The unintended consequences of energy policy have been the focus of widespread public discussion in recent years, with everything from solar bankruptcies to the ethanol business coming under fire for receiving government funding that critics said makes the energy source a source of disruption in markets.
The unintended consequences can filter into unlikely areas, with rising costs for inputs into government-mandated fuels driving up costs to competing industries and contributing to the breakdown of established supply chains. The analysts at Smarter Fuel Future, an advocacy group that counts the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers among its members, have laid out some of the unintended consequences they say Americans face as part of the country’s efforts to comply with the 2007-era Renewable Fuel Standard. Keep reading →
Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner is an expensive operation that is almost universally observed across the United States, and a consortium of companies and groups concerned about the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on the US economy sees this year’s Thanksgiving as an ideal opportunity to note what it says will be an increase in the cost of a high-profile family event.
The group has issued an infographic detailing the increased costs it says could result from the RFS policies. The full infographic can be downloaded on the Smarter Fuel Future website here. Keep reading →
The Bakken Shale has already had a transformational impact on its region, with the lightly populated part of North Dakota experiencing an employment boom alongside serious strains on its infrastructure.
This infographic, pulled together by energy publishers Hart Energy, focuses more on what is next for the Bakken region and for the US as the possible further expansion of drilling for its oil and gas resources becomes a central component of the national conversation about energy independence, jobs in the oil and gas sector, and environmental tradeoffs. Keep reading →
During this year’s presidential campaign, the renewable energy industry and the tax credits that support it receives have become a hot political topic.
Renewable energy enjoys broad support in the US where people expect the government to support emerging clean power technologies and the 2012 Global Consumer Wind Study would make useful reading for both candidates. Keep reading →
Quantifying the cost of a dollar saved is a notoriously difficult economic exercise.
Taking existing circumstances and simply drawing out the trend lines is the easiest kind of forecasting; figuring out how far that projected reality is from the alternate potential realities of changed circumstances is the difficult part. Keep reading →
The International CES features cutting-edge technologies for an influential audience, so it makes sense that it would also feature some of the most aggressive energy efficiency and cleantech investing for an event of its scale in the US.
Smart grid and smart meter products that leverage the power of the internet to automate energy efficiency on devices and in buildings is the logical next step of communications technology, AlertMe CEO Mary Turner told Breaking Energy from the floor of the CES this week. The link between communications technology developments and energy research continues to grow stronger, and the efforts of CES organizers to demonstrate their energy efficiency and cleantech credentials further underlines the trend. Keep reading →
Nuclear power has more than just an image problem.
With huge up front development costs, it is increasingly seen as dangerous and governments are responding to people’s fears by closing plants, blocking new construction and even halting reactor construction mid way. In its latest Vital Signs Online (VSO) report, Washington DC-based think tank Worldwatch Institute documented the numbers for falling nuclear power usage across the globe. Keep reading →
While solar critics decry the intermittent nature of photovoltaic technology that can capture the sun’s light and turn it into electricity only when its sunny, developers have been busy finding ways to store the sun’s power even overnight.
By using molten salts in its water tower, California-based solar company, BrightSource Energy, has developed a method to store overnight energy collected during the day by its concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. In late November, the company announced that it will be including its SolarPLUS thermal energy storage technology to several of its CSP plants. Keep reading →
Hydropower is probably the most invisible of the generation sources in the US. It does not have a smokestack, is defined by its reliability and creates none of the emissions that hamper expansions at traditional fossil-fueled generators.
And although in the American mind hydropower is defined by enormous projects like the Hoover Dam, much of the hydropower in the US is actually much smaller in scale, making debates over wild species migration and the filling of valleys applicable only to a much smaller number of projects. Keep reading →
In its recent International Energy Outlook 2011, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that global energy consumption would grow 53% from 2008 to 2035, with about half of that demand coming from rapidly-developing economies like China and India.
This AOL Energy infographic breaks down some of the most relevant numbers, which show electrical generation far exceeding consumption, particularly in non-OECD countries, as natural gas production grows significantly in the United States and nuclear power generation increases significantly in China and India. Keep reading →