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Energy Risks: Sex, Murder, Public Utility Capital Ratios

By Adam JamesWhat do all three have in common? They all carry a certain level of risk.Let’s start with the most exciting one; capital ratios for public utilities. A capital ratio is the proportion of debt to equity that the company holds. This ratio...

Posted June 19, 2013    

How a Capacity Market Works

By Adam JamesI have a confession to make. I am one of those folks who consistently write on wonky energy things without ever taking the time to write out simple explanations of the basic concepts or why they matter.So, this piece will give a brief...

Posted June 14, 2013    

Energy Efficiency: Reversing the Drop in Combined Heat and Power Use

Combined heat and power (CHP) is an underutilized tool that could have a huge impact on industrial energy efficiency. Recycling heat to generate electricity makes a lot of sense. But how do the benefits of CHP stack up against building new...

Posted May 10, 2013    

Demand Response Cuts Need for New Generation in PJM Grid

Back in 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission passed Order 745, a rule that allowed demand response to bid into electricity markets and be treated as a dispatchable resource. Practically speaking, this opened the door for companies like...

Posted May 8, 2013    

Activism is Half the Battle: The Need for Clean Energy Policymakers

In February, thousands of people rallied against the Keystone XL pipeline. From my place on the sidelines, this moment was reminiscent of powerful images in political history; spanning the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, and the Vietnam...

Posted April 17, 2013    

Natural Gas Revolution and Its Implications: LNG Exports 101

The enthusiasm around the Shale Gale, unleashed by technological breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, has also led to a discussion of the United States potential to become a net-exporter of natural gas for the first time...

Posted April 3, 2013    

Do Clean Energy Innovation Clusters Work?

Last week, President Obama launched the “Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative,” along with the opening of a new carbon fiber technology facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This announcement is the first step toward the “National Network for...

Posted April 2, 2013    

New Bill Could Help Georgia Reap Solar Energy Cash Crop

Water, water everywhere and nary a drop to drink. That basically sums up the situation with solar in Georgia.Local Public Service Commissioner Lauren "Bubba" McDonald, Jr. put it best: "Georgia is the third best state for solar energy in the U.S.,...

Posted March 28, 2013    

Increasing Risks of Fossil Fuel Energy Investment

In the current political and economic environment, fossil fuel investments are looking much more risky than at any other time in history.There are at least three good reasons why. First, as climate change worsens, policies are likely to be put in...

Posted March 27, 2013    

CleanTech Investment: Angels and Demons

Allocation of capital is one way society expresses its values. That’s why Chris Thile recieving a MacArthur Genius Award is one of humankind’s greatest redeeming acts, and why Kim Kardashian’s net worth is so damn frustrating. It goes without saying...

Posted March 5, 2013    

Energy Innovation vs. Deployment: Addressing Differences on Communications and Policy

Over the last week or so, there has been a resurgence of what is becoming a classic (see: tired) debate between very smart people about the tension between clean energy innovation and deployment.This is a “debate” that has played out several times...

Posted February 6, 2013    

U.S. Natural Gas Capacity Must Peak Soon To Achieve Sustainable Pathway

As you may have noticed, the natural gas industry has undergone a bit of a boom in the last few years.In April, generation from natural gas tied that from coal for the first time ever. The boom has some energy analysts hailing a natural...

Posted December 14, 2012