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Financing Energy Storage: Taking Cues From the Success of PV

July 7, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

PV and Energy Finance

When it comes to solar project finance, the PV market is in the midst of a small golden age of sorts. Tax equity funds and PPAs are now joined by asset-backed securities, the potential for MLP status, loans, community solar, PACE financing, and solar bonds as some of the tools that can back solar projects.[read more]

California Grid Expected to Maintain Reliability despite Drought

July 7, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

California Energy and the Drought

According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the bulk power system in the state of California is not expected to lose any grid reliability this summer, despite a long-lasting drought that has lowered hydroelectric generation.[read more]

China's new 2030 Climate Target Will Contribute to a Lower and Earlier Emissions Peak

July 6, 2015 by Jake Schmidt

China and Future Planning

China formally submitted its climate pledge for the post-2020 period in preparation for the new international climate agreement. These details were announced as part of the US-China climate agreement last November, but China has now added a carbon intensity reduction target to its 2030 goals.[read more]

Demand for Small Modular Reactors may be Impacted by Supreme Court Ruling on EPA Coal Plant Emissions

July 6, 2015 by Dan Yurman

SMRs and Supreme Court Rulings

The US Supreme Court recently threw out EPA’s coal emissions regulations that if implemented would have forced many utilities to close older coal-fired plants. The new emissions controls are aimed at mercury and other toxic pollutants which are not removed from stack emissions by current air pollution controls.[read more]

How Germany's Second-Biggest Utility Is Adapting to a Distributed Energy World

July 6, 2015 by Jeff St. John
1

German Utility Adaptation

German utility RWE is a victim of the so-called “utility death spiral,” with its central-power-plant-reliant business losing billions of dollars in Germany’s renewables-rich energy market. But distributed energy technologies and business models could help turn its fortunes around.[read more]

The Dog that Did Not Bark: A Nuclear Power Story

July 6, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
3

Nuclear Energy Policy

A memorable Sherlock Holmes story involves "the curious incident of the dog" that did not bark when expected, and a much more contemporary California version involves calm in the aftermath of a sudden 2013 retirement for two giant nuclear power plants.[read more]

Supreme Court: EPA Should Have Considered Cost When Deciding Whether Mercury Limits For Power Plants Were Appropriate

July 2, 2015 by James Coleman

EPA Regulations and Considering Costs

The United States Supreme Court held that the Environmental Protection Agency improperly refused to consider costs when determining whether it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act.[read more]

Revising the Toxic Substances Out-of-Control Act

July 2, 2015 by Steven Cohen

It's good that America had a bipartisan environmental majority in past, or our air today would be unbreathable and our water would be undrinkable. Fortunately, laws governing air and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, endangered species, and toxic substances were enacted during those crucial decades.[read more]

Why Should Climate Philanthropy Care About Energy Access?

July 2, 2015 by Justin Guay

Energy Access Efforts

Investing in clean energy access provides a disruptive opportunity to revolutionize electricity systems and get on the right side of the politics of development -- philanthropy just hasn't realized it yet. To be fair, philanthropy needs to step up it's game on climate across the board.[read more]

Cheapest Solar Ever: Austin Energy Gets 1.2 Gigawatts of Solar Bids for Less Than 4 Cents

July 2, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
6

Solar Cost Reduction Efforts

A lot more cheap solar is coming for Austin, Texas. The city's utility, Austin Energy, just released new data on developer bids for PV projects as part of a 600-megawatt procurement. The numbers show how far solar prices have come down over the last year -- and will continue to drop.[read more]

How Does China's Climate Pledge Stack Up?

July 2, 2015 by Barbara Finamore
1

China and Climate Action

China's climate pledge will require the country to make very significant changes to its emissions trajectory - including adding non-fossil power equivalent to the entire U.S. power generating capacity by 2030. When you compare China's growth trajectory against that of developed countries, how does it compare?[read more]

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Should Gas & Oil Methane Emissions Be the Next Obama Climate Policy Priority?

July 1, 2015 by John Miller
10

Emissions Priorities

Is the Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed gas and oil production greenhouse gas regulation actually the most efficient and effective approach to reducing total methane emissions in the United States? Or are there better alternatives?[read more]

Winners and Losers from Flattening Tiered Electricity Prices

July 1, 2015 by Severin Borenstein
3

Winners and Losers

The California Public Utilities Commission is moving closer to major changes in the steeply increasing-block residential electricity rates that the state has had since the 2000-01 California electricity crisis. This Friday the Commissioners may decide to significantly flatten the tiered rate structure.[read more]

Solar's Value for Grid Circuits: Not Much on Average, but Huge for a Handful

July 1, 2015 by Jeff St. John
1

Solar and the Grid

Solar advocates and opponents have argued over the merits of various studies about the relative costs and benefits of distributed solar PV. Different studies have reached different results -- so different that the Rocky Mountain Institute wrote an entire report just to compare and contrast 16 of them.[read more]

Residential PACE on the Rise; Innovative Solar Financing

July 1, 2015 by Dan Scripps

Residential PACE Financing

In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Authority almost killed Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE) for residential properties. A lot can happen in five years, and what was once a program on the verge of foreclosure is now a booming market.[read more]

Progress on Phasing Down HFCs as Countries Build Momentum Toward a Deal

July 1, 2015 by David Doniger

HFC Reduction

The global effort to phase down powerful heat-trapping hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is gaining speed as several nations recently put forth detailed plans to curb HFC use. Negotiators at the upcoming Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in Paris next month will weigh in on updated amendment proposals.[read more]

White House Wisely Rejects the 'Categorical Carbon Neutrality' of Biomass, But What Now?

June 30, 2015 by Jonathan Lewis
7

The White House OMB released a Statement of Policy this week detailing the many reasons why the President would veto H.R. 2822, a 2016 appropriations bill for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior put together by the Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives.[read more]

Public Investment in Clean Energy ''Poised for Exponential Growth'

June 30, 2015 by Katherine Tweed
1

Green Investment

Even without access to MLPs, which are publicly traded entities that are allowed to act like traditional corporations in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, financing vehicles for clean energy projects are already being unleashed. Investment in clean energy hit nearly $340 billion in 2014.[read more]

Don't Write Off Energy Efficiency, It's Just About to have its Day.

June 30, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

The Advent of Energy Efficiency

Economists from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley released a study that called into question the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency. The study was based on the team’s analysis of energy savings shortfalls in the Michigan low income Weatherization Assistance Program.[read more]

Moving Nuclear Energy Discussions Forward

June 30, 2015 by Rod Adams
1

Nuclear Energy Discussion

Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs recently conducted a morning meeting titled 'A Chain Reaction: The Role of Nuclear Energy in New England’s Energy Mix' in Boston. The timing was fortuitous, my wife and I were in Maine, so we decided to make a little detour on the way home so we could attend.[read more]