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Sustainability

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]

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]

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]

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]

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
1

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]

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]