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Renewables

The Paris Talks: Looking Behind the Scenes

August 31, 2015 by Elliot Diringer

Negotiations toward a new global climate agreement resumed Monday in Bonn amid a growing concern that time to reach an agreement is running short – the agreement is due this December in Paris – and that the remaining task is monumental.[read more]

The DOE's Loan Program Office Needs to Help Manufacturers and Consumers

August 31, 2015 by James Greenberger

On March 6 of this year I wrote in this column about the need for the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office (LPO) to assist distributed energy projects, including distributed energy storage projects, rather than dedicate all its financial resources to energy megaprojects.[read more]

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Mexico's Energy Reforms: Is the Country Now Open for Business? [PODCAST]

August 28, 2015 by Robert Rapier

A Discussion of Mexico's Energy Reforms

In August 2014, Mexico enacted a series of comprehensive energy reform laws, promising to radically transform the electricity and oil and gas sectors. Long controlled by state-owned companies, Mexican President Peña Nieto intended the reforms to open his nation's energy sector for new investment.[read more]

Real Energy and Cost Savings. Right Now. Here, in Texas

August 28, 2015 by Kate Zerrenner
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Texas and Energy Savings

We are nearing the end of another successful season of EDF Climate Corps, the 8-year-old program run by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) that “embeds” grad students inside companies to find ways to save energy and money and lower carbon emissions.[read more]

Domestic Market for Distributed Wind Turbines Faces Several Challenges

August 28, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Wind Turbine Market Challenges

Last year's installations of mid-size and small wind turbines were the lowest in a decade. Relatively low electricity prices, competition from other distributed energy sources, and relatively high permitting and other nonmaterial costs have presented challenges to the distributed wind market in the United States.[read more]

Smart Utility Rates Could Slash Grid Investment Costs and Monthly Bills

August 27, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

Smart Utilities and Customer Bills

Homeowners could save up to 40 percent on their electricity bills and utilities could slash billions of costs every year in grid upgrades if demand-flexible rate plans were widely available, according to a new study from Rocky Mountain Institute.[read more]

At the 'Tip of the Spear' for Solar Energy in Virginia: Tony Smith

August 26, 2015 by Jim Pierobon

Solar Energy Forefront in Virginia

A handful of individuals and their organizations have persevered to develop pathways for the implementation of cost-effective solar energy in Virginia, a state where utilities are widely viewed to be undermining the adoption of solar by their customers.[read more]

Katrina's Vital Lesson

August 26, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

President Obama goes to New Orleans on Thursday to mark the Gulf region's struggle to recover from not one disaster but two: Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of the levee system that swamped the Crescent City 10 years ago this week. In some respects, the recovery has been remarkable.[read more]

The Decline of Sloppy Electricity Rate Making

August 25, 2015 by Severin Borenstein
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Sloppy Electricity Rates

Back in the “good old days” most customers had no choice about how to buy electricity and a regulator’s life was pretty easy. The utility needed sufficient revenue to cover its costs, but the regulator approving rates was mostly just deciding whose ox to gore.[read more]

White House Announcement Means 'Today Is a Very Big Day for PACE'

August 25, 2015 by Eric Wesoff
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White House Policy and PACE

Some barriers to popularizing the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program across the United States were cleared recently with an announcement made by President Obama at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.[read more]

The Energy Gang Chats With Senator Angus King on Distributed Energy: "This Is Where the Future Is Going" [PODCAST]

August 24, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
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If there’s any concept that can cut through politics of distributed energy, it’s “personal energy independence.” Some utilities may not like the idea, but many supporters believe it’s a helpful way to frame policies supporting solar, storage and microgrids, both nationally and locally.[read more]

Assessing the INDCs

August 24, 2015 by David Hone

Countries and their Contributions

It is now just 100 days until COP21 in Paris. The summer months have seen many INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC prior to the assessment deadline of October 1st. This is the date when the UNFCCC secretariat will start work on a synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the INDCs.[read more]

'Pathway to 2050' Focuses on California’s 2030 Goals, Utility Regulation and Business Models

August 24, 2015 by Bob Keough

California, Regulation, and Future Planning

“We are at another inflection point in California policy,” said Howard Wenger of SunPower Corp. With legislation pending across the street in the Capitol to raise California’s already high standards for renewable energy and building efficiency, he couldn't be more right.[read more]

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Crowdfunders Threaten the Cozy World of Largescale Renewable Energy Provision

August 21, 2015 by Aedan Kernan
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A bid to crowdfund a 350 MW offshore wind project in Denmark looked likely to provide the ‘usual suspects’ with some stiff competition, that is, until the moment when the Danish government blocked it. Now, the crowdfunders are starting to fight back.[read more]

Managing the Rise of Distributed Energy: Emerging Utility Trends

August 21, 2015 by Van Hilderbrand, Jr.
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Distributed Energy Management

Much has been written regarding the conventional utility’s “death spiral.” America’s power generation utilities have become increasingly fearful that a significant majority of their customers will generate their own electricity through innovative distributed energy technologies like rooftop solar.[read more]