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Carbon Pricing and COP 21

November 25, 2015 by David Hone

As we get closer to COP21 there will be plenty of articles and opinion pieces put forward describing the process, speculating on the outcome and generally trying to help readers understand what exactly is going on. One such piece appeared in the Financial Times recently, written by Pilita Clark.[read more]

Will the Paris Climate Summit Lead to a Cooler Planet?

November 25, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

Paris and Possible Effects

Big hopes are riding on the 2015 United Nations climate change conference planned for Nov. 30-Dec. 11 in Paris, where more than 190 nations will strive to hammer out an international agreement aimed at lowering global temperatures through significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.[read more]

United States and China Advance Policies to Limit CO2 Emissions

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

US and China Emissions Policies

Late last year, China and the United States each announced intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to mitigate their respective greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but there is still uncertainty in each country's ability to meet those targets.[read more]

Shrinking the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

November 24, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles

Last month's Congressional budget compromise included plans to sell 58 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The world has changed enormously since the SPR was established in the 1970s, but the realignment of such an asset for the 21st century deserves a full strategic review and debate.[read more]


Canada Makes Power Moves to Decarbonize its Grid

November 24, 2015 by Jarret Adams

Canada and Updating the Grid

The government of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, announced November 23 it had banned coal-fired power generation “a first in North America and a significant step in the fight against climate change,” according to a press release.[read more]

The Small Steps That Will Lead to a Low-Carbon Economy

November 24, 2015 by Steven Cohen

The world heads toward the Paris Climate talks in a few weeks, but after the conference, when everyone comes home, these large-scale policy discussions will be replaced by small-scale management decisions and the day-to-day actions that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.[read more]

Let the Planning Continue, Part 2: Even in States that have Sued EPA, Progress Toward Compliance

November 24, 2015 by Frank Swigonski

State Policy and the CPP

The publication of the final Clean Power Plan prompted a suite of suits from states, both in opposition and in support of the rule. However, the vast majority of states have started some part of the process of convening stakeholders, soliciting public input, and talking with EPA - even if those states that are suing.[read more]

The Revision of China's Energy and Coal Consumption Data: A Preliminary Analysis

November 24, 2015 by Hao Tan

China and Energy Consumption

On November 3rd, the New York Times carried a front page report that China has revised its estimates of how much coal it has been burning, and concluding that its carbon emissions have been higher than had been previously reported and assumed.[read more]

Paris Can Be a Key Step

November 23, 2015 by Robert Stavins

My purpose today, in this essay, is to explain why I believe that the Paris climate talks may in fact turn out to be a key step in the international negotiations, and more important, a significant step in efforts to address the threat of climate change.[read more]

While You Were Distracted by Keystone XL

November 23, 2015 by Robert Rapier

Earlier this month, after a debate that spanned nearly the entire duration of his presidency, President Obama finally rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. He had been heavily criticized on this issue from many angles, including by me, for his long-running failure to make a decision.[read more]

Let the Planning Continue, Part 1: With Lawsuits as Backdrop, States Make Progress on Clean Power Plan

November 23, 2015 by Frank Swigonski

Clean Power Plan and State Choices

The publication of the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the Federal Register on October 23rd prompted a suite of suits from states, both in opposition and in support of the rule. This post provides a scorecard on the states currently involved in the legal action — 45 in all.[read more]

Strong Funding for Solar Finance, Technology, and Startups Despite Stock Market Carnage

November 23, 2015 by Eric Wesoff

Solar Financing and Stock Market

Despite solar stocks plummeting in a "bizarre confluence of contradictory events," low-cost capital, Department of Energy funding and venture capital are pouring into the market. So here is a roundup of some recent solar funding events.[read more]

Solar Photovoltaic Panels: The Other Side of the Story

November 23, 2015 by Charles Arthur

Solar PV and Rural Energy

Rural electrification through PV technology is proving to be a success in developing countries. As part of its work in support of inclusive and sustainable industrial development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) promotes energy access for productive uses.[read more]

Nuking Clean Energy: How Nuclear Power Makes Wind and Solar Harder

November 20, 2015 by Ivy Main

Nuclear and Renewables

Dominion CEO Tom Farrell is bullish on nuclear energy as a clean solution in a carbon-constrained economy, but he’s got it wrong. Nuclear is a barrier to a clean-energy future, not a piece of it. That’s only partly because new nuclear is so expensive that there’s little room left in a utility budget to build wind and solar.[read more]

John Holdren on Nuclear Energy's Importance as Ultra-Low Carbon Power Source: White House Summit on Nuclear Energy

November 20, 2015 by Rod Adams

Nuclear Energy and Carbon Reduction

John Holdren holds what might be the longest title available in the current Administration. He is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.[read more]

