some data about TEC community views on the global average internalized cost of energy efficiency. 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]

The Energy Gang: Why a Successful Cleantech Venture Capitalist Tripled Down on the Sector [PODCAST]

March 23, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

Cleantech Investment and Growth

Nancy Pfund, the founder of DBL Investors, has supported some of the most successful modern clean energy companies, including Tesla, SolarCity, PowerLight and BrightSource. And unlike many other firms, DBL isn’t backing down from some of the riskier, more capital-intensive investments.[read more]

New Interior Fracking Rules Might Help Ease Ban Momentum

March 23, 2015 by Amy Myers Jaffe

Industry would do well to embrace the new US Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands. Stronger regulation and compliance in the sector is the industry’s best avenue to roll back an increasing trend for localities to seek outright bans.[read more]