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New Document Streamlines Negotiating Text for Paris, as Groundswell of Climate Action Continues

July 31, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

As the Paris Climate agreement approaches, we are seeing signs of a far different process from the last-minute confusion in Copenhagen. The latest sign of progress towards a successful Paris agreement is the release of a shortened draft negotiating text -- produced by the two co-chairs of the negotiations.[read more]

Marcellus, Friday Energy Facts: Utica Provide 85% of U.S. Shale Gas Production Growth Since Start of 2012

July 31, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Shale Gas Production and Sources

The productivity of natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale and the neighboring Utica Shale is steadily increasing because of ongoing improvements in precision and efficiency of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing occurring in those regions.[read more]

How a Green Fair Connection Helped the Environment and Employees

July 30, 2015 by Ellie Ramm

Green Transport

Using public transportation can help the planet because it is more fuel efficient. At a recent Green Fair in Springdale, Arkansas, we also learned just how much public transportation can help employees, especially those without a driver’s license or a car who struggle to get to work each day.[read more]

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Can Hillary Promote Clean Energy Without Attacking the Fossil Fuel Industry?

July 30, 2015 by Aya Kusch

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton's climate plan is a probably a good start, but if she is going to take a solidified position on climate change and actually attempt to see it through, then she is going to have to embrace some controversial positions.[read more]

Climate Change Variability, Not Just Temperatures, Increase Mortality Risks for Vulnerable Populations

July 30, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Climate and health research has shown that weather extremes fueled by climate change are seriously threatening human health. It is well-known by the public health community that average seasonal mean temperatures significantly influence the risk of weather-related mortality.[read more]

Can SolarCity Crack the Code on Small Commercial Solar?

July 30, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Small Scale Solar Success

When it comes to solar installations on small and medium-sized businesses, the 30-kilowatt to 500-kilowatt range is a no-man's land for installers. According to SolarCity's CEO, it's been "difficult to service this market cost-effectively," despite the SMB market being "bigger than the large commercial business market."[read more]

Membership has its Co-Benefits

July 28, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie

Preparing for the Paris Agreement

Last week marked the first “informal ministerial consultations” in the run up to the UN climate talks in December. The objective of these meetings before The Meeting is to provide common ground and a framework for what the UN Climate Chief is ominously calling the “last chance for a meaningful agreement”.[read more]

Trending Topics: Electricity Grid Integration in the West

July 28, 2015 by America's Power Plan
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Grid Integration in the West

The key barrier to the integration of renewables in the West is insufficient regional coordination. In order to develop a bulk electric grid that will be resilient, how the system is planned and operated and the means by which entities are compensated for the services they provide will need to evolve.[read more]

Level the Playing Field for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

July 28, 2015 by Morry Markowitz
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Fair Markets for Fuel Cell Vehicles?

Zero-emission vehicles will be a major market sector of future automobiles, due to international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality, and reduce reliance on oil. Fuel cell electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles are the only two commercialized ZEVs available to consumers today.[read more]

Stage Set in Cuba for Boom in Renewable Investment; Can U.S. Companies Take Advantage?

July 28, 2015 by Van Hilderbrand, Jr.

A Boom in Cuba?

With the recent announcement that Cuba has been removed from the U.S. list of countries sponsoring terrorism, the door for trade has been cracked open for the first time in many years. The question now is how and when U.S. investment dollars can begin flowing to relieve the island nation’s economic isolation.[read more]

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Seeking Consensus on the Externalized Costs of Energy: Methodology

July 27, 2015 by Schalk Cloete
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Seeking Consensus on External Costs

The next chapter of the Seeking Consensus project will evaluate externalized costs of a variety different energy options. This article details and explains the methodology that will be used in estimating these costs.[read more]

LEDs Pose Same Threat As Solar and Net Metering For Utility Ratemaking

July 27, 2015 by Dennis Wamsted
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LEDs and Ratemaking

What exactly are the differences between LEDs and residential solar energy panels? Well, there's plenty different between them, clearly, but for a utility executive worried about slow or no load growth they amount to exactly the same thing—trouble.[read more]

Sizing Up EPA's New Voluntary Methane Reduction Program

July 27, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange
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EPA and Methane

The U.S. oil and gas industry released more than 7.3 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere in 2013, a three percent increase over 2012 – that’s an amount of gas worth nearly $2 billion, and enough to supply about 6 million American homes. So what are we going to do about it?[read more]

Regional Coordination and Markets: Key to a Renewable Energy Future

July 27, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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In the Western U.S. a major change in how the electrical system is operated is underway. It is driven by economics, environment, and reliability concerns. This change, from a balkanized, inefficiently operated grid to a coordinated, consolidated grid may just be the key to our renewable energy future.[read more]

Renewable Energy Delivers 70% of New Generating Capacity in First Half of 2015

July 27, 2015 by Tom Schueneman
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New Generating Capacity

According to the recently released Energy Infrastructure Update from the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), renewable energy sources accounted for 69.75 percent of new electrical generation placed into service in the first six months of 2015.[read more]

Global Coal Boom Ends As China — And World — Wakes Up To Reality Of Carbon Pollution

July 24, 2015 by Joseph Romm
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“Global coal demand is slowing fast,” is the headline in a June Business Insider Australia story. “The global coal renaissance is the most important climate story today,” is the headline in a July Vox story.

“Global coal demand is slowing fast,” is the headline in a June Business Insider Australia story. “The global coal renaissance is the most important climate story today,” is the headline in a July Vox story.[read more]

Nine Reasons Why Low Oil Prices May "Morph" Into Something Much Worse

July 24, 2015 by Gail Tverberg
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Low Oil Prices and Economic Risk

Why are commodity prices lagging? The question comes back to, “Why isn’t the world economy making very many of the end products that use these commodities?” If workers were getting rich enough to buy new homes and cars, demand for these products would be raising the prices of commodities.[read more]

Friday Energy Facts: Beyond Shell-BG, Oil Company Merger Activity is Down

July 24, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Oil Company Mergers

The second quarter of 2015 exhibited the largest amount of oil companies' merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by value since fourth-quarter 2012. The announced merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group in early April accounted for $84 billion of the $115 billion quarterly total.[read more]

Four Things to Look for in EPA's New Voluntary Methane Reduction Proposal

July 24, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Methane Reduction and Regulation

The EPA will soon propose its “enhanced” Natural Gas STAR program, providing guidelines for oil and gas companies that want to voluntarily reduce methane emissions. Calls for voluntary measures to address pollution have increased recently, as the EPA is set to release its first-ever methane rules this summer.[read more]

Feeding the Beast: SunEdison Plans to Buy Vivint Solar for $2.2 Billion

July 24, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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SunEdison and Vivint Solar

With yet another multi-billion-dollar acquisition now in the works, SunEdison isn't just strengthening its position as one of the world's top renewable energy developers -- it is on a mission to become one of the largest energy companies in any sector.[read more]