04/19/2018

News

Warning – Global Economies are Betting the Farm on Next Gen Batteries Not Yet Commercially Viable!

As governments, including California’s, join the electric vehicle (EV) crusade, new public policies are advancing that ultimately would ban the sale and registration of light-duty vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. . . . The unintended consequences of banning internal combustion engine cars is that manufactured aviation, gasoline and diesel fuels from crude oil are […]

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Oil ‘is killing us.’ Activists call on Jerry Brown to halt California drilling

In an ad published Wednesday in The Sacramento Bee, the coalition directly addressed Brown again, saying he should “lead by announcing no new permits for oil and gas extraction, fossil fuel infrastructure or petrochemical projects in California,” and the state should “set a global precedent by becoming the first oil producing state to announce a […]

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The Controversy Surrounding a Fast-Growing Clean Energy Loan Program

By the numbers, the home loan program PACE — or property assessed clean energy — is one of the most successful tools for helping property owners pay for otherwise expensive clean energy and environmental upgrades. PACE loans have shot up by more than one-third over the past year alone, to more than $4.6 billion. Despite […]

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Americans Face Highest Pump Prices in Years

Americans are spending more at the pump than they have in years. Prices could rise even higher just as drivers hit the road for family vacations. “This summer, in terms of average gas prices, will likely be the highest since 2014,” said Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, a fuel-tracking app. “There’s been very little […]

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ARRGGHH!! $4 gasoline is back at some stations

Gasoline is more expensive in the Golden State due to higher taxes and the state’s special blending requirements for fuel in order to reduce air pollution. But another factor came from a 12 cents per gallon increase in state gasoline taxes that went into effect last November. Money from the Road Repair and Accountability Act […]

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Home Solar Dims as Tesla, Others Curb Aggressive Sales

The number of U.S. homeowners putting solar panels on their roofs declined last year after leading installers including Tesla Inc. abandoned aggressive sales practices that had helped drive breakneck growth. Residential solar had been on a tear, averaging 49% annual growth between 2010 and 2016, but the number of megawatts added last year dropped by […]

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U.S. Net Energy Imports in 2017 Fall to Their Lowest Levels Since 1982

Total net energy imports to the United States fell to 7.3 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2017, a 35% decrease from 2016 and the lowest level since 1982, when both gross imports and gross exports were much lower. Gross energy imports have been generally decreasing from a high of 34.7 quads in 2007; however, […]

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What Should We Make with CO2 and How Can We Make It?

In a world struggling to limit global temperature increases to below 2°C, we see a host of emerging technologies aiming to recycle CO2. They range from those nearing commercialization, such as electrocatalytic reduction, to technologies being explored in the lab environment, such as photocatalytic, CO2 polymerization, and biohybrids, to those only now being imagined, such […]

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Why Am I Paying $65/year for Your Solar Panels?

“This is the future,” one of my neighbors recently told me, proudly showing off his rooftop solar panels, “Forget the old, inefficient utility.” The panels do look great, and, for a moment, I got caught up in my neighbor’s “green glow” of eco-righteousness. Should I be doing “my part” for climate? But wait a second. […]

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What if China corners the cobalt market?

It is widely known that more than half of the world’s cobalt reserves and production are in one dangerously unstable country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. What is less well known is that four-fifths of the cobalt sulphates and oxides used to make the all-important cathodes for lithium-ion batteries are refined in China. (Much of […]

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Scientists say we’re on the cusp of a carbon dioxide–recycling revolution

Every year, the billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) we release into the atmosphere add to the growing threat of climate change. But what if we could simply recycle all that wasted CO2 and turn it into something useful? By adding electricity, water, and a variety of catalysts, scientists can reduce CO2 into […]

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This Report Card for Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Is Not Encouraging

The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued its assessment, “Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017” (Report) on March 22, 2018. The IEA reviews aspects of global energy use and greenhouse gas emission rates annually. This schedule has become even more important since the Paris Climate Agreement among virtually all nations of the world was concluded, […]

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California’s Got a New Plan to Hit its 2030 Emissions Target – But are we Aiming at the Right Target?

The governor and legislative leaders like to point out that market-based programs like cap and trade reduced emissions over the last decade while growing the economy. But, Borenstein found that “…the impact of variation in economic growth on emissions is much greater than any predictable response to a price on emissions, at least to a […]

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Why gas-fired power plants are on the chopping block in SoCal

NRG Energy announced last week it would close three gas-fired power plants: The Etiwanda plant in Ranch Cucamonga, the Ormond Beach plant in Oxnard and the Ellwood plant in Goleta. They were aging plants, built in the 1960s and ’70s. But plans for some new plants are also being sidelined. Last October, NRG asked the […]

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NRG subsidiary to close three power plants in Southern California

In another sign of the state’s power glut, three Southern California gas-fired power plants owned by a subsidiary of energy firm NRG Energy Inc. will close over the next few months. . . .Gladys Limon, executive director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance advocacy group, said in a statement Friday that the retirement of the […]

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