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Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment

Monday, October 27th, 2014
FIGURE 1. ASCE Grades, Annual Investment, and Investment Needed, Billions

BLUEGREEN ALLIANCE
Much of the physical infrastructure of the United States is in a state of disrepair. As documented by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in their 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, our roads, transit systems, dams, and airports need billions of dollars of investment to return them to adequacy. Our water, air, and land are threatened by aging systems designed to provide safe drinking water, handle hazardous waste, treat wastewater, and manage our solid waste. Half of our schools were built to educate the generation that is now retiring, and our electric grid is widely recognized as being incapable of meeting the needs of our changing energy system.

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Strengthening the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
FIGURE 1. The EPA’s Renewable Energy Targets under Its Proposed Clean Power Plan Are Modest

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
This brief outlines a better way to make the most of renewable energy in the Clean Power Plan, and to strengthen its state renewable energy targets as the cost of sources such as wind and solar power decline. The UCS proposal builds on the EPA’s approach while utilizing the latest available market data, demonstrated rates of growth in renewable energy, and existing state commitments to deploy renewables. Using our recommended modifications, the EPA could nearly double the amount of cost-effective renewable energy in their state targets—from 12 per-cent of total 2030 U.S. electric sales to 23 percent (Figure 1, p. 3).

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Interactive Map: Climate and Energy by State

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy

Curious how your state stacks up when it comes to sustainability, renewable energy or climate-friendly policies? The Georgetown Climate Center’s new interactive map includes all these parameters (and much more) in its colorful, easy-to-read interface. With the center’s proprietary State Energy Analysis Tool as the engine, this map offers insight into a wide range of data that’s otherwise hard to come by, from Electricity Market Regulation to Energy Exporters and Importers. State profiles offer an in-depth analysis of each state’s energy/climate breakdown.

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Health Benefits of Carbon Standards for Power Plants

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Figure 1: The Co-Benefits of Carbon Standards Study

HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: CENTER FOR HEALTH AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the nation’s first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants on June 2, 2014. The EPA-proposed Clean Power Plan would achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from U.S. power plants below 2005 levels by 2030 (USEPA 2014a). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important greenhouse gas and a major driver of human-induced global climate change. Fossil-fuel-fired power plants are the single largest source of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the U.S. They emitted 2.2 billion tons of CO2 in 2012 (AOE 2014) and currently account for 39 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions (USEPA 2014b).

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Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

We’re all aware that America’s infrastructure is in trouble and needs some serious restoration work done ASAP…I don’t need to convince you that we have an urgent problem…Instead, I am here to spark a conversation about a potential solution to two of the problems. In my opinion it’s a pretty sweet deal as it is one solution that fixes two issues. I don’t know about you, but when I’m shopping around I’m a sucker for two for one deals so this tickles my fancy nicely. The problems are our aging roadways and power grid. The solution, potentially, is solar freakin’ roadways.

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Advantage Local: Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Local Ownership Means More Jobs & More Local Economic Impact

INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL SELF-RELIANCE

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Renewable Energy in the Western States

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
ELECTRICITY GENERATION BY SOURCE, 2013

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON RENEWABLE ENERGY
With the growing prominence of renewable energy in the western power, heat, and transportation sectors, states are implementing and exploring technology and policy options to effectively manage its production and use. Renewable energy is now responsible for over 20% of electricity generation in six western states, and the region saw the addition of nearly 4 GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2013 alone – which is more than two thirds of total 2013 U.S. capacity additions.

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#WomenInSTEM: Making a Cleaner Future

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
#WomenInSTEM: Making a Cleaner Future

Mallory uses geographic information systems or GIS – a mapping software that she compares to “a real-life videogame” – to assess how various constraints, such as wetlands or an airport, may interact with potential renewable energy projects. Her aim is to site and design projects that can effectively co-exist with the surrounding environment.

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Distributed Wind Energy Market Report

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Figure 1: 2013 Distributed Wind Market Applications (a) by Project and (b) by Capacity

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
The purpose of this report is to quantify and summarize the 2013 U.S. distributed wind market to help plan and guide future investments and decisions by industry, utilities, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties. Distributed wind is defined in terms of technology application based on a wind project’s location relative to end-use and power-distribution infrastructure, rather than on turbine or project size. While the distributed wind market includes wind turbines and projects of many sizes, this report breaks the market into two segments when appropriate: wind turbines up through 100 kW (in nominal capacity) referred to in this report as “small wind,” and wind turbines greater than 100 kW used in distributed applications.

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CLEAN ENERGY WORKS FOR US: 2nd Quarter 2014 Report

Monday, September 1st, 2014
50-STATE BREAKDOWN: WHERE WERE THE ANNOUNCEMENTS?

ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURS
More than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs and clean transportation were announced in 29 states in the second quarter of 2014. This is more than twice the number of jobs announced in the first quarter of the year. Solar generation once again led all sectors — with more than 5,300 jobs announced — as declining module prices and growing private-sector investment expanded job opportunities in the industry. Meanwhile, the wind industry announced about 2,700 jobs, mostly because projects that qualified for the recently expired Production Tax Credit began construction. Wind manufacturers, including Vestas in Colorado and Gearbox Express in Wisconsin, reported hiring additional manufacturing employees to match turbine demand. The biggest hiring boost to the U.S. clean energy manufacturing sector came from the automotive industry, with General Motors and Tesla announcing 1,900 manufacturing jobs to produce electric vehicles.

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