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Room for Improvement in U.S. Energy Efficiency

The U.S. was nowhere near the top of the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, but the ACEEE has a plan. The U.S. scored 13th out of 16 of the world’s largest economies in a recent report by the American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE). Germany, Italy, the European Union, and China topped the list with their efforts to improve energy efficiency in…

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The Plan for Clean Power

EPA releases the Clean Power Plan, a proposal to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.   A press release from the EPA announced the release of the Clean Power Plan, a proposal which provides guidelines on meeting the goals outlined in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the nation’s number one source of carbon emissions, power plants. The plan will be implemented through federal-state partnerships…

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U.S. Imposes Tariffs on Solar Panels from China

The United States’ latest move in the solar trade war with China.   According to an article from the New York Times, on June 2nd the U.S. Commerce Department announced a preliminary ruling to impose duties on Chinese solar panels that will range from 18.56% to 35.21%. A petition from the manufacturer SolarWorld Industries America prompted the decision in an attempt to…

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EPA’s Clean Power Plant Proposed Rule Cuts Emissions and Boosts Clean Energy

Cutting Coal, Expanding Renewables and Efficiency.   An article from Greentech Media outlines the ways in which the proposed EPA rule would spur renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency program development to meet emission reduction goals.* The rule is one of the greatest developments for renewable energy and energy efficiency industries since the Obama Administration’s 2009 stimulus package. The EPA…

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EPA Power Plant Proposed Rule Brings Both Criticisms and Praise

Cutting Emissions and Stirring Debate.   An article in the New York Times describes the debate surrounding EPA’s Clean Power Plant Proposed Rule on the nation’s power plants.*  The rule targets the country’s 600+ coal-fired power plants, which account for the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S. Environmentalists are praising the rule and its efforts to cut emissions domestically as…

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Growing Solar Panels on Crop Farms

Sharing is caring – and lucrative.   According to an article in Bloomberg, Japan continues to search for ways to boost non-nuclear energy production following the 2011 tsunami. The land-starved island nation has eased land-use regulations and mandated utilities to buy clean energy at premium prices, catalyzing the creative placement of solar panels. Some farmers have started installing solar panels…

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Upgrade and Save

Department of Energy saves over $730 million on utility bills through efficiency upgrades.   An article on energy.gov states that through the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood program, state and local governments have upgraded the efficiency of more than 100,000 residential and commercial buildings over the past four years. An initial federal investment of $508 million has leveraged an…

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The Sun Rises Over Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is increasing solar power development through Aramco.   According to an article from Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, is slowly shifting towards solar development in an effort to limit domestic fossil fuel consumption. Within the next few decades, high in-country demand may threaten supplies intended for exports.  Despite this, the government’s solar strategy has been…

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The Wind Industry in 2013

Where Congress blows, nobody knows… Although Congress decided to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) in January 2013, 2 days after it had expired, the damage to the wind industry was already done. Only approximately ~1000 MWs of wind capacity was added in 2013, while over 8000 MWs were added in the 4th Quarter of 2012 alone. Companies such as…

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Major Regulatory Reform for NY Utilities

NY throws down the gauntlet   Governor Cuomo and the New York Public Service Commission recently announced new regulations to govern the way utilities distribute and sell electricity. The regulations acknowledge that the current utility business model is broken and seek to enable new technologies to enter the market. Not only is the PSC changing the rate structure, but also…

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NREL Achieving Encouraging Efficiency With New Solar Material

The material, perovskite, has produced huge efficiency gains over the past four years.   An article in Renewable Energy World highlights recent developments in photovoltaics from NREL’s materials scientists. For several years, NREL has been studying a new and highly efficient semiconducting material for its use in photovoltaic applications. Known as perovskite, its flexibility and easy manipulation allow for high efficiency…

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