Climate & Energy

Solar photovoltaic cells are quite eco-friendly, says research

Are photovoltaic cells truly easy on the earth when manufacturing is factored in? If the question’s been keeping you up at night, rest easy: According to a solar-cell life-cycle analysis to be published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, they are.

Large water utilities form climate alliance

Eight of the largest water agencies in the U.S. have formed the Water Utility Climate Alliance to strategize about dealing with climate change. Together, the eight members provide water to more than 36 million people, whose slaked thirst is endangered by “diminishing snowpack, bigger storms, more frequent drought, and rising sea levels,” according to WUCA Chair Susan Leal. sources:

Crock is as crock does

GM’s Lutz can think whatever he wants, but the record shows his actions hurt the climate fight

Yesterday, a post on the Wall Street Journal’s energy blog discussed the controversy over GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz calling global warming a “crock of shit.” It said: Some, like Wired and Grist, buy his argument: As long as GM keeps making progress toward electric cars and expanding the role of alternative fuels like ethanol, the auto maker is clearly blazing a new trail. This is a bad misreading of my point, which I probably didn’t make very clearly. I was only trying to say that Lutz has a right to whatever personal beliefs he chooses, up to and including …

South Fla. power outage

There’s seems to be some confusion out there about exactly what happened in South Florida today, but as far as I can tell, some power lines went out at a substation, which caused a nuclear plant to automatically shut down, which caused power outages for upwards of 3 million people. Nice grid. I liked this headline: "Nuclear plant shutdown stops Florida." Somebody crank Florida back up again! And also? The headline writers at DowJones need to talk to the reporters, because one or the other is confused. Headline: "Nuclear Plant Shutdown Causes Massive Florida Power Outages." First ‘graph: A problem …

Notable quotable

“I have the same feelings about wind as I had about the best oil field I ever found.” – financier and oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens

This sounds familiar

Clinton only candidate to appear at energy forum on Thurs.

The Greater Houston Partnership had planned a bigtime energy forum where all the presidential candidates would come and discuss America’s energy future. Only Clinton agreed to come. Despite that, it should be interesting. There will be lots of players from Big Oil & Gas there, and they want to hear about what they euphemistically call “short-term solutions,” i.e., um, oil and gas. Will Clinton elect to piss them off, or piss her green supporters off? Find out Thursday!


EU-27 emissions down 8 percent since 1990

The European Environment Agency (EEA) reports: Total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, excluding emission and removals from land-use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), decreased by 0.7% between 2004 and 2005 and by 7.9% between 1990 and 2005. Over the same period, 1990 to 2005, U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions are up an alarming 17 percent (PDF). The EEA report underscores a point I have made repeatedly -- the transportation sector remains the toughest nut to crack:

Notable quotable

“Anybody can talk and beat up coal: They don’t like it; it’s dirty; it does this and this. But I can assure you, they’re not going to turn their lights or their demand for energy off.” – Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia

A new marketplace for trading GHG permits

A chat with Philip V. Adams of the World Green Exchange auction system

Last week, World Energy Exchange, an online energy trading platform, officially launched a new marketplace for renewable-energy certificates and greenhouse-gas permits. The World Green Exchange employs an auction system -- think eBay -- to bring buyers and sellers together. In theory, auctions create a more transparent marketplace and drive out cost inefficiencies by directly connecting the buyer and seller and removing the middleman. Philip V. Adams. We caught up with World Energy President and COO Philip V. Adams last week to find out how the launch went and why he thinks WGE will stand out in an increasingly crowded field dominated by the Chicago Climate Exchange in the U.S. and European Climate Exchange and European Energy Exchange overseas. Grist: Congratulations on launching the World Green Exchange. I know it's only been up and running for a couple of days, but is it attracting users and working as you had hoped so far? How will you measure success longer term? Adams: Thank you. The World Green Exchange was formally launched last week, but in fact we have been conducting transactions on the platform for the past several months. We're a bit of a conservative firm, and took the view that we would have real client success in the marketplace before making an announcement of our capabilities. As we suspected, the auction approach is performing very well. In several transactions conducted to date, we have significantly bettered benchmark prices that were derived to our clients who were using brokers or bid-ask exchanges.

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