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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/22/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 22nd, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/22/14).

  1. The Hill reports, “Ads blanketing the Washington, D.C. metro system meant to tout Canada’s image, and boost support for the Keystone XL oil pipeline among policymakers, aren’t working, according to a survey.”
  2. On the Greentech Media “Energy Gang” podcast, Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute explains that “As Economists Argue, Renewables Keep Getting Cheaper.”
  3. Climate Progress reports: “At least 10 percent of the contents of fracking fluid injected into the earth is toxic. For another third we have no idea. And that’s only from the list of chemicals the fracking industry provided voluntarily. That’s according to an analysis by William Stringfellow of Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, reported in Chemistry World.”
  4. According to Gigaom: “It’s been quite awhile since we’ve heard anything from battery startup Sakti3. The seven-year-old University of Michigan spin-out has been heads down working on a high performance “solid-state” lithium ion battery and on Wednesday announced that it’s produced a battery that can double the range of an electric car (like a Tesla Model S) or double the usage time of a gadget like a wearable device.”
  5. Renewable Energy World reports, “ABB Ltd. said a power-cable technology that allows offshore wind farms to transmit more than twice the energy of current set-ups will boost orders at the company’s power systems division in coming years.”

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/21/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 21st, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/21/14).

  1. The Wall Street Journal reports: “India’s plans for setting up the world’s largest solar power station has been hit by political wrangling over whether it can use the proposed land that is home to migratory birds and meant for salt production. The project, forecast to cost $4 billion over seven years, was to be along the banks of India’s largest salt lake in the northwestern state of Rajasthan and billed as a showpiece for India’s solar ambitions.”
  2. According to Media Matters: “A recent study from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) claims that smog regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will cost the economy $270 billion. But the regulations, necessary to alleviate the unsafe smog pollution currently experienced by 140 million Americans, will likely achieve net benefits by reducing costs associated with medical expenses and premature deaths, while experts have said the NAM study uses “fraudulent” claims and is ‘not based in economic reality.’”
  3. RenewEconomy reports, “Leading investment bank UBS says the payback time for unsubsidised investment in electric vehicles plus rooftop solar plus battery storage will be as low as 6-8 years by 2020 – triggering a massive revolution in the energy industry.”
  4. According to Midwest Energy News, “A closely watched battle over utility policy in Wisconsin could determine the fate of solar development throughout the region, advocates say.”
  5. The News & Observer reports: “The Coal Ash Management Act that won final approval by the Republican-led General Assembly Wednesday is better than the Republicans’ previous approach to leaking coal ash pits. Namely, ‘Let’s adjourn and do nothing.’”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/20/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 20th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/20/14).

  1. The Baltimore Sun reports, “An Italian renewable-energy company won the rights to develop offshore wind projects in nearly 80,000 acres of Atlantic waters off Maryland’s coast with an $8.7 million bid Tuesday.”
  2. According to Climate Progress, “Building wind farms and huge solar arrays means nothing if they cannot transmit that energy to homes and businesses, and a recent court ruling just made connecting to the grid a lot easier.”
  3. The Washington Post reports, “Maryland’s latest report on the impact of proposed natural gas exploration in the western part of the state said drilling could pose a threat to air quality and workers in a region that is ecologically pristine.”
  4. The Energy Collective notes that, “According to analysis produced by Lauri Myllyvirta and Greenpeace International in the first half of this year, China’s coal use dropped for the first time this century – while the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) actually grew.”
  5. The Guardian reports, “Cutting the [Australian] renewable energy target could bankrupt existing wind farms and lead to legal action against the commonwealth government, energy companies have warned.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/19/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 19th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/19/14).

  1. Greentech Media reports: “the most recent DOE analysis finds that wind power is at 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, an “all-time low.” One of the authors of the report, Berkeley Lab Staff Scientist Ryan Wiser, wrote, ‘This is especially notable because, enabled by technology advancements, wind projects have increasingly been built in lower-wind-speed areas.’”
  2. According to the Washington Post: “In recent years, researchers have worked on solar cells that use a compound called perovskite. The cells have quickly achieved over 19 percent efficiency in converting sunlight to usable electricity, which is comparable to commonly used silicon-based cells….The new study, published in Energy and Environmental Science, shows that these solar cells can be built efficiently using recycled lead.”
  3. Reuters reports, “Oregon on Monday denied Ambre Energy’s request for a permit to build a coal export terminal on the Columbia River, saying the project was not in the best interests of the state’s water resources.”
  4. According to Climate Progress, “A report released by the Department of Energy Monday shows a substantial increase in the percentage of American-made small wind turbines being sold to other countries, driven in part by Congress’ refusal to act on renewing a key subsidy for the U.S. wind industry, which has created uncertainty in the market.”
  5. The Hill reports: “Musicians Neil Young and Willie Nelson are performing in a benefit concert to help raise money for groups fighting the Keystone XL pipeline. The concert, which will be on Sept. 27, will be held at a farm near Neligh, Neb., near the proposed route of the oil sands pipeline.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/18/14)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 18th, 2014

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/18/14).

  1. Greentech Media reports: “On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission officially opened a proceeding that will set the ground rules for a multi-year transformation of distribution grid planning (PDF). It’s the first state in the country to take explicit steps to merge the traditional world of distribution grid planning — centralized, one way and predicated on the past — and replace it with a two-way, customer-engaged, networked grid model.”
  2. Grist details how “One [Canadian First Nation] tribe, the Lummi, has taken an uncompromising stand against the largest proposed coal export terminal in the country, the Gateway Pacific Terminal.”
  3. The Australian reports, “A new report from a progressive US-based energy policy think-tank has found that of the 49 cases heard globally relating to wind farms and health, 48 were determined to have no reliable evidence showing wind farms cause health impacts.”
  4. According to Wind Energy and Electric Vehicle Review, “Kuwait is embarking a number of ambitious projects to expand use of alternative energy sources to meet the growing demand for electricity and secure sustainable development.”
  5. The Guardian reports, “The shale boom is a bubble waiting to burst as economics of extraction falter and the trickle of bad environmental news starts to swell.”
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