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Loan Guarantees Are Back: DOE Targets 'Catalytic' Grid Integration Technology

Three years after the Department of Energy issued its last loan guarantee to a renewable energy project, the program is officially back in action.Ending a long hiatus, the DOE indicated in February that it would finally use the remaining $1.5...

Posted April 18, 2014    

A Breakthrough for Utility-Scale Solar Energy on Contaminated Lands?

Supported by the stimulus package and the Department of the Interior, developers continue to set records for the biggest solar and wind projects on untouched public lands.For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been waging its own less-...

Posted April 12, 2014    

What Does 'Winning' the Clean Energy Race Even Mean?

The Pew Charitable Trusts is out with its annual report comparing investment in clean energy among the twenty richest countries in the world. Once again China is held up as a threat to U.S. competitiveness.The report concludes that China "...

Posted April 7, 2014    

One Sustainability App to Rule Them All?

Intelligent efficiency software for buildings can be lumped into three broad categories: dashboarding and visualization; actionable energy intelligence; and enterprise sustainability.The actual products within those categories vary widely....

Posted April 5, 2014    

After Conflicts With Mortgage Lenders, California Restarts Residential PACE

California officials say the state's stalled program for financing residential efficiency retrofits through property taxes is ready to scale once again.After more than three years of conflict between large mortgage lenders and efficiency advocates,...

Posted March 29, 2014    

As Net Metering Battles Move to Small Markets, Solar Energy Advocates Claim Early Victories

The debate over how to value distributed solar is not new. Utilities and solar advocates have been negotiating changes to net metering in California, the leading U.S. solar market, for years.Consequently, proposed changes to solar crediting policies...

Posted March 27, 2014    

This Is What the Utility Death Spiral Looks Like

The German mega-utility RWE provided another dismal reminder of the painful transition European power companies are undergoing.According to 2013 financial results, the utility lost more than $3.8 billion last year as it cycled down unprofitable...

Posted March 6, 2014    

Look at the Cool Stuff You Can Do With Consumption Data From Buildings

Through a combination of energy disclosure laws and new applications for IT in buildings, we're seeing a lot of interesting data emerge about our built environment.Turns out that in Seattle, police stations are energy guzzlers. In New York,...

Posted March 4, 2014    

Report: Solar Paired With Storage Is a 'Real, Near, and Present' Threat to Utilities

In October 2012, as Superstorm Sandy rocked the East Coast, 75 residents gathered in the Midtown Community School in Bayonne, New Jersey. The elementary school was operating as an emergency shelter, giving people who were stuck in the severely...

Posted February 28, 2014    

Corporate Venture Perspectives: Are Most Cleantech Inventors 'Screwed'?

America's energy innovation agency, ARPA-E, is now five years old. Since it was officially funded in 2009, the agency has helped leverage hundreds of millions in private dollars for early-stage technologies being proven in the lab.Part of ARPA-E's...

Posted February 26, 2014    

US Building Efficiency Was Worth More Than Clean Electricity in 2013

America's building sector often gets criticized for being an inefficient drain on the country's electricity system. At the same time, the natural gas industry gets held up as an economic miracle for the grid. But does that perception match reality?A...

Posted February 25, 2014    

The US Smart Thermostat Market Is Potentially Massive

Programmable thermostats have been on the market for a long time. In fact, the technology's roots go all the way back to 1885, when Albert Butz invented the "damper flapper," a regulated pulley system that automatically controlled air flow to a coal...

Posted February 22, 2014