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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]

New Methanol and Fertilizer Plants to Increase Already-Growing Industrial Natural Gas Use

July 30, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

New Plants and Natural Gas

Reversing a decline that lasted more than a decade, industrial natural gas consumption has grown steadily since 2009 as relatively low natural gas prices have supported use of natural gas as a feedstock for the production of bulk chemicals.[read more]

New Research Project to Investigate How Communities can Tackle Fuel Poverty, the Silent Killer

July 29, 2015 by Sussex Energy Group
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Fuel Poverty and Health Risk

New research to be conducted on the issue of fuel poverty will help researchers, and energy and community policy makers to understand just how it is that community groups could reach the vulnerable and what potential impact local activities could have.[read more]

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Fracking Time for a Step Back

July 29, 2015 by Steve Heisler
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Fracking Analysis

Fracking is one of the hottest environmental topics under discussion these days, and for good reason: Many known dangers exist. Additionally, there may be more problems we haven’t yet discovered, because the fracking process currently in use has a short safety track record.[read more]

PG&E's New Tariff Could 'Gut the PV Opportunity' for the Commercial Sector

July 29, 2015 by Jeff St. John
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Tariffs and PV Opportunity

 

If you were wandering the halls of last week’s Intersolar conference in San Francisco, you probably heard a lot of worried, angry talk about something called the A-6 tariff, and how proposed changes to it were threatening to undercut commercial solar PV economics in Northern California.[read more]

SunEdison Makes a ($2.2 Billion) Deal, Offshore Wind Breaks Water

July 29, 2015 by Lexie Briggs
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Energy News

 

This week, one AEE Member company dominated the news cycle with a major acquisition, HP joined the trend toward advanced energy-run data centers, and the American offshore wind energy industry is finally off the ground (and in the water).[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

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]