Author Archives: Silvio Marcacci

DOE Smart Grid Funds Created $6.8 Billion Economic Boost, 47,000 Jobs

May 3rd, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

An analysis from the US Department of Energy (DOE), “Economic Impact of Recovery Act Investment in the Smart Grid,” reports smart grid projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created nearly $7 billion total economic output, nearly 50,000 jobs, and over $1 billion in government tax revenue


Can Fossil Fuel Divestment Prevent The Carbon Bubble From Bursting?

April 26th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Could divestment, the same movement that brought down Apartheid, be the key to ending America's fossil fuel addiction and preventing the next great financial crisis? Activists at more than 400 colleges, cities and states, and religious institutions think the answer is yes - and San Francisco may have given the fossil fuel divestment campaign its biggest win to date.


North Carolina Notches A Win Against ALEC Anti-Renewables Effort

April 26th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Clean energy advocates in North Carolina have won a major battle in the opening stages of a nationwide fossil fuel-funded war against renewable energy standards in America. A bill that would have reduced (and ultimately ended) North Carolina’s system of renewable energy incentives was soundly defeated 18-13 in a state legislative committee this week


US Colleges Teach America How To Build A Clean Energy Future

April 25th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Climate issues are clearly important to today’s college students - in a 2013 Princeton Review survey, 62% of all college applicants said a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply or attend the school, and students have begun fossil fuel divestment movements at more than 300 colleges. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the heads of America’s colleges and universities are listening to their constituents and leading some of the most significant efforts today to transition to a sustainable future through the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)


Why Europe’s Carbon Market Collapse Won’t Kill Cap And Trade

April 19th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

For carbon markets across the world it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Plummeting European Union carbon prices following a key EU vote seem to demonstrate in the clearest terms that cap and trade is doomed to fail. But declaring the death of carbon markets and cap and trade policy over Europe’s struggles is a knee-jerk reaction which overlooks significant developments for carbon trading around the world – ones which could ultimately rescue the EU and cement cap and trade as a global climate change solution


Renewables, Efficiency Take Flight In US Air Force Energy Strategy

April 10th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Unstable global energy supplies and greatly reduced federal funding might be the two biggest threats facing the US Air Force – but it looks like clean energy technology is the solution to both. The USAF's Energy Strategic Plan outlines a major shift toward energy efficiency, renewables, distributed generation and microgrids, and green building to "actively seek solutions to the energy challenges that pose a threat to our operations."


Mushrooms Could Be Key To Safe And Natural Carbon Sequestration

April 4th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Mushrooms are one of the most powerful items in the Super Mario video game franchise, providing extra lives and making characters stronger. So wouldn’t it be great if real-life mushrooms could help the fight against climate change? Fortunately, a new study suggests mushrooms might be a natural key to removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and safely storing it in forests


Over 400 Microgrid Projects Underway En Route to $40 Billion Market

April 3rd, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Your first thought about microgrids might be that they’re only a tiny aspect of the overall energy system. But you’d be wrong – microgrids are an increasingly important factor for distributed generation, grid reliability, and the green economy. Two new reports from Navigant Research reveal more than 400 microgrid projects are currently under development worldwide, and forecast the global microgrid market will pass $40 billion in annual revenue by


Shared Renewables Could Supercharge California’s Clean Energy Economy

April 1st, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

California’s clean energy economy is already America’s largest, but two bills making their way through the state legislature could open access to renewables for millions of utility customers – without any subsidies. If passed, SB 43 and AB 104 would allow the 75% of California utility customers who can’t install their own on-site generation to subscribe to “shared” renewable energy projects of up to 20 megawatts (MW). Advocates say a 500MW shared renewables pilot program within the state’s three largest utility service territories would create 7,000 green jobs, earn $60 million in state sales tax revenue, generate $2 billion in economic activity, and voluntarily surpass the state’s 33% renewable portfolio standard


Fuggedaboudit: New Jersey Passes 1GW Solar Power Milestone

March 21st, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

This summer, the cast of Jersey Shore might find it easier to get a tan by leaning over the nearest solar photovoltaic panel instead of making an appointment at their favorite tanning salon. New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities announced this week the state has joined a prestigious renewable energy club, becoming the third US state to pass the 1-gigawatt (GW) mark in total installed solar capacity.


Energy Efficiency Cut 107TWh Of US Electricity Demand In 2011

March 6th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

A new analysis from the Edison Foundation reveals customer-funded energy efficiency programs saved 107 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2011. This staggering total was enough to power 9.3 million average US homes for a year, and prevented 75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions


China Atop Renewable Energy Ranks As Shale Gas Changes The Game

March 1st, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Stop me if you’ve heard this before – renewable energy technologies face global challenges from fossil fuels and a lack of public subsidies, but new financing mechanisms and government mandates may be key to their continued growth. What’s different now, according to Ernst & Young’s (E&Y) latest “Renewable energy country attractiveness indices,” is how shale gas development and crashing public financing are changing the way renewable energy is funded across the globe


Solar Energy Forecasts Could Boost Industry Outlook

February 28th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Intermittency may be the Achilles Heel of solar energy. Since the Sun doesn’t always shine and utility-scale energy storage isn’t available yet, grid operators have to rely on dispatchable generation like natural gas or when clouds cover up solar farms. But that may be about to change in a big way


Clean Energy Powers Up North Carolina’s Economy

February 21st, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

It may seem ironic for a state that enacted a ban on sea level rise, but renewables and energy efficiency have boosted North Carolina's economy by creating thousands of new jobs, saving millions of megawatt hours of energy, and generating billions in state revenue since


Washington DC Requires Commercial Buildings To Track Energy And Water Use

January 31st, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Washington DC just took another step toward its goal of becoming the greenest city in America, with a new requirement for all large commercial buildings to report energy and water use. As of April 1, 2013 all privately owned buildings over 100,000 square feet must benchmark their 2012 energy and water use to the District’s Department of the Environment and then continue reporting on an ongoing annual basis...


Major Price Drops Coming For Electric Vehicles

January 21st, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

Purchase prices for both top-selling electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, are set to plunge, potentially opening up emissions-free driving for a much wider class of drivers and turning a corner toward a sustainable transportation future



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