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Future Energy Fellows: #energychat on Energy Storage Advancements

Major advances in materials science and improved manufacturing are driving down the cost and improving the performance of energy storage technologies at a rapid pace. With energy storage at the cusp, The Energy Collective hosted a live Twitter...

Posted November 20, 2014    

Can Buildings Help Regulate the Power Grid and Integrate Renewable Energy?

Summary: Grid operators may have a new ally in their efforts to integrate more renewable energy sources and regulate the frequency of the grid: buildings. Variable-speed drives used to run heating and cooling systems can be rapidly modulated in...

Posted November 10, 2014    

Will LEDs Trigger Rebound Effects? Examining the Key Evidence

By Harry Saunders and Jesse JenkinsIt was a pleasant surprise to see Rob Day’s thoughtful critique of a 2010 article on the energy consumption implications of new solid state lighting technologies – of which one of us (Saunders) was a co-author –...

Posted November 3, 2014    

Are Rebound Effects a Problem for Energy Efficiency?

The New York Times got the headline wrong in "The Problem With Energy Efficiency," an October 8th op ed by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, but the authors are right that the rebounds in energy demand triggered by efficiency improvements are...

Posted October 15, 2014    

The Future of Energy: Will 'Cheap as Dirt' Batteries Transform the Grid?

This article is part of the ‘Think Further’ series, sponsored by Fred Alger Management, Inc. For more ‘Think Further’ content and videos, visit thinkfurtheralger.com.What if batteries were as cheap as dirt?In a new video produced by investment...

Posted October 13, 2014    

How Does the People's Climate March Stack Up Against the Largest Protest Rallies in U.S. History?

Revised, September 23, 2014*Over 2,800 rallies were held in 166 countries Sunday in a worldwide call for action to confront climate change, just days ahead of a U.N. summit expected to chart a path forward for global climate treaty negotiations in...

Posted September 22, 2014    

Should Electricity Distribution Utilities Build, Own, and Operate Microgrids For Their Customers?

Summary: Electricity distribution companies could build, own, and operate microgrids to meet customer demands for enhanced reliability and supply critical loads during service disruptions.Rather than view microgrids as new competitors to traditional...

Posted September 16, 2014    

Are Carbon Capture and Storage and Biomass Indispensable in the Fight Against Climate Change?

Summary: Meeting aggressive climate change mitigation objectives and limiting the rise of atmospheric CO2 to 450 parts per million may depend on the ability to capture carbon from power plants and industry, derive energy from biomass, and even pair...

Posted September 9, 2014    

Are Reverse Auctions the Key to Reforming Solar Energy Subsidies?

Summary: Reverse auctions can be used to avoid paying too much for solar PV and reduce the costs of renewable energy subsidy programsThe Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has implemented a novel way to support renewable energy: a reverse feed-in...

Posted August 21, 2014    

Will CO2 Emission Standards Spur Carbon Capture Technology?

Summary: CO2 emissions standards for power plants in the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere may not spur the use of carbon capture technology; tighter or looser standards would work better to drive technology adoption.The U.S. Environmental...

Posted August 13, 2014    

When Politics Constraints Carbon Pricing, Part 3: Why Carbon Revenues are Just as Important as "Putting a Price on Carbon"

Summary:Politics constraints carbon pricing efforts, making them fall short of the "optimal" climate policy envisioned by economists.Careful attention to real-world political constraints can inform creative policy designs that improve climate and...

Posted July 28, 2014    

When Politics Constraints Carbon Pricing, Part 2: 6 Tips for Improving Climate Change Policy

Summary:Economists widely consider putting a price on carbon to be the ideal, "economically optimal" climate change policy. Unfortunately, real-world political constraints mean carbon pricing rarely lives up to this ideal (see Part 1 in this series...

Posted July 24, 2014