Commentary

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    Oct 24, 2013 | Scott Shugarts
    One of the latest points of contention inside the Washington beltway is President Obama's nomination of Ronald Binz to Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). While opposition to any nominee of the Obama Administration is unsurprising, the considerations both for and against the acceptance of Mr. Binz have made for some strange bedfellows.
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    Oct 23, 2013 | Devon Bass
    The accolades keep piling up for the game-changing electric vehicle known as the Tesla Model S.  Tesla was named as Motor Trend's Car of the Year, and was also declared the safest car ever by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumers claim to love the vehicle. Yet, for all of the critical acclaim and media attention, Tesla has still sold relatively few units. The company has sold none in Texas and isn't likely to do so anytime soon.
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    Oct 21, 2013 | James A. Kent
    Energy development projects that affect local communities frequently face opposition. Industry insiders are often perplexed by this opposition and by the fact that their logical arguments seem to be ineffective at diffusing the opposition. In a previous Culture Matters article (April 2013), Jen Schneider addressed some barriers to engagement, some factors that make it difficult for industry insiders to communicate effectively with local communities. In this column, Jim Kent and Kevin Preister describe an approach to dealing with local communities that has proved effective.
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    Oct 18, 2013 | Scott Shugarts
    A varied market of retail Demand Response (DR) providers has emerged to help the nation's struggling power grid infrastructure. While the standard DR program does offer private financial incentives to clients, the impetus behind the Demand Response movement is not entirely a profit motive.
  • Oct 17, 2013 | Ferdinand E. Banks
    I know Japan, though not as well as I should. As a professor of energy economics I gave two greatly appreciated lectures in that country, while much earlier I delivered hundreds of brilliant but unfortunately unappreciated lectures/harangues to infantry soldiers, mostly in Camp Majestic (near Gifu), but also in wonderful Kobe, and at the live firing ranges close to the base of Mount Fuji.
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    Oct 14, 2013 | Keith Patterson
    The city of Boston unveiled a row of four energy-positive townhouses - homes that generate more energy than they consume - on August 27 in the Roxbury neighborhood. The project, part of the city's attempt to provide more eco-friendly housing options, were launched by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Department of Neighborhood Development.
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    Oct 04, 2013 | Rasika Athawale
    Energy Efficiency is no doubt the least cost, lowest risk and cleanest source available today. Among the various means for improving energy efficiency, combined heat and power (CHP) has gained attention of users and policy makers alike.
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    Oct 03, 2013 | Scott Shugarts
    National, community and utility-wide efforts to move toward greater renewable energy use are well publicized.  However, many consumers are becoming frustrated with the relatively slow pace of those authorities and are looking for ways to pursue renewable energy use on their own, perhaps even with a goal of being "off the grid."
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    Oct 02, 2013 | Thomas Retson
    A probabilistic comparison of the investment risks of nuclear power and natural gas-based electricity generating plants has been carried out using a total-lifecycle power plant model. Although the cost of the gas plant (with carbon tax) is found to be slightly cheaper, that choice of fuel carries a far greater cost uncertainty, suggesting a greater long-term investment risk than nuclear power.
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    Oct 01, 2013 | Davis Swan
    On September 22 there was a general election in Germany.  In one of the most lack-luster campaigns in the post-war era Chancellor Merkel done everything in her power to keep issues and policies out of the news.