Climate & Energy

“Smart” appliances that talk to the grid are coming your way soon

Sure, it’s smart, but is it a good conversationalist?So the oven says to the refrigerator, “Don’t be so cold.” That line will soon be more than a bad joke. The Jetsons are coming to life as dishwashers, washing machines, and …

Sen. Alexander calls for 100 new nuke plants, won’t work with Dems on climate bill

Lamar Alexander unveils his plan.Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Monday called for 100 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years as the central element of a climate and energy plan that Republicans intend to introduce in the Senate. …

Twenty ideas that could save the world

Ask Chris Rapley, the ebullient physicist and director of the Science Museum in London, why he seems more sanguine about our prospects of taming climate change than many of his peers, and he’ll tell you about the day he first …

What the heck is CCS and can it really help fight climate change? An expert explains

Artist’s rendering of a power plant with CCS technology.Image: Prosjektlab/BellonaIt is conventional wisdom among People Who Matter that burning coal is going to continue, even accelerate, no matter what kind of legislation is passed or international agreements are forged. That’s …

San Francisco solar energy incentive program shines bright in first year

Last July, the City and County of San Francisco launched the first local solar energy incentive program in the nation. The results are in, and the program is an unequivocal success. In the year since our solar energy incentive program …

Green jobs: debunking the debunkers

Energy markets are neither free nor efficient, so traditional economic arguments against regulation and other government interventions do not apply.  In response to my recent article digging into green jobs, a reader sent me a copy of a March paper …

Will Senate leadership crack the whip on the climate bill?

In the weeks since the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, it’s become clear that the bill was approved only because of some serious arm-twisting by Democratic leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) personally badgered wavering Democrats, …

West Virginia redefines dirty energy as “alternative”

When you hear the phrase “alternative energy,” what comes to mind? Solar power? Wind? Hydroelectric? Not for West Virginia’s political leaders. They think a little differently. In the recent legislative session, Gov. Joe Manchin (D) championed and state lawmakers approved …

Proof of concept: Well-crafted standards spur innovation in lighting

There was an excellent article in the NY Times last Sunday, detailing the unexpected rise of super-efficient incandescent light bulbs as a result of the standard in the 2007 energy bill. The article quotes NRDC’s own lighting and electronics efficiency …