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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Energy to Spare: NIST Completes Successful Net-Zero Energy House Experiment

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Energy to Spare: NIST Completes Successful Net-Zero Energy House Experiment

NIST conducted a year-long experiment to prove it could build a modern, spacious house that would create as much energy as it uses. This “net-zero” house was home to a virtual family that consumed as much energy as an average American family of four. Thanks to the house’s energy efficient construction and appliances, and solar panels for producing electricity and hot water, the house made more energy than the family used. The house will serve as a testbed for new energy efficient technologies for decades to come.

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The Economic and Climate Change Benefits of Accelerating Repair and Replacement of America’s Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Figure 1: Historical U.S. Employment, Thousands of Jobs

BLUEGREEN ALLIANCE
As the United States continues a slow but steady recovery from the recession triggered by the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, investment is desperately needed to fuel economic growth and job creation—including modernizing large swaths of our nation’s infrastructure. Repairing the system of distribution pipelines that deliver natural gasto homes and businesses offers an opportunity to drive significant investment in our economy. Doing so will help to fix a critical part of our aging infrastructure while creating jobs and cutting global warming pollution—a winning proposition for both the environment and the economy.

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The 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Friday, July 25th, 2014
2014 Energy-Efficiency Scorecard

AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT ECONOMY (ACEEE)
In this second edition of the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, we analyze the world’s 16 largest economies covering more than 81% of global gross domestic product and about 71% of global electricity consumption. We looked at 31 metrics divided roughly in half between policies and quantifiable performance to evaluate how efficiently these economies use energy. The policy metrics were scored based on the presence in a country or region of a best-practice policy…The United States has made some progress toward greater energy efficiency in recent years, particularly in areas such as building codes, appliance standards, voluntary partnerships between government and industry, and, recently, fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks. However, the overall story is disappointing.

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Features of a Fully Renewable US Electricity System: Wind and Solar PV

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Figures 1 and 2

STANFORD UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
CO2 and air pollution emission reduction goals as well as energy security, price stability, and affordability considerations make renewable electricity generation attractive. A highly renewable electricity supply will be based to a large extent on wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power, since these two resources are both abundant and either relatively inexpensive or rapidly becoming cost competitive. Such a system demands a fundamentally different design approach: While electricity generation was traditionally constructed to be dispatchable in order to follow the demand, wind and solar PV power output is largely determined by weather conditions that are out of human control.

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Driving California Forward

Friday, June 13th, 2014
FIGURE E-1 Breakdown of net societal economic benefit by component (2025)

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION IN CALIFORNIA

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Integrating Conservation and Highway Planning

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Figure ES.1. Steps of the Integrated Ecological Framework.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
This project addresses the questions of how to (1) achieve interagency agreement on ecological solutions, (2) identify and leverage existing ways to increase predictability and assurance that credit will be allowed for addressing agency conservation and restoration priorities early in planning, (3) identify and leverage existing tools to increase resource agency confidence that mitigation commitments will be kept, and (4) make decisions last over time and across jurisdictions.

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Runaway Train: The Reckless Expansion of Crude-by-Rail in North America

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Table 1: Ten Major Accidents Involving Crude-by-Rail in US A and Canada, 2013-2014

OIL CHANGE INTERNATIONAL
This report tracks the rise of crude-by-rail in North America, detailing where crude trains are being loaded and unloaded, how many trains carrying crude oil are crossing the North American continent, and who is involved in this burgeoning trade.

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Kern County, CA: How Fracking Affects Communities

Monday, June 9th, 2014
Kern County, CA: How Fracking Affects Communities

Kern County is the most-fracked county in California by a wide margin. This region also has the worst air quality in the nation, as well as highly elevated rates of cancer and respiratory illness. For the people that live here, fracking means more oil extraction, more crippling climate impacts, and more impacts on their health.

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Solar Freakin’ Roadways!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
Solar Freakin’ Roadways!

It’s the roadway of the future! Feel inspired? Help us bring this project to the next step: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/so…

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Energy 101: Wind Turbines

Thursday, May 15th, 2014
Energy 101: Wind Turbines

See how wind turbines generate clean electricity from the power of wind. The video highlights the basic principles at work in wind turbines, and illustrates how the various components work to capture and convert wind energy to electricity. This updated version also includes information on the Energy Department’s efforts to advance offshore wind power. Offshore wind energy footage courtesy of Vestas.

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