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Sustainability

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]

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

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
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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
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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]

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
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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]

The Common Goals of the Pope and Clean Energy

June 26, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

The Pope and Clean Energy

Pope Francis turned a keen eye toward the environment and the problem of climate change with his encyclical,“Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”), released yesterday. As a clean energy advocate, I’m heartened that Pope Francis recognizes the need to transform our energy system.[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]

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Natural Gas Production in East Africa: An Inevitable Resource Curse?

June 25, 2015 by Neha Nandakumar

African Resources and Consequences

East African nations are experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production that is increasingly exported by Western companies. While these activities may appear to be an economic boon to these countries, they could potentially cause natural gas to be a “resource curse” for developing nations.[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]