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Clean Energy Conference Roundup: August 2015

rp_Source-National-Retail-Federation-Flickr-300x2001.jpgEach 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.

 

 

 

 

August 4-6: 2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry (Buffalo, NY)

  • This year’s ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry will bring you the latest thinking on managing plant energy use, national energy policy, and industrial energy efficiency program administration. Session topics include Strategic Energy Management, Sustainability, Smart Manufacturing, Beyond Best Practices, Policy and Resource Planning, and Delivering Results.

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Hydraulic Fracturing and the EPA Water Study: Where Do We Go from Here?

804px-Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgIt’s been two months since EPA released its much anticipated draft report on hydraulic fracturing, and organizations like ours are busy preparing their official comments, which are due at the end of August.

But based on what we have learned so far and what has been written in the media, it’s important to spend some time on what the report said – and didn’t say – and what it all means.

“Is Fracking Safe?”

Scouring the EPA report for statements proving or disproving that hydraulic fracturing is safe will surely reveal both. It is true that water supplies have been contaminated by activities related to hydraulic fracturing. It is also true that the number of documented contamination events make up a small percentage of all wells. But “Is it safe?” is a red herring. Read More »

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Powering Texas: Big, Clean, Market-Driven Changes are Already Underfoot

By: Peter Sopher, policy analyst, clean energy, and Sarah Ryan, clean energy consultant

wind-364996_640 pixabayOver the past century, the electric grid in the United States has experienced only minor changes. There is evidence, however, the power sector is changing. We are moving away from traditional coal generation and toward alternative, cleaner energy sources. And despite our state being primarily known for oil and gas, Texas is no exception.

In fact, Texas’ electricity sector has been trending cleaner over the past decades, driven by deregulation of the electricity market, the development of the massive highway of transmission lines built to carry West Texas wind to cities throughout the state – the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ), and technological progress. Basically, once the market was opened up to competition, the more economic options – which also happen to be cleaner – began to gain a foothold. And there’s no stopping this train.

Where we are and where we’re going

To start, the declining use of fossil fuels to power our lives is perhaps the most significant change in Texas. As shown in Figure 1 below, fossil fuels’ (coal and gas’) proportion of the state’s electricity generation mix shrunk from 88 percent in 2002 to 82 percent in 2013. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Clean Power Plan, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy, Texas| Comments are closed

How Does the Investor Confidence Project Work? Check Out Our New Factsheet

By: Max Wycisk

ICP Logo newestThe Investor Confidence Project (ICP), Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) signature buildings efficiency finance program, is sometimes hard to explain in a nutshell. Ultimately, the program aims to create confidence among investors financing energy efficiency projects by standardizing how projects are designed and implemented across the commercial buildings sector. But how do we get from the origination of a project to a successful return on investment?

Our new ICP factsheet aims to answer this question and more. We’ve even developed this helpful infographic depicting a step-by-step process for using the ICP system: Read More »

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Oil & Gas Industry Mangles More Facts, Turns EDF Study Results Upside Down

Barnett graphic high res

Click to enlarge.

Here we go again.

A new set of peer-reviewed scientific papers pointing to 50 percent higher than estimated regional methane emissions from oil and gas operations in Texas were published this week. And like clockwork, the oil and gas industry’s public relations machine, Energy In Depth, proclaimed that rising emissions are actually falling, and that the industry’s meager voluntary efforts are responsible.

This is, of course, wrong on both counts. In fact, it’s a willful misrepresentation of the findings.

First, the assertion that emissions are going down is flat wrong. EPA’s latest inventory released in April reports that in 2013 the oil and gas industry released more than 7.3 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere from their operations—a three percent increase over 2012—making it the largest industrial source of methane pollution. So much for those voluntary efforts. Read More »

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The Common Goals of the Pope and Clean Energy

popemainPope Francis turned a keen eye toward the environment and the problem of climate change with his encyclical,“Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”), released yesterday. As a clean energy advocate, I’m heartened that Pope Francis recognizes the need to transform our energy system.

He writes not as a scientist or politician, but as a pastor and spiritual leader. He offers moral guidance rooted in an “integral ecology” based on fundamental Catholic teaching about care for all creation. And while we can and should measure, analyze, and debate climate change using the tools of science, we cannot hope to find adequate solutions without a shared moral understanding of what it means to take care of each other and the planet. That’s not just the Pope’s idea, either – that’s the argument of world renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs and others.

A leading voice without political boundaries, the Pope has the ability to reach people who previously could not or would not face the reality of climate change and, ultimately, inspire action. Read More »

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