In an effort to seek out and give financial help to innovative technologies that reduce energy use and encourage the uptake of renewable energy, the U.S. government last week announced that it was making $4 billion available in loan guarantees. The money, which is provided by the Loan Program Office (LPO), is for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases.
"Big data" is playing an increasingly big role in the renewable energy industry and the transformation of the nation's electrical grid, and no single entity provides a better tool for such data than the Energy Department's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) located on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Imagined by NREL leaders who foresaw the possibilities for high performance computing (HPC), the ESIF's HPC data center is fulfilling the goal of handling large and complex datasets that exceed traditional database processes.
The argument industrial polluters and their friends in Congress are making against the new Environmental Protection Agency plan to curb power plant carbon emissions should sound familiar. After all, it's the same scare tactic they trot out every time the government proposes stricter emission controls: exaggerate the cost, overstate job losses, and completely ignore the benefits.
An observer of Sir Richard Branson over say 20 years might have remarked how much older he looked as the keynote speaker at the BIO convention this week in San Diego. He struggled for words at times and was visibly tired by the end of his hour on stage; but he had lost nothing of his charm, nor had he varied in his iconoclastic approach to building great enterprises or his views on technology in the face of climate change.
While Charlotte, N.C., is perhaps best known as a financial center, with big institutions like Bank of America and Wells Fargo dominating the skyline, the area is also a major energy hub. The region is home to more than 260 companies and nearly 28,000 workers that are tied directly to the energy sector, including Charlotte-based Duke Energy. Moreover, the region is developing a growing number of clean energy initiatives, and the state has implemented legislature that requires investor-owned utilities to generate 12.5 percent of their retail sales from renewable energy by 2021.
At the 2014 PVAmerica Conference an Expo keynote, Governor Deval Patrick took the stage to explain why Massachusetts has become one of the top solar states in the nation: forward thinking.
The European Union needs an ambitious emissions-reduction goal, targets for energy- efficiency and renewables as well as tools to foster investment under its planned 2030 policies, an advisory panel to 14 ministers said.
If utilities want to succeed during these transformative times, they will need to promote more women to board positions. That is the message offered in new report released last week by EY.
The U.S. National Climate Assessment report states bluntly that streets in coastal cities are flooding more readily, that hotter and drier weather in the West means earlier starts to wildfire seasons, and that every region of the nation already is seeing real effects of climate change.
On the heels of the EPA’s new carbon rules proposed by President Obama on June 2, I wanted to take a closer look at a potential disruptive technological breakthrough: taking CO2 waste streams and turning them into saleable, value-added feedstocks. Certainly, the deployment of renewables, energy efficiency, smart grid, and energy storage technologies offer some of the most cost-effective options for dramatically reducing emissions. But if you believe that fossil fuel power plants (along with other large-source emitters like steel and cement producers) will remain a part of our industrial ecosystem for some time to come, then capturing and utilizing C02 from these emitters is an important and critical piece of the carbon-management equation.
Under President Obama and the EPA's new carbon reduction plan, which is the first ever national standard on carbon reductions, New York is now required to cut its carbon emissions by 44 percent by 2030. The EPA’s new rule comes just over a month after Governor Cuomo and the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC)'s April 24, 2014, announceme
Google Inc. plans a deeper push into the $363.7 billion U.S. power-sales market by working on tools that help utilities deliver electricity to homes and businesses more efficiently, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The recent release of the proposed Clean Power Plan under EPA section 111(d) underscores the role of energy efficiency as our nation’s least-cost resource. Demand-side management rightfully earns its place as a critical part of a system-wide approach to reduce emissions 30 percent by 2030. McKinsey estimates the opportunity to eliminate more than $
Day 2 of the POWER-GEN Europe conference and exhibition, and its co-located show, Renewable Energy World Europe, hosted a joint plenary panel discussion exploring the theme of this year’s event “Navigating the power transition” in detail. Comprised of industry experts from around the world, the panel debated the importance of adaptation for the industry, the role that national and European governments should play in guiding the market, and the role of technology as being a catalyst for change.
Japan said the U.S.’s proposed cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions from its power plants is a bold step to tackle climate change.
In a history-making move for clean energy, the Obama administration today, for the first time, proposed a rule to restrict carbon dioxide on existing power plants.
With billions of dollars of prospective markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the federal government sector, I am astonished at how uncoordinated companies are in this area. As one who guides federal facility managers, as well as companies aspiring to enter the market, I have some first hand perspective.
In a surprising report released today by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, researchers looked at the impact of the two most common terms for human-induced climate warming—global warming and climate change—on Americans.
The authors found that the term “global warming” is associated with greater public understanding, emotional engagement and support for personal and national action than the term “climate change,” which is often favored by scientists.
Among other findings, the report—What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs. Climate Change—showed the term “global warming” appears to be associated with:
- Greater certainty that the phenomenon is happening, especially among men, Generation X (31-48) and liberals.
- Greater understanding that human activities are the primary cause among Independents.
- Greater understanding that there is a scientific consensus about the reality of the phenomenon among Independents and liberals.
- More intense worry about the issue, especially among men, Generation Y (18-30), Generation X, Democrats, liberals and moderates.
- A greater sense of personal threat, especially among women, the Greatest Generation (68+), African-Americans, Hispanics, Democrats, Independents, Republicans, liberals and moderates.
- Higher issue priority ratings for action by the president and Congress, especially among women, Democrats, liberals and moderates.
- Greater willingness to join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action, especially among men, Generation X, liberals and moderates.
While for some in-the-know, the two phrases are often seen as synonymous, the report—which analyzed three separate studies—clearly shows that they mean different things to different Americans. The general public tends to favor the term “global warming”—and perhaps we should take note.
The need for climate mitigation seems to be growing more urgent by the day. Just this month, the Obama Administration released the National Climate Report which concluded that global warming is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, Center for Naval Analyses released its National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change report saying that climate change is a “catalyst for conflict” and University of California, Irvine conclusively stated that the West Antarctic glacier has melted past the point of no return and will inevitably raise sea levels by up to four feet.
Yet, the climate deniers still wield alarming influence. Big contenders with even bigger pocket books, like the Koch Brothers, are able to pump money into anti-climate campaigns, bills and agendas, drowning out the voices of scientists who continue to prove that climate change—or, global warming, rather—is real, caused in part by humans and happening right now.
Could the expression “climate change” be the culprit for the lack of action taken on the issue? Cognitive meaning can and does change, so perhaps with the continued use of “climate change,” it will come to acquire a similar meaning as “global warming” in the minds of Americans. But language choices can influence public policy. The terms we use to describe our world shape the way in which we see it. And, as with most things, the key to mobilizing the public is to appeal to emotions on a personal level, which as this study has shown, might be better conjured by a simple change of phrase.
Ohio can no longer be counted as one of the 29 U.S. states that is working to satisfy its renewable portfolio standard. Yesterday the Ohio general assembly approved a bill to freeze the standards for electricity efficiency and generation from renewable sources.
The Obama administration has taken a lot of heat for creating climate change rules that bypass Congress. But recent court decisions are bolstering the president’s clean air agenda – and they come at a crucial time.