Category Archives: OpEd

Falling Gasoline Use Means United States Can Just Say No to New Pipelines and Food-to-Fuel

Freeing America from its dependence on oil from unstable parts of the world is an admirable goal, but many of the proposed solutions—including the push for more home-grown biofuels and for the construction of the new Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast—are harmful and simply … Continue reading Falling Gasoline Use Means United States Can Just Say No to New Pipelines and Food-to-Fuel

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Debunking Howard Rich’s errors on wind energy

A recent column by Howard Rich on Forbes.com simply repackaged many previously refuted myths about wind power. Recent posts on this blog have already debunked a study on wind resource potential and explained that wind energy has been a success story for reducing fossil fuel use and emissions in Germany and other European countries.   … Continue reading Debunking Howard Rich’s errors on wind energy

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China to build unified low-carbon certification system

China will build a unified certification system for low-carbon products as part of its efforts to boost the consumption of green goods, according to the country’s top economic planner. An independent third-party agency will assess the carbon footprint of products and services and grant low-carbon certificates to those that have met certain requirements, according to … Continue reading China to build unified low-carbon certification system

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China’s power capacity to hit 1.23 bln kw by year’s end

China’s installed power capacity will top 1.23 billion kilowatts (kw) by the end of 2013, a report from the China Electricity Council said on Thursday. Thermal power will still account for the bulk of the capacity, topping 860 GW, followed by 280 GW from hydropower, 14.78 GW from nuclear power, 75 GW from on-grid wind … Continue reading China’s power capacity to hit 1.23 bln kw by year’s end

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Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011

The energy game is rigged in favor of fossil fuels because we omit the environmental and health costs of burning coal, oil, and natural gas from their prices. Subsidies manipulate the game even further. According to conservative estimates from the Global Subsidies Initiative and the International Energy Agency (IEA), governments around the world spent more … Continue reading Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011

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Nuclear power revives… in Iran

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced Saturday that the Islamic republic plans to construct 16 nuclear power plants in different parts of the country, Press TV reported. “Following months of efforts, 16 new sites for nuclear power plants have been designated in coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea … Continue reading Nuclear power revives… in Iran

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Renewables dominate headlines in Germany, UK, France

It seems that energy policy has never been such a hot topic – at least judging by the huge media attention it is now receiving. Today, and this week generally, has seen a blizzard of European media coverage of energy policy – with wildly differing perspectives, and arguably also in quality of reasoning. Today in … Continue reading Renewables dominate headlines in Germany, UK, France

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Warmest Decade on Record Brings Weather Extremes

In recent years weather events have whiplashed between the extremes of heat and cold, flooding and drought. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases—largely from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas—have loaded up in the atmosphere, heating the planet and pushing humanity onto a climatic seesaw of weather irregularities. High-temperature records in many places … Continue reading Warmest Decade on Record Brings Weather Extremes

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Smart Energy: Five Metatrends to Watch in 2013 and Beyond

The Smart Energy paradigm is fast evolving from niche markets into a standardized part of the global energy portfolio.  Oil majors, national governments, and technology developers have all reached the consensus that a more diversified energy mix is critical to sustainable economic growth in the future.  As a result of this development, combined with the … Continue reading Smart Energy: Five Metatrends to Watch in 2013 and Beyond

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Home Energy Management from Broadband Service Providers

Broadband service providers (BSPs) have entered the home energy management (HEM) space in the past few years with the aim of helping customers reduce or more efficiently control their energy consumption. The approach has been to bundle home energy management tools with current home security and home automation products and services. This nascent market has … Continue reading Home Energy Management from Broadband Service Providers

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UNEP scientist in climate change reduction recommendation

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief scientist Joseph Alcamo on Tuesday called for more efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) so as to slow down global warming. In an interview with Xinhua, Alcamo said that reducing SLCPs will also protect human health, and in some cases, reduce air pollution. According to the UNEP, SLCPs, … Continue reading UNEP scientist in climate change reduction recommendation

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End of an era: Dr. Steven Chu to step down as US Energy Secretary

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Friday announced his intention to resign to end a four-year tenure with the Obama administration. Chu made the announcement in a letter to department employees, saying he intends to resign once a successor is confirmed. “While I will always remain dedicated to the missions of the department, I informed … Continue reading End of an era: Dr. Steven Chu to step down as US Energy Secretary

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China burns half of coal consumption worldwide

China overtook the US as the world’s biggest carbon emitter in 2007 and became world’s largest energy consumer in 2010. Coal consumption in China grew more than 9% in 2011, continuing its upward trend for the 12th consecutive year, according to newly released international data. China’s coal use grew by 325 million tons in 2011, … Continue reading China burns half of coal consumption worldwide

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Solar energy can be a worthwhile investment

Solar power is an expensive technology, but it pays off immediately and for years, according to local experts who sell and install solar panels and equipment. “If you get the correct system, it could reduce your power bill to zero,” said Tommy Blas, business developer for Pacific Solar & Photovoltaics, in Dededo. The cost of … Continue reading Solar energy can be a worthwhile investment

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Bulgarian referendum reflects uncertainty of nuclear power development

Bulgarians have postponed construction of a new nuclear power plant for an indefinite future, according to unofficial data released on Sunday evening after a low-turnout referendum held on this issue. According to parallel vote tabulation conducted by Alpha Research agency, although 61 percent of the voters said “yes” on whether the country should build a … Continue reading Bulgarian referendum reflects uncertainty of nuclear power development

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Wind energy battery going back online

Xcel Energy Inc. installed the $4.7 million battery in 2008 next to a Luverne, Minn., wind farm and operated it safely for more than two years. The sodium-sulfur battery was shut down in October 2011 on the advice of its Japanese manufacturer after a similar unit caught fire there. The only battery in Minnesota large … Continue reading Wind energy battery going back online

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Belgian and German electricity systems keep lights on despite nuclear turn-off

Freezing temperatures in both Belgium and Germany have put both countries’ power systems to the test this week, but neither country has experienced electricity blackouts despite the lack of nuclear power. Two of Belgium’s seven nuclear reactors – Doel 3 and Tihange 2 – were switched off this summer, following the discovery of cracks, cutting … Continue reading Belgian and German electricity systems keep lights on despite nuclear turn-off

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Renewable Energy on the way up while Western Europe’s nuclear power share depletes

To meet carbon emissions targets and reduce dependency on depleting fossil fuel reserves, the nations of Western Europe are beefing up their renewable energy generation, but significantly limiting growth within their nuclear power industries in the face of widespread public opposition, says business intelligence providers GBI Research. According to the firm’s latest report*, the top … Continue reading Renewable Energy on the way up while Western Europe’s nuclear power share depletes

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Wind energy industry continues to expand worldwide

The wind energy industry is continuing to expand worldwide with the industry ebbing and flowing as global governments decide policy on supporting renewable power and then reconsider the economics, causing delays in financing major projects. The industry is caught in the financial tide but is growing with offshore and new countries coming into the marketplace. … Continue reading Wind energy industry continues to expand worldwide

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