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You know energy efficiency has arrived when it is featured in the WSJ

The logic of energy efficiency has arrived. As noted recently in the Wall Street Journal: "Homes are embarrassingly inefficient. They consume 21% of all energy used in the U.S., according to federal figures. That's more than cars, or planes, or offices. Yet studies say U.S. homes commonly waste...

The rush into biofuels may be a major error

Prior posts have noted that EPA is conducting an assessment of biofuels to ascertain if they are truly "renewable", and that the so-called GHG emission benefits of ethanol appear to disappear if the "indirect" land-use effects are taken into account. [See, for example, the Nov. 5...

Ohio Wind Energy Tax Incentives Deficient, Trade Group Says

Ohio is in a quandary as it tries to reconcile last year's greening legislation and aspirations for wind energy production with the state's financial troubles. The linchpin of the problem, of course, is tax revenue. The state is trying to find ways to close an anticipated $3 billion gap in the...

EPA plays Solomon in terms of ethanol standard for gasoline

Prior posts have noted the debate over ethanol, including whether it is a renewable fuel, the failure to account for production of N2O as a byproduct of the farming of inputs, and the concern by manufacturers of automobiles and engines that ethanol in excess of 10% may be harmful to the integrity of...

Economically recoverable coal reserves much less than previously believed

Prior posts have noted the various technologies that may be involved in weaning the U.S. from its reliance on hydrocarbons. One of the constant refrains of opponents of so-called alternative generating technology is that the "U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of coal" with possibly several hundred years...

The Smart Grid: An Analysis

Much of the recent talk about alternative sources of energy has focused on the need for expanding and improving the electrical grid. At the same time, in the interest of efficiency and conservation, there has been much chatter about turning the rather antique electrical grid into a so-called smart grid...

Solar Thermal Is Poised To Take Off. Will It?

When the media conceptualizes about solar energy, they usually obsess over photovoltaics. Yet, solar thermal plants are, in terms of today's technology, often more cost-effective. Although there is only 500 MW's worldwide of solar thermal in existence, approximately 12 GW of solar thermal is...

  • 06-26-2009 | 15:46 PM
  • Author:
Marten Law Group: Federal Renewable Electricity Standard Takes Shape

In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Alyssa Moir of Marten Law Group reports on the Renewable Electricity Standard that may be enacted by Congress this year. The House's Renewable Electricity Standard is contained in the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. At the same time, the Senate is considering...

Solar thermal power and fantasy

I am ancient enough to remember when nuclear power was promoted as being so inexpensive that there would not be any need for electric meters. Well, in this new age, even solar power enthusiasts can have dreams, however improbable they may be. Munich Re, the largest reinsurance company, is promoting Desertec...

Is the credit crunch and lack of transmission capacity slowing the growth of wind power? Probably so, though perhaps not for long

Because of nearly $16 billion in investment in 2008, America overtook Germany to become the world’s biggest wind-power generator last year. Wind accounted for 42% of new generating capacity, up from just 2% four years earlier. But this year momentum has slowed due to problems with transmission...

Obama Administration commits $2.4 billion to research, development, and manufacture of advanced battery and electric drive technology

Prior posts have noted the technology and current shortcomings of electric vehicles and battery technology; prior posts have also described various research activities to develop batteries able to provide a charge over a longer period of time. The Obama Administration has announced that it is committing...

GM claims Chevy Volt will get 230 mpg city

Using EPA mileage methodology, GM claims that its forthcoming Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid, will achieve 230 mpg city driving; the range of the Volt on battery-power alone is anticipated to be 40 miles. The price of the Volt is currently anticipated to be at least $40 thousand. For more information on...

Generating 20% of U.S. electricity from wind by 2030 is possible, alleges Pew Center on Global Climate Change

In a recent report by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change it is noted that supplying 20% of U.S. electricity from wind power by 2030 would be "challenging but not unachievable." Currently, wind and solar provide 2% of U.S. electricity production. Generating 20% from wind would, however...

House voted to lift ban on the Federal Government using nonconventional fuels that could increase GHG emissions; Senate voted to allow importation of oil from tar sands

As part of the 2010 Defense Authorization legislation ( HR 2647 ) the House revised the language of Section 526 of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 ( P.L. 110-140 ) the prohibits Federal agencies from using nonconventional fuels that produce more GHG emissions than traditional petroleum...

California SWRCB defends decision to limit use of UST's to B20 fuels

A prior post noted that the California State Water Resources Control Board decided to allow the storage of biodiesel blends up to 20% (B20) in UST's designed for hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., diesel). Much to the Board's surprise, they have been heavily criticized by the biodiesel "industry"...

Salty water may be useful as a power source

Prior posts have noted various potential alternative energy sources, from the nearly developed to the "still on the drawing board". One idea that may hold some promise was recently noted in a prestigious science journal. The key researcher likens his concept to the reverse of desalination,...

Smart grid will be a major technical challenge

Prior posts have noted the necessity of a smart grid to improve energy efficiency and allow various alternative energy technologies to deploy their power to the grid even if the generating source is located far from users of electricity. The challenge was recently elucidated by George Arnold, the national...

A number of alternative and energy efficient technologies are on the horizon

As noted in numerous prior posts, energy efficiency is a very cost efficient strategy for addressing reducing carbon footprints. Also, there are a variety of "alternative" technologies being developed to both improve efficiency and to provide power from less polluting means. Note the reference...

California's Governor threatens to veto alternative energy legislation; alleges he can enact via executive order

Both the California Assembly and the Senate have passed AB 64 [ http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_64_bill_20090921_enrolled.html ] and SB 14 [ http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_14_bill_20090915_enrolled.html ]. Both bills increase the percentage of...

Renewable Energy Around the Web: December 14, 2009

Our weekly compilation of renewable energy news and information from around the web. $600 Million for Biofuels U.S. DOE Secretary Steven Chu and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced the selection of 19 biorefinery projects to receive up to $564 million from the American Recovery...

Renewable Energy Around the Web: December 21, 2009

Our weekly compilation of renewable energy news and information from around the Web. Renewable Energy in Scotland A report from the Scottish National Heritage organization claims that Scotland is on target to exceeds its renewable energy goals and could achieve 300% of its goals by 2020 if pending...

Tax Extenders Act Omits Alternative Fuel Mixture Credit

The House of Representatives on December 9th passed a bill (H.R. 4213) that extends many of the tax credits and incentive programs that expire at the end of this year. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. While the bill extends for one year the biodiesel tax credit and the biodiesel...

Fuel Cell Economics Improving, Offering Energy Storage Solutions

The economics of fuel cells are improving each year, according to Pike Research , which forecasts that global revenues will more than double over the next few years, from $336m in 2009 to $716m in 2013, according to reports. Pike Research’s analysis indicates that stationary fuel cells offer enormous...

Electric cars may entail more than putting an electric motor where the internal combustion engine goes

The replacement of the internal combustion engine and drive-train with electric motor(s), batteries, and control systems is leading to a rethink of the way in which cars are designed and manufactured. One of the proposals, which dates from the turn of the last century, is the hub motor, an idea originally...

  • 07-26-2010 | 22:23 PM
  • Author:
Marten Law Group: By Taking Action on Fuel Economy Standards, President Orders Automakers to Produce More Fuel Efficient Cars

In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Alyssa Moir of Marten Law Group reports on two Executive Orders issued in January 2009 by President Obama: (1) a request to EPA to revisit the denial of California's CAA waiver request to lower auto emission standards, and (2) an order to the NHTSA to issue interim...