Sign up | Login with →

All Posts

exclusive

Nuclear Innovation: Necessity of Test Beds

August 26, 2015 by Todd Allen
6

Nuclear Innovation and Necessity

This is the first of four planned articles that will outline the recommendations from the Idaho National Laboratory led Nuclear Innovation Workshops, which cover the pressing need for designated test beds in order to advance nuclear innovation.[read more]

Trending Topics: How Utilities Can Deliver Value for Customers and Society

August 26, 2015 by America's Power Plan
1

Utilities and Delivering Value

As with any investor-owned company, managers of investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are obligated to maximize shareholder value. So it pays when regulators can find ways to align shareholder value creation with the public interest. Enter performance-based regulation.[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]

EIA Expects Near-Term Decline in Natural Gas Production in Major Shale Regions

August 26, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Natural Gas Decline

Natural gas production across all major shale regions in EIA's Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) is projected to decrease for the first time in September. Production from these seven shale regions reached a high in May at 45.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and is expected to decline to 44.9 Bcf/d in September.[read more]

The Decline of Sloppy Electricity Rate Making

August 25, 2015 by Severin Borenstein
9

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]

Growing Global Liquids Inventories Reflect Lower Crude Oil Prices

August 25, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Supply of Global Liquids

Continued growth in global production of petroleum and other liquids has outpaced consumption growth since August 2014, resulting in rising global liquids stocks. Total global liquids inventories are estimated to have grown by 2.3 million barrels per day (b/d) through the first seven months of 2015.[read more]

U.S. Coastal Cities Face Increased Risk of Flooding

August 25, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
1

Coastal Flooding Risk

In the US, the economic, environmental and social impacts of flooding are severe. Flooding presents a serious risk to our physical infrastructure, which are essential to the well-being of the nation. Unfortunately, US coastal cities are facing an increased risk of severe flooding due to compound flooding.[read more]

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

August 25, 2015 by Eric Wesoff
1

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]

Hottest Month On Record Portends Global Warming Speed Up

August 25, 2015 by Joseph Romm
5

Monthly Temps and Global Warming Risk

Last month was not just the hottest July on record. Since July is “the warmest month of the year globally,” NOAA’s latest monthly State of the Climate Report, notes that July 2015 “was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880.”[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
2

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]

Major Fossil Fuel-Producing States Rely Heavily on Severance Taxes

August 24, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Fossil Fuel Production and Taxes

Severance taxes accounted for less than 2% of state tax collections in 2014, but in three states severance taxes provided a much larger share of total state tax revenue in that year. Pennsylvania is considering a severance tax, and currently derives less than 1% of its revenues from a well head fee.[read more]

EPA Methane Rule: A Good Start Toward Meeting Administration's Landmark Goal

August 24, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

EPA Methane Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took a big step recently, announcing the nation’s first methane pollution standards for the oil and gas industry. But to understand the impact of these new draft rules, it’s important to look at what they do – and what they don’t.[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]

exclusive

Will the Iranian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty become a Threat to U.S. Energy Security?

August 21, 2015 by John Miller
36

Iran Nuclear Deal and U.S. Energy Security

The Obama Administration negotiated a nuclear non-proliferation treaty that is supposed to curtail Iran’s possible nuclear weapons development for 10-15 years. While the pros and cons of this treaty are being strongly debated in Congress, the risks to U.S. energy security are apparently not a priority concern.[read more]

Why the $20 Oil Predictions are Wrong

August 21, 2015 by Robert Rapier
2

Oil Production, Prices, and Predictions

As the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) retests the $40 per barrel (bbl) mark, some pundits are again calling for WTI to fall to $15 or $20/bbl. The same thing happened earlier in the year when crude prices tested $40. Lots of people predicted $20, the price went to $60, and the $20 crowd went quiet for a while.[read more]

exclusive

Crowdfunders Threaten the Cozy World of Largescale Renewable Energy Provision

August 21, 2015 by Aedan Kernan
5

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.
3

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]

exclusive

Methane's Impact: An Under-Estimation of Global Significance

August 21, 2015 by Matt de la Houssaye
1

Global Methane Risk

According to IPCC estimates, by the end of this century the global temperature will increase between 1.5°C and 4.5°C relative to the average of the 1880’s. Outcomes from this can be a higher chance of extreme weather events, crop shortages, and an elevated sea level due to the melting Antarctic ice sheet.[read more]