Jacopo Buongiorno: Bringing Outside Knowledge to the Nuclear Industry

November 20, 2015 by Energy @ MIT

Nuclear Industry Knowledge

Here’s a paradox facing today’s nuclear power industry: On one hand, an exciting range of new fission and fusion reactor technologies has spawned a number of startups. But market dynamics have conspired against the uptake of enabling technologies developed in other fields that could bring new options to nuclear.[read more]

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum: And Now for Something Completely Different

November 20, 2015 by David Hone

CCS Conference

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum held its 6th Ministerial Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The conference offered considerable opportunity for governments and companies to showcase their achievements in carbon capture and storage and to highlight areas in which R&D was proceeding.[read more]

North Dakota Natural Gas Flaring Targets Challenged by Rapid Production Growth

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

Gas Flaring and Production Risks

Increases in North Dakota's crude oil production have resulted in increased associated natural gas production from oil reservoirs. Because of insufficient infrastructure to collect, gather, and transport this natural gas, about one-fifth of North Dakota's natural gas production is flared rather than marketed.[read more]


Will the U.S. Comply with President Obama's Paris COP21 INDC Pledge?

November 19, 2015 by John Miller

The Paris Agreement and Political Reality

The Administration submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for the COP 21 that would commit the U.S. to cut its total greenhouse gas emissions 2005-2025 by 26-28%. Will the U.S. reasonably comply with this commitment based on existing Federal energy related regulations?[read more]

Symbolic Politics, the Keystone Pipeline, and Climate Policy in the Real World

November 18, 2015 by Steven Cohen

From burying a car at the first Earth Day to the campaign to ban the Keystone Pipeline, United States environmentalists have long demonstrated an affinity for symbolic politics. Symbols have meaning and can influence perceptions and values.[read more]

Utilities, RTOs/ISOs Eye Clean Power Plan Compliance, Regionally and Individually

November 18, 2015 by Frank Swigonski

EPA Reglation and Clean Power Planning

While states ponder their role in compliance with the now-final Clean Power Plan, the ultimate action will be in the electric power sector itself. Utilities and other generators are making early moves to prepare for, if not get ahead of, EPA requirements.[read more]

One Million Tonnes of CO2

November 18, 2015 by David Hone

Carbon Capture and Storage

The first week of November sees Shell officially open its first major carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility, called the Quest project. It is in Alberta, Canada and will capture and store about one million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.[read more]

David Crane’s 5 'Easy' Steps to Tackling Climate Change

November 18, 2015 by Katherine Tweed

David Crane Solves Climate Change

The energy industry is currently running out of time on addressing climate change and the many issues related to it, says NRG CEO David Crane. And if utilities don't find the customer-centric solutions to the problem, they're in big trouble.[read more]

Uses of Revenues from Carbon Pricing

November 17, 2015 by Adam Whitmore

The introduction of carbon pricing is often accompanied by concerns about the effects on energy prices on lower income households. Rises in electricity prices to households due to pricing of power sector emissions are of concern even under schemes such as the EUETS which do not directly cover households.[read more]

If You Like Your Time-Invariant Electricity Price, You Can Keep It

November 17, 2015 by Severin Borenstein

Electricity Pricing and Models

Shouldn’t a 2000-square-foot house in San Francisco cost the same as in Omaha? If you answered yes, then time-varying electricity pricing won’t make much sense to you either. And you are probably puzzled, or outraged, at how much more expensive wrapping paper is on December 15 than on January 1.[read more]

The December 2015 Paris Conference on Global Warming

November 17, 2015 by Henry Auer

The U.N. is convening in Paris in December. The objective is to finalize a new treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the draft treaty under consideration would apply equally to all nations and would achieve reductions in emissions by stated policy objectives.[read more]


How Technology Energy Innovation Helps Achieve Sustainable Development

November 17, 2015 by Green Growth Knowledge Platform

Innovation, Technology, and Sustainability

Technological innovation can play a central goal to achieving all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the governments of 193 countries in September 2015. Innovation is both its own goal, and key to addressing all other goals in a cost-effective manner.[read more]

As Total U.S. Crude Oil Imports Fall, Canada's Import Supply Share Rises

November 17, 2015 by U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

Canada and Crude Oil Imports

Although overall U.S. crude oil imports have been declining since 2005, crude oil imports from Canada have been increasing. As of August, Canada provided 45% of all crude oil imports to the United States, almost three times as much as all Persian Gulf countries combined.[read more]

Seven Things You Should Know About China's Coal Consumption

November 17, 2015 by Barbara Finamore

China's issuance in August of its 2014 Energy Statistical Yearbook has recently garnered attention due to the yearbook's substantial upward revision of China's coal consumption statistics and their potential implications for China's GHG emissions and the December Paris climate negotiations.[read more]

The Keystone Rejection and the Shift Back toward OPEC

November 16, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles

Although the International Energy Agency's latest warning of future energy security risks doesn't mention the Keystone XL pipeline, it provides important context for assessing President Obama's decision turning down that project's application.[read more]

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