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Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Interactive Map: Where Do Trains Carry Crude Oil?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Crude Connections: Where Do Trains Carry Crude Oil?

Rail fans can still spot coal-laden boxcars from coast to coast, but today’s locomotives are increasingly likely to pull tankers full of crude oil. Largely stemming from the fracking boom in North Dakota, crude oil transportation by rail has reached unprecedented heights in past years. In response to a growing number of accidents–some on an apocalyptic scale, as in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec–ProPublica assembled an interactive map to let you know whose tankers carry crude oil, where they’re coming from, and where they’re going.

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More Wind, Less Warming

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Figure ES-1. A Path to 30 Percent Wind Electricity

ENVIRONMENT TEXAS
American wind power is already significantly reducing global warming pollution. In 2013 alone, wind power averted 132 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – as much as would be produced by 34 typical coal-fired power plants. But with the United States and the world needing to move toward a future of 100 percent clean energy in order to prevent the worst impacts of global warming, America must do much more.

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Freeing the Grid: Net Metering & Interconnection Best Practices

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
definitions

INTERSTATE RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL
VOTE SOLAR
One significant lesson that is apparent upon reviewing the wide variety of existing state standards is that inconsistency is the nemesis of clean energy development. It creates confusion among consumers, undermines the ability of businesses to operate efficiently across utility service territories or state lines,
and increases costs to all program participants — utilities, consumers, businesses and commission staff — by forcing these stakeholders to master the idiosyncrasies of each individual state’s programs.

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The Impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Electricity Generation and Water Use in Texas

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Figure 3. Baseline power generation fuel mix, where coal is gradually replaced by gas and wind power (Units = GWh/yr)

CNA CORPORATION
To determine how Texas could be affected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan (CPP), we applied CNA’s Electricity-Water-Climate power sector model to evaluate the potential impacts. We find that under the CPP, the state will save water and reduce levels of conventional air pollutants. In addition, the state will be able to meet the policy’s targets with modest incremental effort even though electricity demand is expected to increase by 25 percent.

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Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem

Monday, December 8th, 2014
Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem

A train hauling two million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota had exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Now regulators had to assure Americans a similar disaster wouldn’t happen south of the border, where the U.S. oil boom is sending highly volatile crude oil every day over aging, often defective rails in vulnerable railcars.

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Bridges to New Solar Business Models

Friday, December 5th, 2014
Rocky Mountain Institute: Solar Business

ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE
Over the past decade, distributed solar photovoltaics (DPV) have experienced unprecedented growth. DPV is now on track to achieve significant scale in many segments of the U.S. market…Supportive federal, state, and local policies have to date spurred DPV’s development in many U.S. markets. However, many of these policies were designed for early market support of an emerging technology, not as long-term solutions. Thus as the DPV market has grown, so too has conflict around early-market policies. In many states, regulators and policy makers are now reexamining the policy environment as solar adoption reaches net energy metering (NEM) market caps or incentive program funding is exhausted.

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Transporting Crude Oil in New York State

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Table 1: Progress on Recommended Federal Actions

NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (NYSERDNA)
In recognition of the increased risk of accidents and public concerns associated with the significant volume of crude oil transported through New York State, on January 28, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive Order 125 (EO 125), directing state agencies to immediately conduct a coordinated review of New York State’s crude oil incident prevention and response capacity.

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Practicing Risk-Aware Electricity Regulation

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
2014 UPDATE RANKING: RELATIVE COST VS. RELATIVE RISK OF NEW GENERATION RESOURCES

CERES

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The Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Friday, November 28th, 2014
Figure ES-1. CSE for electricity efficiency programs by sector for 2009-2011 data in the LBNL DSM Program Impacts Database

ERNEST ORLANDO LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY
End-use energy efficiency is increasingly being relied upon as a resource for meeting electricity and natural gas utility system needs within the United States. There is a direct connection between the maturation of energy efficiency as a resource and the need for consistent, high-quality data and reporting of efficiency program costs and impacts. To support this effort, LBNL initiated the Cost of Saved Energy Project (CSE Project) and created a Demand-Side Management (DSM) Program Impacts Database to provide a resource for policy makers, regulators, and the efficiency industry as a whole.

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Estimating Longevity and Location of Oil Drilling

Thursday, November 27th, 2014
Figure 3.3 Regional public trust land mineral and U.S. Geologic Survey oil assessments.

UPPER GREAT PLAINS TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE
Drilling shale oil wells generates a large amount of truck traffic. Heavy loads required by drilling activities damage local roads, resulting in the need for several hundred million dollars for repair and maintenance. To support logistical activities for efficient energy development, a proactive approach is required for allocating investments for paving road and timely maintenance. Forecasting load impact on a road network is essential for estimating pavement and repair costs to support energy logistics.

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