State of the utility consumer shows smart grid potential will go untapped without a new energy service model

There is progress but there is also a long way to go to engage consumers in Smart Grid apps and their benefits. In the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative’s 2012 “State of the Consumer Report,” released today, four fresh themes emerge. Each one, and the recurring themes, continue to wrestle with the reality that virtually all […]

How overturning conventional energy wisdom could resurrect real progress in climate talks

Ever since the Copenhagen round of global climate talks failed in 2009, there have been no shortage of prescriptions and declarations about what needs to change. The subsequent failures in Cancun in 2010 and Durban last year underscore the need for a new way of thinking. There is no denying the world  needs, and is […]

EDF’s on-bill repayment utility proposal could scale up distributed solar AND energy efficiency

The California Public Utility Commission is accepting comments through January 25 and holding workshops February 8-10 on a proposal by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to create the nation’s first statewide on-bill repayment (OBR) program for energy efficiency and solar energy upgrades to be financed entirely by third parties. The  “OBR” program as it’s becoming known […]

FAST FIX: Track current global greenhouse gas emissions here

Deutsche Bank’s DB Climate Change Advisors estimates the metric tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. You can find the current tally online here but also in New York City at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, outside Madison Square Garden and Penn Station (photo from late 2011).            

Smart grid apps poised to score energy savings on top of more-successful-than-expected efficiency programs

Early lessons from utilities deploying proactive smart grid programs with their customers point to potentially significant energy savings if consumers are engaged with targeted communications they find relevant to their values and lifestyles. When matched with stronger-than-expected gains being achieved through more traditional efficiency programs found in a report out this month by the Consortium […]

America, with Canada’s help, could be within 15 years of energy self-sufficiency — for liquid fuels

“Energy self-sufficiency” is not the same thing as the politically popular and wholly unrealistic notion of “energy independence”. But it might be doable by 2026 for the United States. So says the President and CEO of the the ‘Big Oil’ lobby, the American Petroleum Institute (API).  During his annual energy policy speech December 4, API […]

Rather than trying to match China on solar panel prices, U.S. should better incentivize domestic demand

Conversations with analysts and  advocates on both sides of SolarWorld’s anti-dumping suit against China lead me believe the U.S. cannot beat its communist counterparts on cost. What it CAN do is set policies that convince U.S. financiers that solar energy is worth investing in. This way, fresh capital can flow to U.S. companies so they […]