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Finance

A Roundup of Energy, Water, and Climate Bills in the 84th Texas Legislative Session

March 29, 2015 by Kate Zerrenner

Texas Energy Legislation

We’ve almost made it to the midway point of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature, so it's a good time to check which climate, clean energy, and energy-water nexus bills have been filed this Session. Here’s a look at a few that are likely to rise to the top, and ones we hope will cross the finish line by June 1st.[read more]

UtilityAPI: Automating the Customer-to-Solar Data Connection

March 28, 2015 by Jeff St. John

Solar, Customer Data Connection

UtilityAPI is taking on a major choke point in the often difficult solar customer acquisition process -- the cumbersome and frustrastingly time-consuming process of getting utilities to actually cough up their customers’ energy usage and billing data.[read more]

ComEd Backs a Bill to Impose Demand Charges on Residential Customers

March 27, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

The Illinois General Assembly introduced legislation recently that would allow ComEd to invest more than $400 million in projects like community solar, along with grid-edge assets such as microgrids and public electric-vehicle charging infrastructure.[read more]

Emerging Technologies Can Pave the Way for Time-Variant Electricity Pricing

March 27, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Variable Electricity Pricing and Tech

The amount of energy we use at any given time is constantly changing. Lights are switched on and off by time of day, appliances operate based on the season. In order to meet our dynamic energy demands, our system has to have the infrastructure and resources in place to respond when needed.[read more]

The High Cost of Solar Financing

March 27, 2015 by Anna Bacheller
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The solar industry recently attracted attention from two Silicon Valley tech giants: Apple and Google. Their investments in solar technology simultaneously underscore the growing interest in solar from the business world, and highlight one of the industry’s key challenges: long-term financing.[read more]

Energy 24/7: The Shale Revolution - A Bust for Investors [PODCAST]

March 27, 2015 by Deborah Lawrence
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We have all heard of the “shale revolution." It has been touted as the energy panacea of our time. Given the extreme hype, one would expect that such enthusiasm would translate into above average share performance for shale operators. This has not been the case.[read more]

U.S. Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Imports Decline 36% in 2014

March 27, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

U.S. Fuel Imports

After reaching record levels in 2013, U.S. imports of biomass-based diesel fuel (both biodiesel and renewable diesel) fell 36%, to 333 million gallons in 2014. Uncertainty surrounding Renewable Fuel Standard targets and the absence of a late-year influx of volumes from Argentina were two main factors in this decline.[read more]

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]

Obama Administration Quietly Seeks Extra Boost for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

March 26, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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Last week, the president issued an executive order mandating a 40% cut in carbon dioxide emissions across government agencies. Buried in the list of qualifying clean energy technologies was a reference to small modular nuclear technologies that are smaller and less capital-intensive than light water reactors.[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]

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]

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]

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]