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Dave’s Top 10 Cleantech & Energy Stories From Last Month

As part of staying current, literally hundreds of clean energy articles are reviewed each month. Thank you, Google. Dozens of relevant stories are found and reported to my network at month’s end and could be sent to you at your request. Some of these leap out, to me anyway, as significant to a wider cleantech audience. By this I mean, both clean (renewable) energy generation as well as conservation, globally. These news tips have been condensed here and formatted as an admittedly plagiarized “Dave’s Top 10” list. Here they are in reverse order:

ecofys-world-ghg-emissions-flowchart-1024x991

10. A chart of charts showing percentages of where GHG emissions originate — as of 2010 — both from mineral and industrial sources.

While all sources have potential for mitigation, biggest challenge will be coal that serves industry.

9. New Pike study of the Home Energy Management System (HEMS) business, estimates by 2020 there will be 40 million homes with HEMS installed.

Due to proliferation of wireless EMS equipment, compatibility with new phones, increasing awareness, and savviness of consumers, HEMS’s are set to boom. A recent report estimates 16% of homeowners now plan to purchase home EMS systems.

8. LMC consultant estimates internal combustion engines will still dominate transportation in 2025 (at 84% vs. today’s 97%). However, alternatives will continue to grow

Projections for 2025 include natural gas & flex-fuel vehicles (6.5%), hybrid (6%), battery-only (3%), and fuel cell (0.5%) vehicles. A wide variety of hybrid formats are in development, including: gas-battery (Prius), battery-assisted gas engine (Insight), gas-assisted battery (Volt), flywheel (Volvo), etc. Notably, others have projections for a much greater number of fully electric vehicles, while others have higher projections of natural gas vehicles, etc. It depends on who you ask.

7. The CBO makes an economic case for taxing carbon

However, political headwinds continue making it unlikely.

6. Good news about the US reducing its GHG emissions by 4.2% 2000 to 2010.

However, more curious is how CA (the lowest user of coal for electricity generation) has reduced its emissions by only 3% since 2000. A parallel report for Europe shows reduction of GHG emissions by 3.3% vs. 1990 — UK down 7%, owing (they say) to a milder winter.

5. EPA released new report identifying five reasons why it’s important to reduce “fugitive” (leaking) methane from natural gas production… 

… not the least of which is that methane is 20-25 times more potent as a contributor to global warming vs. CO2. And natural gas is 80% methane!

4. AP article about how fracking has dramatically increased the availability of not only natural gas, but also domestic oil.

Fracking has stimulated such a boom that it challenges development of — and investment in — alternative (clean) fuels.

3. US House bill HR1959 proposes to amend the Clean Air Act and the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) by allowing natural gas as well as corn, switch grass and other biofuels to meet quantity requirements.

If natural gas is included, this could dramatically change the ethanol business.

2. Experts are going out on a limb about the future of alternative fuels.

More and more experts are saying that ethanol, and especially E15, is not as promising as natural gas (and its derivations) or electricity (for EV’s) for transportation use.

Dave’s Top news story (my opinion) from May:

1. China, the world’s largest GHG polluter (25% of world total vs. US 2nd place at 18%), finally announced plans to curtail GHG emissions.

While not stating a timetable of exact amounts, the announcement is a key step in reconciling “who goes first” and may be a turning point in setting global GHG standards at the next climate change summit in Paris 2015. So far, the US has not committed to strong cuts “due to” China’s reticence.

 
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is a marketing consultant to renewable energy startups.

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