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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]

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]

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

July 24, 2015 by Joseph Romm

“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]

Green and Growing, or Ripe and Rotting?

Green Growth

Nathalie Girouard, Head of the Environmental Performance and Information Division Environment Directorate at the OECD, discusses the various findings and implications to be found in their new report "Towards Green Growth? Tracking Progress".[read more]

The Reality of Energy Storage Policy Is Different From What Solar-Storage Vendors Expect

July 23, 2015 by Jeff St. John

Energy Storage and Reality

California may in fact be one of the country’s great key emerging markets for battery-backed distributed solar energy. But that promise of energy resource transformation is made up of a complex set of equal parts opportunity and uncertainty.[read more]

New Study Emphasizes Need to Find and Fix Methane Leaks, Reveals Limits of Voluntary Action

July 23, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Methne Leak Risks

A study published recently in Environmental Science & Technology confirms official figures from the Environmental Protection Agency showing that an enormous amount of methane, about 80 billion cubic feet per year, is escaping from key nodes along the nation’s natural gas interstate pipeline system.[read more]

China Will Soon Surpass South Korea, Russia, and Japan in Nuclear Generating Capacity

July 23, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

China and Nuclear Growth

Nuclear power currently makes up slightly more than 2% of China's total power generation. However, China has a stated goal to provide at least 15% of overall energy consumption by 2020 (increasing to 20% by 2030) from non-fossil fuel sources, including nuclear, hydroelectricity and other renewable sources.[read more]

Winning the Hunger Games: Tom Wallace on How to Choose Successful Agriculture Investments

July 23, 2015 by Jim Patrick

Agriculture Investments

Tom Wallace is the publisher and editor of The Agletter. He is a successful natural resources investor who specializes in the agricultural sphere. His research covers a plethora of agricultural subindustries ranging from agri-mineral miners to farm machinery producers.[read more]

Is the U.S. Really the World's Top Oil Producer?

July 22, 2015 by Robert Rapier
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United States Oil Production

The U.S. is clearly an energy production superpower, but we are an even greater energy consumer. Thus, despite the large amount of energy production, the U.S. is not energy independent. Our position as the #2 coal producer behind China mirrors our #2 position behind China in carbon dioxide emissions.[read more]

Are Clean Energy Tax Credits Equitable?

July 22, 2015 by Lucas Davis

Tax Credit Fairness and Clean Energy

Over the last decade, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for clean energy investments. In a new paper, Severin Borenstein and I use tax return data from the IRS to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of filers who receive these credits.[read more]

How EV Chargers and Energy Storage Can Make Good Grid Partners

July 22, 2015 by Jeff St. John
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Energy Storage and EV Charging

Electric vehicles could be a challenge or a resource, according to utilities plotting ways to turn EV charging stations into smart, grid-responsive resources. But the first steps toward making EV charging an asset may come from the demand charges that penalize utility customers for spikes in their electricity consumption.[read more]

Timing is Everything: How California is Getting Electricity Pricing Right and Bringing Clean Power to the People

July 22, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange
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Getting Clean Power to the People

Anybody managing a household budget knows it pays to plan ahead. With advanced thinking we can buy favorite items with coupons, when they’re on sale, in bulk, or at the cheapest store in the area. Similarly, we know that buying under duress, or in the touristy spot, will likely mean higher prices.[read more]

Vote for the Future of American Energy Security

July 22, 2015 by Robbie Diamond

Energy Technologies and the Future

Americans have enjoyed a break at the gas pump this summer. While all of us are relieved to spend less getting around during vacation time, consumers should be wary that this period of relatively affordable gasoline does not signal the achievement of American energy security.[read more]

Coal Miners, Extractive Industries, and a Sustainable Economy

July 21, 2015 by Steven Cohen
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The transition to a renewable economy may be a painful one, particularly in this era of aversion to active government. When New York City endured the difficult transition from a commercial and small manufacturing city to today's post-industrial megacity, we nearly went broke.[read more]

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Using China's Lack of Progress on Greenhouse Gas Reduction to Spur U.S. Climate Action

July 21, 2015 by Matthew Lichtash
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China and U.S. Climate Action

China is not on track to meet its international climate obligations—not by a long shot. Some use this sobering statistic as a reason not to limit our own emissions. Here's how we can flip this argument and turn China's lack of environmental progress into a motivating force for bold U.S. climate action.[read more]

Renewable Tax Extenders Package Set To Emerge From Finance Committee

July 21, 2015 by Merrill Kramer
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Taxes and Renewables

Renewable energy is back on the docket for the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman Orrin Hatch is likely to release the draft of his bill soon. The Committee is considering a two-year extender for tax incentives for new wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas and ocean energy projects during a markup.[read more]