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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Competitiveness of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in U.S. Markets

Friday, June 26th, 2015
Figure A. Actual vs. Projected U.S. Installed Solar Power Capacity

ADVANCED ENERGY ECONOMY INSTITUTE
Questions have been raised about whether renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) resources can provide substantial emission reductions at reasonable cost under EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). These concerns reflect fundamental misperceptions about the performance and cost of today’s renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, rooted in outdated information and perpetuated by inaccurate official market projections. This paper shows that RE and EE are competitive resources in today’s marketplace that will not only be cost-effective mechanisms for CPP compliance but should also be expected to grow strictly on the basis of competitiveness.

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Renewables and Electricity Storage

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
Figure 1: Annual share of annual variable renewable power generation in 2014 and in 2030 if all REmap options are implemented

INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY
International and national assessments of the global electricity storage market have been hindered by uncertainty
about which technologies and market segments to include. A central question for this roadmap is
whether storage is used to support the integration of renewables or for other purposes.

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Olympic Cyclist Vs. Toaster: Can He Power It?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
Olympic Cyclist Vs. Toaster: Can He Power It?

World famous track cyclist Robert Förstemann battles a 700w toaster. Can he, with his 74cm legs, generate enough energy to create a golden-brown toast?

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Tom Kimbis, Vice President of Executive Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Tom Kimbis, SEIA

Tom has been working in renewable energy since 2000, when he began supporting research, analysis, legislative, and planning efforts across all energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“I’ve seen efficiencies for solar increase over time, and for many years efficiency was talked about as the Holy Grail…what we need right now is not for panels to double their efficiency; what we really need is to have access to cheaper capital, and to eliminate some of the barriers that exist in states and jurisdictions across the country that make it difficult for people to choose solar.”

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Transitioning to Low-Carbon Trucks

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Figure ES-1. Required ZEV sales share to hit 80-in-50 target with no biofuels v. scenario with 60% biofuels blends by2050

NATIONAL CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION
UC DAVIS INSTITUTE OF TRANSPORTATION STUDIES
The United States and California have both made commitments to an 80% reduction in energy-related greenhouse gases (GHGs) from 1990 levels by 2050 in order to help stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. These commitments do not specifically target transportation or an individual transport mode.

This white paper reviews previous studies and provides a new investigation into the feasibility of achieving an 80% reduction in CO2-equivalent (CO2e) GHG emissions in the United States and California from trucks in the 2050 time frame (“80-in-50”). We assess the technological and economic potential of achieving deep market penetrations of low-carbon vehicles and fuels, including vehicles operating on electricity, hydrogen, and biofuels.

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Bringing Low-Carbon Trucks to the United States

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Bringing Low-Carbon Trucks to the United States

Lew Fulton and Marshall Miller talk about Low-Carbon Truck Strategies.

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Drinking Water & Fracking: Risk Assessment

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Figure ES-1. Schematic cross-section of general types of oil and gas resources and the orientations of production wells used in hydraulic fracturing.

UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. These mechanisms include water withdrawals in times of, or in areas with, low water availability; spills of hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water; fracturing directly into underground drinking water resources; below ground migration of liquids and gases; and inadequate treatment and discharge of wastewater.

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Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
Figure 3. Change in electric power sector CO2 emissions in Clean Power Plan (CPP) cases relative to baseline, selected years

UNITED STATES ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
Power sector CO2 emissions declined by 363 million metric tons between 2005 and 2013, due to a decline in coal’s generation share and growing use of natural gas and renewables, but the CO2 emissions are projected to change only modestly from 2013 through 2040 in the 3 baseline cases used in this report. Relative to the AEO2015 Reference case, the projected emissions trajectory is somewhat lower in the High Oil and Gas Resource case baseline, which has cheaper natural gas, and somewhat higher in the High Economic Growth case, which has higher electricity use.

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North Carolina: The Impact of Electric Choices on Residential Rates & Bills

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
Figure 1. North Carolina

NC SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATION
In North Carolina, there are three types of electric power providers that sell electric power to retail customers: investor-owned utilities (IOUs), electric membership corporations, and municipally-owned utilities…Reliable and affordable energy is essential to support businesses, jobs, hospitals, and government services – but it comes at a cost. What makes up these costs and, in turn, customers’ rates is complex.

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Strathmere, NJ: Protecting the Shore

Monday, June 1st, 2015
Strathmere, NJ: Protecting the Shore

Drone video from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows the extensive work being done to build dunes and burms along the Jersey Shore. The work is being done by the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company.

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