ACEEE publishes 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The scorecard provides a benchmark of state energy policy and progress. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. For the second year in a row, Massachusetts is ranked number one and California number two. The two states shared the ranking of number one in 2016, and this battle to be the top state goes …

End of ‘sunshine tax’ raises hopes for green energy in Spain

Seven years ago, Spain was on the way to becoming a world leader in renewable energy, but after the election in late 2011 of a People’s party government seen by critics as hostile to the sector, there was little or no progress. While Spain has significant land and offshore shale gas and oil reserves, environmentalists and local authorities have blocked …

Certified Green Buildings may have an advantage in capital markets

Research indicates that green certification lowers the cost of capital for real estate investors, according to a recent column at GlobeSt. The reasoning is that certified buildings have a more attractive risk profile and may be more resilient during tough economic times, according to Dr. Nils Kok, associate professor at Maastricht University, the article says. Some studies have shown that commercial mortgages for …

The West Coast Electric Highway Enables Zero Emission Road Trips

The West Coast Electric Highway—one of the longest electrified corridors in the world—is demonstrating that electric vehicles are here for the long haul. In 2008, the West Coast states of California, Oregon, Washington and the province of British Columbia all recognized a simple, but alarming fact: western North America was experiencing significant population growth. That meant tens of thousands more …

3 Ways for Utilities to Encourage Customers to Improve Energy Efficiency

Energy providers are in a unique position in the marketplace in that they want customers to use less of their product. Yet, encouraging them to do so can be a challenge. When customers use electricity, they’re thinking about the task (use a computer, wash clothes, watch TV) they want to accomplish, not the source that’s allowing them to do it. …

We’re closer than ever before to producing clean water from thin air

Scientists have figured out a way to harvest water from dry desert air using only the sun’s heat. The device could be a game-changer for the approximately 2.1 billion people around the world who lack immediate access to clean drinking water. The device is made of a porous material called a metal-organic framework (MOF) that’s housed within a clear plastic …

How to Make Electric Vehicles Affordable and Accessible

When electric vehicles transform the auto-driven landscape of the United States, what will low-to-moderate-income communities do? A new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “The Future of Transportation Electrification: Utility, Industry and Consumer Perspectives,” evaluated this accelerating controversy and emerged with some solutions. “Aren’t electric vehicles just for the wealthy?” said Jenifer Bosco, staff attorney at National Consumer Law Center …

How Might Electrification Affect Electric and Gas Systems? Recent Studies Shed Both Light and Heat

Electrification is gaining a lot of attention as efforts mount to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and address climate change. There is an important role for energy efficiency in these efforts. In fact, beneficial electrification – that which reduces total energy, costs, and emissions – is a valid form of energy efficiency. It can complement traditional efficiency approaches, and together, …

Can Electrification Short-Circuit the Utility Death Spiral?

The road to electrifying heating and transportation in the United States is being mapped out by Electric Power Research Institute and The Brattle Group. Their forecasts show that different paths may yield a range of environmental, business and health benefits. Electrification could also stoke the fire of utility profits, which has dimmed in recent years. “A greening grid, alongside rapid …

N.Y. grid operator moves toward landmark carbon price

New York’s electric grid operator moved a step closer to finalizing a carbon pricing proposal last week, as a task force issued draft recommendations containing new details on its plans. The recommendations made by the Integrating Public Policy Task Force, a joint effort between the New York Independent System Operator and the state government, build on an April proposal and …