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Energy and Economy

Remember When We Were Running Out of Crude Oil Storage?

July 3, 2015 by Robert Rapier

Given the amount of air time the crude oil storage situation received back in March and April, this might be a good time to revisit that situation. If you recall, there was a great amount of hand-wringing regarding the crude oil storage picture in the U.S. Inventories were high and they were continuing to rise.[read more]

NASA Satellite Images Show the Rapid Expansion of Utility-Scale Solar in China

July 3, 2015 by Stephen Lacey

China Solar Expansion

China is a very difficult solar market to track from the outside. There's no doubt that the Chinese PV market is growing at unprecedented speed. But determining its overall health is more of an art than a science. So perhaps the scientists can help.[read more]

Reliability Means Being Connected: We Need a Strong Integrated Electricity System with Nuclear Generation

July 3, 2015 by Milton Caplan
2

Nuclear and Energy Reliability

Our economy is completely dependent upon the availability of reliable, clean and economic electricity. So while we may dream of not needing the grid as we each generate our own electricity, what we really need is a strong, interconnected grid made up of reliable economic nuclear power as its work horse.[read more]

Fossil Fuels Have Made Up at Least 80% of U.S. Fuel Mix Since 1900

July 3, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Fossil Fuel Mix

While the energy history of the United States is one of significant change, three fossil fuel sources—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have made up at least 80 percent of the total energy consumption of the United States for more than 100 years.[read more]

US-Brazil 20% Renewable Commitment is a Good Start, But We Can Do More

July 3, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

International Renewables Commitments

President Obama and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, announced a pretty impressive clean energy commitment at their joint White House appearance recently. They pledged that each country would get 20 percent of its electricity from non-hydro renewable sources, like solar and wind power, by 2030.[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]