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At a recent event hosted by the Hudson Institute, energy professionals gathered to discuss energy issues affecting both the United States and China, with significant discussion centering on how low oil prices generally correlate with economic prosperity and stability – and vice versa. It is projected that China’s oil import dependence will rise from 60% in 2013 to 75% in 2035 and that, in the next 15 years, China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil consumer. Like the U.S., China’s sustained economic growth is directly influenced by the price of oil. Although crude oil price spikes are… [more]View Discussion
The U.S. currently maintains one of the world’s largest stockpiles of government owned oil, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). In response to the 1970s oil embargo and supply shocks, the U.S. created the SPR to ensure access to oil in the event of a severe energy supply interruption. The current SPR consists of four storage sites, housing 694 million barrels of oil that is equivalent to at least 90 days of net oil imports. The SPR has only been tapped three times, but the recent budget deal provides that the government sell 58 million barrels of oil to fund a… [more]View Discussion
Kadak Associates, Inc.
There is an inconvenient and uncomfortable truth that nuclear energy is a significant non-CO2 source of electrical power in the U.S. Despite the dramatic expansion of solar and wind, these alternative forms of energy only provide 15% of non-CO2 emitting power nationwide. Nuclear energy on the other hand, provides 63% of all CO2-free sources. Often when a utility decides to shut down a nuclear plant it is replaced by natural gas. But replacing nuclear with “clean” natural gas only adds to the global CO2 load. In fact, each 1,000 megawatts of nuclear power replaced by natural gas adds 3.6 million… [more]View Discussion
There are over 90,000 cargo ships powered by oil-based fuels that, according to one study, account for 3-4% of worldwide emissions (including SOx, NOx, PM and CO2). In 2012, the International Maritime Organization sparked a series of regulations aimed at reducing sulfur emissions and in January, 2015, a new U.S. rule went into effect that requires ships operating in coastal waters to make further reductions. With an abundance of U.S. natural gas, one potentially cost-effective compliance option is to transition and build new LNG-fueled ships; however, challenges remain. Supporters of LNG as a fuel source say it will reduce air… [more]View Discussion
In 2014, the U.S. residential solar industry installed 1,231 MW of capacity and installation costs fell 10 percent. While lower prices made onsite solar energy more affordable and accessible for many Americans, the upfront costs still make solar installation out of reach to low-income communities that could benefit from alternative sources of energy. Over the past few years, governments at every level have been instituting programs that support low-income access to solar energy. In 2013, California extended two provisions of the California Solar Initiative, the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) the and Multi-Family Affordable Solar Homes (MASH) programs, by providing… [more]View Discussion
Our inability to provide enough skilled labor presents real and serious challenges to our ability to meet America’s energy demands over the coming decades. In recent years there has been a growing and increasingly vast shortage of skilled labor in the energy industry at every professional level, from technical specialists and operators to leaders and senior management. A Deloitte Survey from a few years ago put this in stark perspective with 70% of respondents from throughout the U.S. energy industry answering that given the current labor force, they would not be able to meet their future staffing needs. In addition,… [more]View Discussion
Attitudes towards climate change vary. Some have doubts, but even fish know better as they migrate north to cooler waters. Meanwhile advocates agree that human influence is clear, but they are divided on how to address climate change, with too much focus on individual energy sources when in reality all non-carbon sources of energy have major problems. The divisions amongst advocates can undermine national energy policies and render U.S. policymakers ineffective. But most importantly, divisions amongst advocates rallying for an ‘all-solar,’ ‘all-nuclear,’ or ‘all-anything’ energy system ignore large problems facing a carbon-free future. There are numerous problems and realities facing a… [more]View Discussion
Renew and Sustain is a firm dedicated to helping people and organizations navigate the path to sustainability. We work with clients to explore and identify opportunities to implement best practices, achieve goals, and increase profits. While sustainability is not a game, we are here to be your coach. We collaborate with our partners and clients to create winning strategies for them, their communities, and the environment.View Discussion
Lead Communications Consultant
Industry experts recently testified before Congress that more needs to be done to protect the nation’s electric grid from natural disasters, cyberattacks, physical threats and planned sabotage. Recent news stories have highlighted cybersecurity issues, including analysis by USA Today that claims the U.S. Department of Energy’s computer systems were compromised more than 150 times between 2010-2014. And while cybersecurity is a persistent threat, physical damage to “critical infrastructure” facilities from severe storms, flooding, wildfires and even shootings has the potential for extensive and long-duration outages: Critical high-voltage substations, while representing only 3% of all substations, carry the bulk of the nation’s… [more]View Discussion
Energy Storage Association
It’s been two months since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Final Rule for the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Even if you haven’t read all 1560 pages yet, you probably know the gist of it by now. At its core, the CPP identifies three building blocks in setting the goal for each state: (1) lowered heat rates at coal-fired steam plants, (2) increased utilization of existing natural gas combined cycle plants, and (3) increased deployment of utility-scale non-emitting renewables. Most notably, energy efficiency (EE) is missing from that list, which is a change from the 2014 proposal. However, while… [more]View Discussion