Bill Gates, in an interview with The Atlantic, reminded us that if Thomas Edison were alive today, he’d probably recognize a lot of our energy infrastructure – batteries and most coal plants, for example. Gates argued in the interview that we need to drastically speed up the pace of innovation to bring our energy infrastructure out of the Victorian era. But how do we change how we make and use energy? It touches everything we do, but in less than a decade we will be living, working, and traveling differently.
That’s where I –and EDF – come in. I joined EDF this fall after working as a lawyer, consultant and accelerator for business-social collaborations, and I’ve found that it takes all kinds of skills and experiences to set ambitious targets and turn the impossible into the inevitable. From energy retrofits for churches to starting a clean energy incubator with global energy companies, I’ve attacked the challenge of achieving a low-carbon future from many angles. I’ve been drawing on all of that experience since joining EDF, at what’s proving to be an exciting time for climate change leadership. 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
A growing chorus of voices from across the West is voicing its support for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to address oil and gas methane emissions and waste on public and tribal-owned lands.
New rules currently being considered by the Department of the Interior will help address the more than $300 million worth of gas wasted by the oil and gas industry each year on these lands. By keeping gas in the pipe and out of the air they will also help states and tribal communities realize additional tax and royalty payments that are crucial for investment in the educational, health care and infrastructure needs. It’s why so many communities are encouraging BLM to move forward with strong policies aimed at reducing the waste of this resource.
On October 19, two former BLM directors sent a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget calling for tough new rules on methane emissions. Bob Abbey and Mike Dombeck wrote that the rule would curb natural gas waste and generate welcome revenue for state and tribal governments. They applauded BLM’s leadership to address the problem, noting the Bureau “has the obligation to the American taxpayer to minimize the waste of public resources and avoid harm to public health and the environment.” Read More
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
What a difference a year can make. Even before the last weeks tick away, 2015 stands out as a remarkable and dynamic year for climate and energy in the United States.
Read on for five bold trends that are beginning to reshape our economy – and our national discourse on climate change.
1. Investments in renewables soar
I admit it: For years, I thought renewable energy was more hype than reality. I’m happy to report that recent data proves me wrong.
In just five years, solar panel prices have fallen 80 percent, and solar capacity installed worldwide grew more than six-fold. The overall cost of solar per kilowatt-hour, meanwhile, plummeted 50 percent.
For the first time in history, energy from the sun is as cheap as traditional energy in states such as Arizona, California and Texas.
The proof is in the pudding. Apple, for example, recently signed an $848-million power agreement with a solar provider – bypassing the electric grid. A deal of this magnitude shows where solar is today, and where it is headed. Read More
Over the next four years, Texas’ energy landscape will change dramatically. For example, throughout the 630-mile, nine-hour drive from Denton, Texas to El Paso, rolling hills will dominate the horizon and aromas from pastures and barbeque pits will waft through windows, as they have for the past hundred years. What will have a far less prominent role, however, are coal-fired power plants.
That’s because there seems to be a domino effect occurring in Texas: more and more cities are turning to affordable, renewable energy to power their needs.
Denton, Georgetown, and other Texas clean energy pioneer cities
Earlier this month, the municipal electric utility that serves Denton, a North Texas city of 130,000 people, announced plans to get an impressive 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2019. That’s well above the 10 percent Texas currently receives from renewables (on average). Read More