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- Jun 26, 2014 |
Commentary from Industry Pros
The summer is here and vacations are being planned. Whether it's a family trip to a local beach, visiting relatives out of state, or a trip to Disneyland, families everywhere are eager to get out and enjoy this great time of year. With endless lists and preparations to take care of, it's easy to let energy efficiency take a back seat. But be proactive! A few simple modifications can really make a difference.
It's very clear Latin America has one of the world's brightest solar power market outlooks. High power prices and volatile fuel supplies have made solar cheaper than fossil fuels in many countries, driving new investment and capacity additions. Consider Chile, Uruguay, and Costa Rica were three of the just seven nations worldwide to show an increase in renewable energy financing in 2013, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
When we talk about solutions for our nation’s energy needs, the conversation is often framed as an either/or choice between generation from renewable sources and from fossil fuels. Based on my experience investing in global energy projects, I believe that we need both. While it’s important to build a system that uses renewables as much as possible to ensure sustainability and environmental responsibility, there are two challenges posed by renewables that are oftentimes overlooked.
"There is no reason why institutions that have direct holdings in coal, oil and gas stocks could not divest immediately." Ian Simm (Chief executive of Impax Asset Management)
With evidence of climate change becoming clearer than ever, European countries should think carefully before allowing fracking in their territory. Although hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — offers the benefits of abundant supplies of unconventional oil and gas and lower carbon emissions than other combustibles such as oil and gas, it is not a sustainable solution due to its large environmental costs and its potential contribution to climate change. Moreover, the short-term economic promises fracking it offers are also taking our sense of urgency away from transitioning to more renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a proposal for the first-ever national protections from dangerous carbon pollution from existing power plants. The EPA plans to utilize section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to regulate the electricity sector’s abundant greenhouse gas emissions and effectively set a nationwide carbon cap.
Everyone has been there. You go to a store to get a pair of those trendy new shoes and find that there's only one pair in your size left in stock. Feeling pretty darn satisfied with your good fortune, you quickly make your way up to the register, holding on tight to that precious box just in case someone tries to snatch it from your hands.
Technical Reference Manuals have long provided characterizations of efficient technologies in the electric and thermal energy sectors. At many utilities throughout the world, these manuals are a crucial piece of efficiency programs, allowing for standardized calculations of energy and financial savings gained through efficient products and demand management programs. Because of the increasing impact of the electric vehicle (EV) fleet on grid resources, a TRM that gives planners the ability to include EVs in decision making at both the program and system-wide levels is needed.
Demand response (DR) is critical for reducing peak demand on the grid and, at the same time, avoiding system emergencies. When delivered via behind-the-meter energy storage, DR can play an even more significant role in improving reliability and reducing system cost.
No, that is not a misspelled word. It is a play on words and a good key thought for this post. It reflects a serious question. Is this the right time to change an electric utility paradigm?