April 9 -- California’s energy future experienced a tidal shift toward smart, clean power planning last month in a below-the-radar proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission, the agency that regulates electricity across the state and determines the mix of resources in the state’s energy portfolio. >>View Article
April 9 -- Starting in June, defense companies including Thales SA and Multicon Solar AG will join NATO to test the military’s ability to use renewable power in combat and humanitarian operations.
About 1,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization soldiers will spend 12 days deploying wind turbines, solar panels and self-contained power grids in Hungary, according to Susanne Michaelis, the group’s action officer for smart energy. >>View Article
April 9 -- A new study out of Duke University has shown that during the four years following the 2008 recession, the US coal industry lost more than 49,000 jobs, while at the same time the natural gas, solar, and wind industries across the country created nearly four times as many jobs as coal lost. >>View Article
April 8 -- Recently, state officials from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission held a hearing in Silver City on a proposal by our utility company, PNM, to continue burning coal at the dirty, expensive San Juan Generating Station for years to come and lock our communities into other dirty, expensive fuels.
Rather than putting local ratepayers first, who want clean, affordable, reliable energy solutions like wind and solar, PNM instead wants to force ratepayers to cover the costs of their dirty, expensive coal-fired power plant. PNM is not only risking the health of families by continuing to burn coal, but it's threatening ratepayers here in Silver City and throughout the state by locking us into expensive fuels when cheaper, safer clean energy solutions are available. >>View Article
April 8 -- As communities across Nebraska search for cheaper power sources, an Omaha-based firm is working to study wind and solar options to accent the existing electrical grids. >>View Article
April 8 -- The most important piece of news on the energy front isn't the plunge in oil prices, but the progress that is being made in battery technology. A new study in Nature Climate Change, by Bjorn Nykvist and Mans Nilsson of the Stockholm Environment Institute, shows that electric vehicle batteries have been getting cheaper much faster than expected. From 2007 to 2011, average battery costs for battery-powered electric vehicles fell by about 14 percent a year. For the leading electric vehicle makers, Tesla and Nissan, costs fell by 8 percent a year. This astounding decline puts battery costs right around the level that the International Energy Agency predicted they would reach in 2020. We are six years ahead of the curve. It's a bit hard to read, but here is the graph from the paper. >>View Article
April 8 -- A silent revolution is under way. In November, Dubai announced the construction of a solar energy park that will produce electricity for less than $0.06 per kilowatt-hour – undercutting the cost of the alternative investment option, a gas or coal-fired power plant. >>View Article
April 7 -- The nation’s electricity sector is undergoing a sweeping transition that is providing consumers with far more choices in the way they buy and consume energy. Through a combination of exciting new technologies, changing consumer behavior and smart public policies, these choices not only provide more options for affordable and reliable energy, but they also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Virginia is poised to be a leader in embracing this changing landscape. Already, the commonwealth has moved a significant portion of its traditional energy sources to cleaner-burning natural gas. It can build upon this promising start by beefing up its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency. >>View Article
April 7 -- President Obama really should have visited Utah more often.
If he had, then the attention surrounding his visit to Salt Lake City and Hill Air Force Base last week — his first and perhaps only as president — might have been placed more directly on what the man was saying, rather than all on the fact that he was here at all. >>View Article
April 7 -- Regular readers may recall my 2013 post describing how “energy agreement” is often “hidden by climate disputes” — drawing on data from a sustained survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
I saw that work as invaluable because it illustrated that a focus on deep polarization over the level of risk posed by global warming could be distracting from the prospect of taking widely-supported steps that could be taken to address it. >>View Article
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