The OurEnergyLibrary aggregates and indexes publicly available fact sheets, journal articles, reports, studies, and other publications on U.S. energy topics. It is updated every week to include the most recent energy resources from academia, government, industry, non-profits, think tanks, and trade associations. Suggest a resource by emailing us at email@example.com.
Advocates of dramatic climate policy often presume that the urgency and scope of the problem by default means that no policy proposal is too costly or too radical.
An “at any cost” approach to policy can lead to outcomes that have higher costs than benefits, inflicting more harm than help, and this is true even for exigent collective action problems.
Analyzing the costs and benefits of electricity and transportation policies in the Green New Deal using the Social Cost of Carbon shows the costs are several times larger than the capturable benefits—but policies not in the Green New Deal, like …View Full Resource
Congressional interest in market-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emission control legislation has fluctuated over the past 15 years. During that time, legislation has often involved market-based approaches, such as a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax or fee program. Both approaches would place a price—directly or indirectly—on GHG emissions or their inputs (e.g., fossil fuels), both would increase the price of fossil fuels, and both would reduce GHG emissions to some degree. Both would allow emission sources to choose the best way to meet their emission requirements or reduce costs, potentially by using market forces to minimize national costs of emission …View Full Resource
Oil powers the cars we drive and the flights we take; it heats many of our homes and offices. It is in things we use every day, and it plays an integral role across industries and economies. Yet it has become very clear that the relentless burning of fossil fuels cannot continue unabated.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently warned that a 2015 pledge by governments to restrict global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will not be enough. It recommended that average temperature rises be capped at 1.5 degrees to avoid irreversible environmental …View Full Resource
The last twelve months have seen a marked shift in state and utility company energy and climate policies towards ambitious carbon targets and an embrace of diverse technologies to achieve them through “Clean Electricity Standards” (or CES’s). For many years, clean electricity policies focused either on achieving targets for renewable energy through “renewable portfolio standards” or setting emissions caps. Instead, CES’s typically require an increasing percentage of zero-carbon electricity. As opposed to carbon emission limits or pricing, CES’s focus on bringing more clean energy resources to market.…View Full Resource
The Texas electricity market doesn’t shine in residential solar energy despite plentiful sunlight. While Texas is No. 1 in wind power, its residential solar capacity per capita was less than one-third that of the U.S. average in 2017. One advantage of solar electricity generation is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which have been tied to climate change.…View Full Resource
The Energy Futures Initiative report “Optionality, Flexibility & Innovation: Pathways for Deep Decarbonization in California,’’ analyzes ways the state can meet its aggressive 2030 low-carbon energy goals and outlines the innovation agenda needed for midcentury deep decarbonization.
The report team, led by EFI founder and CEO Ernest J. Moniz, conducted a modeling-informed analysis that included a top-down assessment of California’s deep decarbonization, as well as multiple bottom-up models that approximated how various technologies can contribute to the reduction of emissions.…View Full Resource
Energy storage will be key to overcoming the intermittency and variability of renewable energy sources. Here, we propose a metric for the cost of energy storage and for identifying optimally sized storage systems. The levelized cost of energy storage is the minimum price per kWh that a potential investor requires in order to break even over the entire lifetime of the storage facility. We forecast the dynamics of this cost metric in the context of lithium-ion batteries and demonstrate its usefulness in identifying an optimally sized battery charged by an incumbent solar PV system. Applying the model to residential solar …View Full Resource
Illegal air pollution from the booming oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin is causing unhealthy air pollution levels in West Texas, but the state has not installed enough air quality monitors there to protect local residents, according to a report by the Environmental Integrity Project.
EIP’s study used industry self-reported pollution data and an EPA-approved computer model to examine the impacts of unauthorized sulfur dioxide emissions in and around Ector County (which has 156,000 residents, including 117,000 in Odessa). The study demonstrates that flaring of “sour” gas is causing dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide pollution in Ector County …View Full Resource
In the RFF annual report you’ll find some of the tangible impacts of our work in 2018:
We reflect on how RFF has transformed the way decisionmakers and the public think about problems—from working with NASA to identify the socioeconomic benefits of satellite technology, to developing new techniques to detect and manage the spread of invasive species.
We showcase how RFF has helped to quantify issues decisionmakers care about, including how we informed a critical ruling by federal energy regulators and evaluated landmark carbon pricing policies across the country.
Finally, we highlight the impact of bringing together policymakers and stakeholders—from …View Full Resource
Electric vehicles (EVs) hold the key to unleash synergies between clean transport and low-carbon electricity. Just as future transport must be increasingly electrified, future power systems must make maximum use of variable renewable energy sources. Smart charging for EVs minimises their load impact and unlocks the flexibility to use more solar and wind power.
This outlook from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows how policy and technological breakthroughs can advance the development of this key enabling technology for renewables. Through smart charging, EV batteries can help to integrate high shares of solar and wind power into existing grids, as …View Full Resource