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Renewables

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

North Carolina Solar Leadership at the Crossroads

June 30, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
2

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]

Rare Earths Not So Rare?

June 29, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles
22

Rare earths are elements of low abundance, compared to the ores of metals like iron and copper. Five years ago it appeared that China had cornered the market on rare earths and was exercising its market power to, among other aims, lure businesses reliant on these minerals to shift their operations to China.[read more]

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

June 29, 2015 by Adam Whitmore
4

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]

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]

Two Degrees: EU Climate Debate Highlights Key Ingredients for a Deal in Paris [VIDEO]

June 25, 2015 by David Thual
1

EU Climate Debate

Sonja van Renssen is joined by Jos Delbeke, Director General for Climate Action, European Commission, Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, Vice-president of the S&D Group, and Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist and Vice President, Statoil, to debate: “Road to Paris: can the EU retain its leadership role at COP21?”[read more]

exclusive

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

June 24, 2015 by Jesse Jenkins
88

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]