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Cleantech

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

July 1, 2015 by Jeff St. John

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]

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

June 30, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

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]

North Carolina Solar Leadership at the Crossroads

June 30, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
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Solar in the States

As a North Carolinian, I can tell you it's pretty darned amazing that, last year, our state was number 2 in the nation in installed solar capacity. And number 4 in the first quarter of 2015, despite what can only be described as some really crappy (and construction-slowing) winter weather.[read more]

The IEA's Bridge Scenario to a Low Carbon World Again Underestimates the Role of Renewables

June 29, 2015 by Adam Whitmore
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IEA and Renewables Measurement

The IEA has just produced its World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate Change, which is intended to describe how the energy sector can transition to being part of a lower carbon world. It includes a new Bridge Scenario which emphasizes what can be done over the next decade or two.[read more]

The Internet of Things Provides the Opportunity to Achieve Global Sustainability Now

June 29, 2015 by Nick Blandford

Sustainability and Technological Advancement

 

Take a look at these numbers. 1.3 billion – that’s the number of people in the world today who don’t have access to electricity. 30% – this number represents the projected growth of global energy consumption by 2020. Universal access to electricity and renewable energy can help address these problems.[read more]

The Common Goals of the Pope and Clean Energy

June 26, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

The Pope and Clean Energy

Pope Francis turned a keen eye toward the environment and the problem of climate change with his encyclical,“Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”), released yesterday. As a clean energy advocate, I’m heartened that Pope Francis recognizes the need to transform our energy system.[read more]

Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver Huge Benefits

June 26, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Return on Green Investments

Decades prove energy efficiency programs deliver benefits to consumers and the environment - and these benefits far exceed the costs. A new working paper about a single federal efficiency program for low-income residents in Michigan is generating a lot of hype, but does nothing to contradict these basic facts.[read more]

Solar Star, Largest PV Power Plant in the World, Now Operational

June 25, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Solar Star PV Plant

BHE Renewables' 579-megawatt solar project located in in Antelope Valley, California is now fully connected to the California ISO grid. That allows the facility, dubbed "Solar Star," to claim the title of the largest operational solar project on the planet.[read more]

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How Much Land Does Solar, Wind and Nuclear Energy Require?

June 24, 2015 by Jesse Jenkins
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Land use impacts of solar wind and nuclear energy.

Does wind and solar take up too much land to be practical? Does the extreme energy density of nuclear fuel make it the ecologically ideal energy source? In this post, I run the numbers on the land use impact of wind, solar, nuclear and other energy sources.[read more]

Wind and Solar Will Soon Become the 'Least-Cost Option Almost Universally'

June 24, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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Wind and Solar Costs

Two new reports on global demand for renewables forecast dramatic growth in nearly every region of the world over the coming decades. While promotion policies are still important for supporting the industry, conventional technologies like wind and solar are becoming cheap enough to compete without subsidies.[read more]

How Should Distributed Generation be Distributed?

June 23, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie

Distributed Generation Planning

In the U.S., residential solar PV installations last quarter were up 11% over the previous quarter: In those states where residential solar is taking hold, there are mounting concerns that rate structures currently in place to support residential PV will result in adopters bearing less than their fair share of system costs.[read more]

The Centrality of Sustainability

June 23, 2015 by Steven Cohen

The Importance of Sustainability/shutterstock

We have seen the environmental issue evolve from a fringe topic barely clinging to a spot on the political agenda to the subject of a pope's encyclical. Presidents and prime ministers must now negotiate over climate change and habitat preservation just as they have long held talks on trade, jobs and national security.[read more]

Economics of Installing Combined Heating and Power Systems

June 23, 2015 by Merrill Kramer
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Combined Heat and Power Systems

With states adopting programs to encourage energy users to install combined heating and power (CHP) systems, building owners and asset managers are asking themselves the bottom line question – how can CHP increase my operating income and asset value?[read more]