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Infra Views

The Greatest Energy Story You Haven’t Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change

Friday, August 26th, 2016
Figure 1: US Energy Use

An invisible resource is working quietly behind the scenes to provide American families and businesses with the power necessary to live and work. This resource lowers harmful pollution, creates US jobs, reduces energy burdens for those most in need, and strengthens community resilience. It also improves the bottom line for business, returns at least double its investment, and saves American households, on average, $840 dollars a year. Energy efficiency has become the nation’s third-largest electricity resource. With increased support it could become the largest—and one of the world’s core strategies to tackle climate change.

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Disparities in Park Quality and Pedestrian Streetscape Environments

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
Disparities in Park Quality, Disparities in Pedestrian Streetscapes

Low‐income and minority populations suffer disproportionately high rates of chronic disease. Accordingly, national and international authorities have made the elimination of health disparities a priority. Many factors can contribute to health disparities, including disparities in the quality of neighborhood environments. For example, having a neighborhood park and pedestrian‐friendly streets may impact opportunities to engage in physical activity – a behavior that can reduce risk of chronic disease.

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Colorado’s Transit, Biking & Walking Needs Over The Next 25 Years

Monday, August 22nd, 2016
Colorado Investment

Transit, walking and biking are critical components of a 21st century transportation system in Colorado but have been underfunded for decades. Without significant investments in transit, biking and pedestrian services and infrastructure, Colorado will not be able to meet the demands and challenges of our shifting demographics and growing population, and will miss out on the many benefits transit, walking and biking provide.

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Emerging Issues: Integrating Solar Energy

Friday, August 19th, 2016
Figure ES-1. Marginal and average PV LCOE (based on SunShot goals) due to curtailment under increasing penetration of PV in California with low and enhanced grid flexibility

Achieving the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative cost targets could greatly accelerate deployment of grid-integrated solar technologies. Global experience with increasing amounts of wind and solar on power systems has shown that variable generation resources can be integrated into the grid at penetrations well beyond current capacity. However, the prospect of dramatically increased photovoltaic (PV) deployment requires detailed examination to ensure that high-penetration solar technologies will provide their intended benefits, including reducing fossil fuel use and reducing the conventional capacity needed for reliable service.

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Vulnerability of the North Alaska Highway to Permafrost Thaw

Monday, August 15th, 2016
Permafrost Melting in Alaska

In the context of current and anticipated climate change, permafrost temperature has warmed significantly in northern territories and is expected to continue to rise (SNAP 2014). The stability of northern transportation infrastructure may be compromised by changes in permafrost, particularly in areas where the soil contains large amounts of ice. This may lead to negative impacts on economic development, including increasing the complexity and cost of road maintenance and the price of shipping goods in the North.

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Opportunities to Increase Corporate Access to Clean Energy

Friday, August 12th, 2016
Table 1 – States ranked among the top 5 states for one or more of the identified policies, based on potential to increase corporate access to advanced energy

Advanced energy sources that use little or no fuel, such as wind, solar, hydropower, fuel cells, and energy storage create opportunities for corporations to capture savings and hedge against energy price volatility. The price of advanced energy sources has decreased dramatically during the past decade, and companies are increasingly seeking to purchase power from these resources in order to increase competitiveness and achieve corporate responsibility targets. A growing number of corporations have set formal goals for purchasing renewable energy, which they are integrating into their operations and decision making.

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AEM: National Infrastructure Poll

Thursday, August 11th, 2016
FIGURE 1: SECTORS OF INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ARE TOP-OF-MIND WITH VOTERS

The poll found that a majority of Americans recognize the declining state of the nation’s infrastructure as an issue that should be addressed, and nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said that U.S. infrastructure has gotten worse in the last five years. Roads and bridges top the list of sectors of the nation’s infrastructure in extreme need of repair, but registered voters also believe that repairs should be made to railways, dams and water pipelines.

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Investor Insights about Infrastructure Growth

Monday, August 8th, 2016
REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

This factsheet outlines key insights that will help policy and market makers understand how to meet investor expectations and expand the infrastructure market.

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Natural Gas and Global Warming: A Review of Evidence Finds that Methane Leaks Undercut the Climate Benefits of Natural Gas

Friday, August 5th, 2016
Figure 1. Avoiding Climate Tipping Points Requires Immediate Reductions in Methane Emissions

In recent years, a number of studies have challenged that assumption, finding that natural gas production, transportation and storage results in major leaks of methane to the atmosphere that erode or nullify the climate benefits of shifting to natural gas. These findings should lead policymakers to reject natural gas as a “bridge fuel” and instead lead them to redouble America’s efforts to repower with truly clean energy from the sun, the wind and other renewable sources of energy.

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Successful Strategies for Broadband Public-Private Partnerships

Thursday, August 4th, 2016
Spectrum of Cooperation for Local Networks

…most Americans continue to only have one option for high-speed Internet access, according to the Federal Communications Commission, often a cable network with limited upload speeds. Smart cities are realizing they need to act or risk being left behind. However, many do not want to embrace the purely municipal model, where the city would engage in direct competition with existing providers…One way for those communities to move forward is with a public-private partnership (PPP). But for all the excitement around this model, there are few concrete examples from which to draw lessons.

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