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Infra Views

Drilling Is Tragic For Marine Life

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Top: Bottlenose dolphins. Middle: Right whales. Lower: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment effort.

ENVIRONMENT NORTH CAROLINA
Our coasts are home to stunning wildlife and incredible beaches, from the Jersey Shore to the Outer Banks to the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately offshore drilling is putting our natural heritage and marine life at risk. On ‘good’ days, drilling kills and injures wildlife and threatens human health and the economy. When they happen (which is all too frequently) major disasters such as the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout are catastrophic.

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Safer Streets, Stronger Economies

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Change in automobile trips after Complete Streets improvements.

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared to conventional transportation projects, these projects were remarkably affordable, and were an inexpensive way to achieve transportation goals. In terms of economic returns, the limited data available suggests Complete Streets projects were related to broader economic gains like increased employment and higher property values.

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U.S. Solar Market Insight Report

Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Figure 1.1 Annual U.S. Solar PV Installations, 2000-2014

SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION
Solar energy posted another banner year in the U.S. in 2014. Photovoltaic (PV) installations reached 6,201 MWdc, up 30% over 2013 and more than 12 times the amount installed five years earlier. By the end of the year, a cumulative total of 18.3 GWdc of solar PV and another 2.2 GWac of concentrating solar power (CSP) were operating in the U.S. Over 600,000 homes and businesses now have on-site solar (nearly 200,000 of these installations were completed in 2014), and six states are home to more than 500 MWdc each of operating solar capacity.

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The 50 States of Solar

Friday, March 20th, 2015

NC CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER

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Spending Through the Roof

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Figure 1: In winter, warm air escaping through openings in the roof mean that cold air is drawn into the bottom of the building.

URBAN GREEN COUNCIL
What are the citywide effects of this wasted energy? There are approximately 4,000 multifamily buildings in NYC that are at least 10 stories tall—the threshold where heat loss through vents really starts to make an impact on energy bills. Assuming that 80% of these have open vents, the amount of heated air wasted each year could fill 29,000 Empire State Buildings.

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Open Data: Challenges and Opportunities for Transit Agencies

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
The Open Data Movement

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
In the past 5 years, more and more transit agencies have begun making schedule and realtime operational data available to the public. “Open data” provide opportunities for agencies to inform the public in a variety of ways about transit agency services…The purpose of this synthesis is to document the current state of the practice and policies in the use of open data for improved transit planning, service quality, and customer information; the implications of open data and open documentation policies; and the impact of open data on transit agencies and the public and private sectors.

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California: Natural Gas Supply

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
Figure 1: U.S. Gross Natural Gas Production (2000-2013)

UC DAVIS INSTITUTE OF TRANSPORTATION STUDIES
CENTER FOR ENERGY STUDIES
The last decade has been witness to an incredible transformation in the US energy fortune. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in upstream operations targeting ultra-low porosity, ultra-low permeability hydrocarbon bearing shale formations has unlocked a bounty of natural gas and crude oil resource.

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Utah’s Most Critical Surface Transportation Projects

Monday, March 16th, 2015

TRIP
Utah’s diverse economy relies on significant employment in mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, information technology, finance and petroleum production…From 1990 to 2013, Utah’s population increased by 68 percent, from approximately 1.8 million to approximately 2.9 million. Utah’s population is expected to increase to approximately 4.4 million by 2030.

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The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston

Friday, March 13th, 2015
Share of Income Property During the Last Three Real Estate Cycles

SMART GROWTH AMERICA

In the Boston metropolitan area, walkable urbanism adds value.On average, all of the product types studied, including office, retail, hotel, rental apartments, and for-sale housing, have higher values per square foot in walkable urban places than in low-density drivable locations.These price premiums of 20 to 134 percent per square foot are strong indicators of pent-up demand for walkable urbanism.

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Benefits of Distributed Energy Storage

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Figure ES-1: Applications and Benefits of Distributed Storage. Source: 2010 Energy Storage for the Electricity Grid: Benefits and Market Potential Assessment Guide, Sandia National Laboratories.

INTERSTATE RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL (IREC)
In the last 10 years the percentage of electricity generated in the United States from renewable sources, has grown at an impressive rate, including significant amounts of generation located on the distribution system. Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity systems in particular have evolved rapidly from a once-niche technology to one that is now widely used by schools, households, businesses and utilities across the country. Distributed renewable energy offers a wide range of environmental, societal and customer benefits, however their introduction in large numbers will require innovative and forward thinking regulatory policies in order to smoothly integrate them into the existing electrical system.

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