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Energy Efficiency and the Clean Power Plan

Author(s): Kelly Speakes-Backman
Executive Director
Energy Storage Association
Date: October 5, 2015 at 1:00 PM

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]

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Low Oil Prices: Opportunity or Barrier for U.S. Industry?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Crude oil prices have dominated headlines and industry attention over the past year. In 2014 and continuing in 2015, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to unconstrained output for it 12 member countries, resulting in a dramatic increase in global oil supply. Meanwhile, China and Europe’s demand for oil has remained relatively steady. In addition, U.S. domestic production nearly doubled since 2008, decreasing domestic imports and leaving more oil on the global market. As a result, oil prices fell from $90 per barrel in 2014 to $46 per barrel today and projections indicate prices between $30 and $60 per barrel… [more]

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What Role Can Biomass Play in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan?

Author(s): Jessie Stolark
Policy Associate
EESI
Date: September 22, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Although the administration’s finalized Clean Power Plan was released in early August, EPA is still actively grappling with the rules regarding biomass feedstocks as a compliance option under the Plan. Biomass (or biogenic) feedstocks include wastes such as organic wastes, lumber, pulp and paper industry wastes, agricultural residues and purpose-grown feedstocks. Solid biomass can be co-fired with coal in existing plants or used in renewable heating applications. The biomass industry argues that the utilization of biomass as an electricity source is an attractive option for states as it has the potential to sequester carbon as additional feedstocks are grown, it… [more]

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Post-Event: What Will EPA’s Ozone Rule Mean for the Energy Sector?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 21, 2015 at 9:45 AM

On September 16th, 2015, OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP) hosted a panel event moderated by Mark Drajem of Bloomberg News on EPA, ozone and the energy sector at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. EPA is expected to announce a new standard for ground level ozone, a smog-forming pollutant. Most believe they will reduce the existing standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 or 70 ppb by 2025. According to EPA, this would prevent 4,200 premature deaths, between 1,400 and 4,300 asthma-related emergency room visits, and between 320,000 and 960,000 annual asthma attacks in children. The very spirited discussion largely… [more]

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President Obama’s Air Pollution Record

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: September 16, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Full Title: President Obama’s Air Pollution Record Author(s): Sam Batkins Publisher(s): American Action Forum Publication Date: 09/2015 Full Text: ->DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT<- Description (excerpt): Recent air pollution data and regulatory actions by the Obama Administration demonstrate that Americans are paying more for less. Between 2005 to 2009, the nation experienced a decline of 11,116 days of moderate to hazardous air pollution (across all jurisdictions). During the Obama Administration, this decline slowed to 3,897 fewer days of moderate to hazardous pollution, despite the economic recession and billions of dollars more in regulatory costs. From 2009 to present, EPA regulations, primarily to reduce air… [more]

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Discussion

The Case for Nuclear Central Station Power

Author(s): David Hammer
J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering
Cornell University
Date: September 9, 2015 at 9:30 AM

 “Sustainable future” advocates seem to believe that solar, wind and hydro-electricity will eventually make up close to 100% of our energy generation, but there are benefits to having “central station” power plants in addition to distributed power generation. If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while assuring the health of our economy, the most viable way of generating central station power at present is nuclear fission. Central station power complements distributive power generation in two important ways.  Central station power plants are better able produce power on a small area relatively close to where the energy will… [more]

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What Will EPA’s Ozone Rule Mean for the Energy Sector?

Author(s): Mark Drajem
Editor
Bloomberg's First Word Energy
Date: September 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM

After years of discussion and delay, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to finalize ozone standards in the coming weeks. It’s a rule long in the making: EPA’s decision during the Bush administration to set the standard at 75 parts per billion was challenged in court by health and environmental organizations as insufficient. At the beginning of the Obama administration, the EPA said it would reconsider the standard, but that initiative was tossed out by President Obama in the lead up to 2012 election. The move summed up the discord between the president and environmentalists in his first term.… [more]

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2013 Renewable Energy Data Book

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 31, 2015 at 3:38 PM

Full Title: 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book Author(s): U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Publisher(s): U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Publication Date: 2013 Full Text: ->DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT<- Description (excerpt): Key Findings: •United States overall energy consumption grew to 97.3 quadrillion Btu in 2013, a 2.4% increase from 2012. Energy consumption from coal and renewables grew slightly, while consumption from petroleum and natural gas fell slightly. • United States electric power sector energy consumption grew to 38.4 quadrillion Btu in 2013, a 0.6% increase from 2012.* • Renewable electricity** grew to nearly 15% of total installed capacity and 13% of total electricity generation… [more]

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Renewable Electricity Futures Study (Executive Summary)

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: at 3:13 PM

Full Title: Renewable Electricity Futures Study (Executive Summary) Author(s): Trieu Mai, Debra Sandor, Ryan Wiser, and Thomas Schneider1 Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Study (NREL) Publication Date: 2012 Full Text: ->DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT<- Description (excerpt): The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the continental United States over the next several decades. This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels—from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation—in 2050. At such… [more]

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Thermoelectrics: Converting Waste Heat to Power?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 24, 2015 at 12:30 PM

NASA has used thermoelectric energy, or the conversion of waste heat to electricity, for decades to power spacecraft and the Mars Science Laboratory Rover. However, thermoelectric energy has attracted minimal attention in the alternative-energy world due to its limited commercial viability, until recently. Last year, Michigan State University (MSU) with the support of the Lawrence Berkley National Lab developed a new class of thermoelectrics using a compound called tetrahedrite that is believed to be more cost-effective and has the potential for everyday use. One start-up finding success building on the findings from MSU is Alphabet Energy. They have developed a stand-alone… [more]

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