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If Someone Replaced Your Car with a Prius, Would You Drive More?

Source: Caranddriver.comMost of us drive cars that are less fuel efficient than a Prius, but this is likely to change over the next decade as the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are phased in. Regulators project that these new...

Posted August 11, 2015    

Is the U.S. Investing Enough in Electricity Grid Reliability?

We had a 2-hour power outage at our house last week, together with 45,000 other customers in the East Bay. The lights flickered off just after 8PM and didn’t come back on until after 10PM. Nothing like going without something that you take for...

Posted June 16, 2015    

Energy Tourism: The Tesla Taxi in Oslo

I suspect a fair number of you know what I mean by energy tourism – sure, you’re up for sight-seeing and museums, but you also note the local gas prices, gawk as you fly over wind turbines and grill anyone who will answer about the local energy...

Posted April 15, 2015    

Why Did Apple Pay So Much for 130 MW of Solar? Is Google Part of the Answer?

Sometimes, we write blog posts that pose rhetorical questions in the title. This time, I have real questions. I lay out several possible answers below and would love input from blog readers.Here’s a little background. Several weeks ago, to great...

Posted March 4, 2015    

Can Mammograms Teach Us Something Useful About Energy Efficiency?

At first blush, mammograms and energy efficiency investments appear to have nothing in common – one’s a personal, preventative health tool and the other helps you save money and energy. But I suspect they raise similar time-management issues. Let me...

Posted January 27, 2015    

Good Energy Reading for the Beach?

I used to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my in-laws in Portland, OR. A couple years ago, it snowed for two days straight, and the city shut down. My brother-in-law has taken it upon himself to find a warm-weather holiday...

Posted December 25, 2014    

Why the Phrase 'Energy Leapfrogging' Is Misleading

I have seen a number of blog posts, panel discussions and news articles that extol the idea of energy leapfrogging. A recent Business Week column on India described, “leapfrogging the nation’s ailing power-distribution infrastructure with solar-...

Posted November 26, 2014    

A Common Energy-Saving Device that I've Never Seen in the United States

I tend to think of the US as ahead of most of the rest of the world when it comes to energy efficiency. Maybe not in the Germany or Japan league, but at least above the median. After all, our utilities are spending billions of dollars per year...

Posted October 8, 2014    

Want to Schedule Your Electricity Use to Reduce Pollution? Here's How

Some of us occasionally feel the urge to turn off the kitchen/porch/office light as our small step towards addressing global climate change. A Berkeley PhD student – Gavin McCormick – has started a nonprofit to provide information on exactly how our...

Posted September 10, 2014    

Identifying the Best Ways to Increase Energy Access

NPR ran a story a couple months ago about a seemingly clever device. It’s called the Soccket. The name – and the device – combines soccer with electricity.The Soccket – created by a US-based NGO and distributed around the developing world – allows...

Posted August 6, 2014    

Open Sourcing Risky Business

A lot of the policy discussion, and many of our blog posts, focus on the difficult task of trying to slow climate change. It’s useful to remind ourselves of the difficulties associated with NOT slowing climate change.Last week, Michael Bloomberg,...

Posted July 2, 2014    

An Energy Efficiency Parable

Here’s a story that captures a lot of the challenges we face as we try to improve energy efficiency. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t have a happy ending, but I’m holding out hope for the sequel.Many of us leave our work computers on 24/7 – estimates...

Posted May 21, 2014