1. Methane is a supercharged climate pollutant
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas packing a climate punch 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it is released. More than a third of the climate impact we feel today is caused by short-lived pollutants, including methane, which accounts for most of that amount. These emissions are worsening already extreme weather patterns responsible for more frequent, higher intensity storms. And, in the absence of action, these trends are expected to accelerate.
2. The oil and gas industry is responsible for over 7 million tons of methane pollution
The U.S. oil and gas sector is estimated to release more than 7 million metric tons of methane emissions into the atmosphere each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Read More
By: Jeff Milum, Director of Market Development, Investor Confidence Project
40 percent of all energy in the U.S. is used by buildings, which also accounts for one-third of our country’s greenhouse gases emissions. This represents a huge opportunity, both for climate action and financial gain.
There’s just one problem: Project developers often have trouble finding financing for projects, even though investors who are looking to finance building efficiency upgrades are in need of more quality projects. This conundrum is increasingly apparent as more mainstream investors are entering the energy efficiency sector searching for investments with consistent, long-term yields, as well as “green” attributes.
That’s why Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is proud to announce the launch of the ICP Investor Network. By connecting investors who are seeking quality projects with trained and vetted project developers who are originating certified ICP-certified energy efficiency projects, ICP is working to help close this gap. Read More
Dr. Jason Gu was still a graduate student when he developed the technology behind SenSevere, a start-up that creates laser-based gas sensors for use in heavy industry and power plants. Today, he’s working to apply this technology to methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, making him one of the many entrepreneurs developing solutions to tackle the problem. His fascination with innovation isn’t just making his clients more efficient—it may also be saving the planet.
The hidden cost of methane
Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a powerful pollutant responsible for a quarter of the global warming we feel today. The oil and gas industry releases 7 million tons of it into the atmosphere every year through emissions from oil and gas fields and associated pipelines, resulting in over a billion dollars’ worth of wasted American energy resources. And, toxic chemicals like benzene, a known carcinogen, can accompany methane emissions, posing a potential threat to public health.
“The industry is beginning to become more sensitized to the fact that methane is an aggressive greenhouse gas,” said James Armstrong, president of Apogee Scientific, a Colorado-based methane mitigation company. For more than 15 years, Apogee has manufactured a methane detection system that uses a vacuum and infrared sensors and can be mounted to trucks, ATVs and helicopters to identify leaks in the field. “If you find the leaks and repair them, you’re not only helping the environment…you’re extending the resource.” Read More
By: Keith Gaby
Everyone in Colorado skis, all Oklahomans can rope a calf, and native New Jerseyans like me all talk like Pauly D did onJersey Shore. Right?
You may also stereotype when it comes to clean energy: Progressive states such as California are pumping out clean, renewable energy while others insist on clinging to old, dirty power plants. Well, it’s more complicated than that.
California, which has a market-based system for cutting carbon pollution, does lead the country. But a number of states nationwide, including notably Nevada, Texas and North Carolina, are also making great progress on clean energy – which may surprise some.
Their success is evidence that the supposed divide on clean power may be more about politics than economics and opportunities on the ground.
And that bodes well for the federal Clean Power Plan’s goal of reducing emissions from America’s power plants. Because if Texas is well-positioned to comply, why couldn’t other states do the same? Read More
The oil and gas industry has been busy the last few years trying to respond to significant environmental concerns raised by an often skeptical public. While there have been noteworthy improvements in how industry conducts business and how regulators oversee this activity, more needs to be done to manage risks.
In an invited guest editorial in this month’s Journal of Petroleum Technology, EDF Senior Policy Director Scott Anderson offers our assessment of where efforts to protect water need to focus at this juncture. The editorial is re-posted with permission of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Read the full editorial here.
Image Source: Flickr user Jeremy Buckingham
Each month, the Energy Exchange rounds up a list of top clean energy conferences around the country. Our list includes conferences at which experts from the EDF Clean Energy Program will be speaking, plus additional events that we think our readers may benefit from marking on their calendars.
Top clean energy conferences featuring EDF experts in November:
November 3-5: European Utility Week (Vienna, Austria)
Speaker: Kate Zerrenner, Manager
- With two programs—the Strategic Conference Program and the free-to-attend Hub Sessions on the exhibition floor—as well as a multitude of new exhibition features, the event is a dynamic environment for the smart energy community to come together and thrash out which strategies will be the most effective or most affordable in the future.
November 6-7: Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (New Haven, CT)
Speaker: Fred Krupp, President
- How will our planet provide food, energy, and water for a growing population and as our climate changes? Can we develop more sustainable systems for producing and distributing food; drive towards lower carbon and GHG intensity in our economies; and effectively manage our increasingly scarce fresh water supplies and fragile ecosystems? How can efficiency and innovation help reduce our impact—while increasing our well-being? The Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (YESS) will engage University alumni, faculty, staff, and students—as well as outside experts, practitioners, and scholars—to tackle topics, including these, in the first annual conference of its kind at Yale. Fred is scheduled to deliver remarks during the conference dinner on Friday, Nov. 6. Read More