Troubles With America's First Clean Coal Plant Put Mississippi Power 'on the Brink of Bankruptcy'

August 20, 2015 by Stephen Lacey
3

Months after a landmark carbon capture project in Illinois was scrapped after losing government funding, the builder of America's first commercial-scale clean coal project in Kemper County, Mississippi is facing financial troubles due to soaring costs and long construction delays.[read more]

What the EPA Rules Mean for Carbon Capture and Storage

August 20, 2015 by Patrick Falwell
2

In its final rules for limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the importance of carbon capture and storage technologies to achieving U.S. carbon reduction goals.[read more]

EIA Lowers Crude Oil Price Forecast Through 2016

August 20, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Oil Price Predictions

Amid uncertainty in the oil market, EIA has lowered crude oil price forecasts in the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), expecting West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to average $49 per barrel (b) in 2015 and $54/b in 2016, $6/b and $8/b lower than forecast in last month's STEO, respectively.[read more]

Clean Energy Partnerships Grow between the U.S. Military and Rural Cooperatives

August 20, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Energy Partnerships

Rural electric cooperatives are not-for-profit electric utilities that provide reliable, at-cost electricity to their members. They’re ingrained in the American landscape: more than 900 rural cooperatives serve more than 42 million customers in 47 states, accounting for 12 percent of all U.S. electricity sales.[read more]

Carbon Fees are Not the Best Solution to Climate Pollution

August 20, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard
3

Oil Prices and Carbon Reductions

Several prominent articles this year that have taken a position against energy efficiency have attracted enough press attention to require formal refutations. But these articles all have something in common: an ideological belief that markets work best unconditionally.[read more]

Syria Diplomacy and Oil: Geopolitics May Change Oil Outlook Dramatically Again

August 19, 2015 by Amy Myers Jaffe
3

As the U.S. Congress gears up to debate the merits of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 powers last July, the Obama Administration is working overtime to get Mideast diplomacy off the ground to prove that the politically controversial deal is paying the way for a better Middle East.[read more]

Out On A Limb: Energy Storage To Track Rapid Development Of Marcellus Shale, PV

August 19, 2015 by Dennis Wamsted
28

Storage and Energy Development

Predicting the future is hard, I get it, but it shocks me how abysmally wrong some of the smartest people in the business can be, even with the best information, such as a recent interview with John Rowe, who acknowledged that he and his executive team essentially missed the coming shale gas revolution.[read more]

GAO Report Details Challenges Ahead for Advanced Nuclear Reactors

August 19, 2015 by Dan Yurman
15

Report on Advanced Nuclear

The United States General Accounting Office has published a significant report, which is both informative and readable, about the prospects for advanced reactors being developed for commercial customers in the U.S. The outlook is not especially hopeful.[read more]

FEMA Trying to Catch Up to Impacts of Climate Change

August 19, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

FEMA Plays Climate Catch-Up

The climate is changing. Extreme storms and flooding are becoming more common - especially in the Midwest and Northeast. That is because warmer air and water temperatures exacerbate the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. For coastal areas, there is the added spectre of sea level rise.[read more]

Four Powerhouse Bills to Help California get to 50 Percent Renewable Energy

August 19, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

California Energy Bills

California is deep into the dog days of summer, and pressure is mounting on the state’s electric grid to keep up with demand. Luckily, California’s legislature is working to bring more clean energy resources to the grid, diversifying how we power our homes and businesses.[read more]

Why the Pope is Wrong on Markets

August 18, 2015 by Maximilian Auffhammer
7

Pope Francis, Climate Change, and Markets

I recently read the 'Laudato Si,' which carries the subtitle “On care for our common home”. This is a well researched position paper which touches on a variety of topics and makes it very clear that the pope cares much more about distributional issues than the average economist.[read more]