A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, co-signed by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), argues that growing renewable fuel obligations under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) have come into direct conflict with declining U.S. demand for transportation fuel. The editorial asserts that current fuel distribution infrastructure and automobile engine guidelines limit the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline to 10 percent, creating a “blend wall” beyond which further blending of ethanol becomes economically unreasonable. Meanwhile, in response to high fuel prices, consumers have radically curbed their driving habits and sought out new cars … [read more]
Most clean energy advocates believe that the world has all the low-carbon technologies needed to effectively address climate change. In their view – what we describe as the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus – the world doesn’t need technology breakthroughs, but political breakthroughs to drive widespread deployment of clean energy technologies. This translates to a policy environment heavily weighted towards deployment subsidies, mandates, and carbon prices.
But The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) argues in its new report, “Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus,” that the world needs a more comprehensive Innovation Consensus that focuses on developing and … [read more]
A report, “Fuel Choice for American Prosperity,” recently published by the United States Energy Security Council (USESC), a group within the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), identifies challenges facing the United States’ pursuit of energy security. Despite oil imports expected to fall to their lowest level since 1987 (EIA), the total amount of money the U.S. spends on oil imports has increased. If energy security is defined as “reliable supply at an affordable price,” as the report’s authors define, the U.S. has improved the former, but failed to impact global oil prices, which … [read more]
It has been recently suggested that natural gas is a more climate friendly alternative to many fossil fuels, and a necessary “bridge” to a low carbon future. The main component of natural gas is methane, which is a powerful GHG that has significantly more heat trapping potential than CO2. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, yet when it is extracted from the ground, unburned methane can escape into the atmosphere. Significant discussion has developed around the extent of these fugitive emissions and whether they undermine the climate benefits of using natural gas as a primary fuel.
A 2011 … [read more]
With the recent growth of the distributed generation energy market and incentives for customers to produce their own energy and sell excess energy back to the grid, known as Net Energy Metering (NEM) in place in over 40 states, the traditional utility model has come into question. Facing competition from those who generate a portion of their own power and an associated loss in revenues, there is growing speculation that the traditional utility will struggle to survive if it doesn’t adapt to new market conditions. The Edison Electric Institute deemed rooftop solar “disruptive” – a threat to the traditional … [read more]