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A Key Element for the Forthcoming Paris Climate Agreement

September 2, 2015 by Robert Stavins
1

The upcoming Paris climate negotiations will constitute a critical step in the ongoing international process to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether the Paris outcome will be sufficiently ambitious to put the world on a path towards limiting global warming remains to be seen.[read more]

Do We Have a Wicked Problem to Deal With?

September 2, 2015 by David Hone
1

Carbon Pricing and Environmental Policy

Two articles in Foreign Affairs highlight different routes forward for tacking the climate issue. One, by Michael Bloomberg, argues that the mitigation solution increasingly lies with cities (this isn’t just about city resilience) and the other puts the challenge squarely in front of the business community.[read more]

China's First 3rd-Party Study on Regional Air Quality Management Across 30 Provinces

September 2, 2015 by Jenny Tang

China Air Quality

In 2013, China State Council issued the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan 2013-2017 (aka “Ten Measures of Air”), setting a new precedent for governmental air pollution management efforts. One year after the Action Plan’s launch, what have China’s provinces and cities done to meet these requirements?[read more]

India at the Deep End

September 2, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

India Energy Development

It has been said of India that the more you get to know it, the less you understand. The country’s vast size, diversity, and complexity gives it a knack for defying logic and confounding accepted wisdom. This is especially true when it comes to the developing energy industry.[read more]

Alaska Increases Wind Power Capacity in Utility - and Distributed-Scale Projects

September 2, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Alaska and New Energy

Although wind power provided less than 3% of Alaska's electric power generation in 2014, Alaska's wind power capacity has increased 20-fold between 2007 and 2014, growing from 3 megawatts (MW) to 60 MW. This increase is notable in light of the challenges of installing and connecting large wind generators.[read more]

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Nuclear Retirements Would Sabotage Clean Power Plan Carbon Reductions

September 1, 2015 by Jesse Jenkins
27

Nuclear power and the EPA Clean Power Plan

The EPA believes it’s new regulations will cut carbon emissions 32% by 2030. Reaching that goal depends on nuclear continuing to supply one-fifth of U.S. electricity. Retirements of existing reactors could sabotage the Clean Power Plan's emissions goals—and the EPA can't stop it. Here's why...[read more]

Can California Ignore its Neighbors?

September 1, 2015 by James Bushnell
1

California and Neighborly Risk

The U.S., has operated its power system as a collection of balkanized fiefdoms. Evidence from around the country, indicates that merging utility system operations can be a big win economically by reducing the amount of fuel burned, improving network utilization, and increasing reliability.[read more]

Can Climate Advocates Innovate?

September 1, 2015 by Justin Guay
2

Innovation and Environmental Advocacy

When it comes to climate change we are winning battles but losing the war. If we want to change our trajectory and solve a problem as complex as this, breakthrough innovation - in technology, business, governance, finance, and civil society - is essential.[read more]

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Interoperability and Distributed Intelligence: OMNETRIC Group's Project with U.S. Energy Department's NREL

August 31, 2015 by Wade Malcolm
3

Grid Development and Energy Partnerships

To better operate an increasingly complex and crowded grid, greater interoperability across disparate devices and systems is needed. For greater responsiveness, more decisions need to be made at the edge, which is only possible if there is more intelligence in the distribution network.[read more]

A "Great Reversal" in China? Coal Continues to Decline with Enforcement of Environmental Laws

August 31, 2015 by Hao Tan
2

China Coal Reversal

Two stories dominate China’s energy trajectory right now. The first is that reports from three agencies all point to the continuing decline in use of coal in the first half of 2015, continuing a trajectory already notable in 2014. The other side of this story is the determination to enforce pollution regulation.[read more]

The Paris Talks: Looking Behind the Scenes

August 31, 2015 by Elliot Diringer
1

Negotiations toward a new global climate agreement resumed Monday in Bonn amid a growing concern that time to reach an agreement is running short – the agreement is due this December in Paris – and that the remaining task is monumental.[read more]

Optimism is the Way Forward: Nuclear Power Delivers

August 31, 2015 by Milton Caplan

Nuclear Power Potential

We had an important piece of good news this month as Sendai Unit 1 was restarted in Japan, ending a long period of no nuclear generation in that country after the Fukushima accident in 2011. Sendai Unit 2 is following close behind and Japan will continue to restart many of its nuclear plants.[read more]

The DOE's Loan Program Office Needs to Help Manufacturers and Consumers

August 31, 2015 by James Greenberger

On March 6 of this year I wrote in this column about the need for the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office (LPO) to assist distributed energy projects, including distributed energy storage projects, rather than dedicate all its financial resources to energy megaprojects.[read more]

Reduced Offshore Share in U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Production Lowers Risk from Hurricanes

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

Offshore Energy and Weather Risk

Offshore energy production in the Gulf of Mexico has experienced relatively minor disruptions because of tropical storms and hurricanes in recent years, and the NOAA has predicted a below-normal 2015 hurricane season in its updated Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, released on August 6.[read more]

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Mexico's Energy Reforms: Is the Country Now Open for Business? [PODCAST]

August 28, 2015 by Robert Rapier

A Discussion of Mexico's Energy Reforms

In August 2014, Mexico enacted a series of comprehensive energy reform laws, promising to radically transform the electricity and oil and gas sectors. Long controlled by state-owned companies, Mexican President Peña Nieto intended the reforms to open his nation's energy sector for new investment.[read more]

Deflationary Collapse Ahead?

August 28, 2015 by Gail Tverberg
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Deflation and Energy Economics

This mismatch between rising costs of oil production and stagnating wages is what has been happening. The unaffordability problem can be hidden by a rising amount of debt for a while (since adding cheap debt helps make unaffordable big items seem affordable), but this scheme cannot go on forever.[read more]

The Best Shot for Slowing Climate Impacts in Alaska and the Arctic

August 28, 2015 by Durwood Zaelke
1

Arctic Melting and Risk in Alaska

I worked in Alaska many years ago as a young attorney defending the forests, fisheries and other remarkable natural resources of the last frontier. The “termination dust” that fell every fall ahead of the deep freeze of winter made my job easier, providing an annual pause in development.[read more]

Katrina 10 Years On: The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Provides a Way Forward

August 28, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Federal Flood Standards

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It was the costliest, as well as, one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. When the levee system safeguarding New Orleans catastrophically failed, our nation watched in horror as the flood waters spread.[read more]

Real Energy and Cost Savings. Right Now. Here, in Texas

August 28, 2015 by Kate Zerrenner
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Texas and Energy Savings

We are nearing the end of another successful season of EDF Climate Corps, the 8-year-old program run by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) that “embeds” grad students inside companies to find ways to save energy and money and lower carbon emissions.[read more]

Domestic Market for Distributed Wind Turbines Faces Several Challenges

August 28, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Wind Turbine Market Challenges

Last year's installations of mid-size and small wind turbines were the lowest in a decade. Relatively low electricity prices, competition from other distributed energy sources, and relatively high permitting and other nonmaterial costs have presented challenges to the distributed wind market in the United States.[read more]


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