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Efficiency

Winners and Losers from Flattening Tiered Electricity Prices

July 1, 2015 by Severin Borenstein

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

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]

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

June 30, 2015 by Jonathan Lewis
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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]

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
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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]

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]

exclusive

Watering Down the Energy Debate

June 29, 2015 by David Hess
4

Energy Debate

Water is essential for the production of energy. Energy facilities both consume water and have impacts on the aquatic ecosystems they interact with. These interactions are complex however and it is a mistake to over-simplify – one we must avoid if we are to meet our future energy needs sustainably.[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]

Where is Future EU Gas Demand Going? Implications for Russian and US LNG Exports to Europe

June 26, 2015 by Roman Kilisek

Liquid Natural Gas Demand and Exports

A new paper calls into question official EU projections regarding EU gas demand, which raises important questions about the economic viability of new gas import infrastructure – both pipelines and especially LNG terminals – and, by extension, about gas supply diversification efforts to enhance overall EU energy security.[read more]

A New Look for Nuclear Power

June 26, 2015 by Energy @ MIT
10

Nuclear Design Innovation

A novel nuclear power plant that will float eight or more miles out to sea promises to be safer, cheaper, and easier to deploy than today’s land-based plants. In a concept developed by MIT researchers, the floating plant combines two well-established technologies — a nuclear reactor and a deep-sea oil platform.[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]

BP Data Suggests We Are Reaching Peak Energy Demand

June 24, 2015 by Gail Tverberg
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Peak Demand and Energy Risk

Some people talk about peak energy (or oil) supply. They expect high prices and more demand than supply. Other people talk about energy demand hitting a peak many years from now, perhaps when most of us have electric cars. Neither of these views is correct.[read more]

Surging US SUV Sales: Why Increased Engine Performance May Augur Badly for Climate Targets

June 24, 2015 by Roman Kilisek

SUVs and Climate Change

According to the EPA, the majority of such transportation-related CO2 emissions result from the “combustion of petroleum-based products, like gasoline, in internal combustion engines” with the largest emitters being “passenger cars and light-duty trucks, including sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans.”[read more]