Here’s a cross-section of the energy conversations that took center stage last week:
The White House carried President Obama’s State of the Union address, during which climate change figured prominently.
The New York Times asked, “Could Wind Power Cool New England’s Price Fever?” A spike in electricity prices in New England due to high heating demand and rising natural gas prices prompted the story.
GreentechMedia reported that a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy found that the energy intensity of commercial buildings has dropped 40 percent since 1980. Meanwhile, another GreentechMedia story noted that the growing size of new U.S. homes is cutting into residential efficiency gains.
The Guardian ran a story about a new hypothetical U.S. high-speed rail system.
ClimateProgress reported that the Kansas legislature is considering legislation that would roll back the state’s renewable energy standard.
Greenbiz reported on Microsoft’s internal carbon pricing initiative.
The New York Times reported that President Obama’s State of the Union speech included a proposed “Energy Security Trust,” which would find alternatives to the United States’ oil dependence financed with revenue from federal oil and gas royalties.
The European Photovoltaic Industry Association reported that global solar PV installations have surpassed 100 GW.
Greenbiz released its sixth annual “State of Green Business” report.
Inside Climate News reported that tougher standards for the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade system would drastically limit power plant carbon emissions and funnel some $2.2 billion to the states, much of that money earmarked for clean energy.
The New York Times ran a story about EV charging infrastructure and “a cure for range anxiety.”
ClimateProgress wrote about why gasoline prices remain high despite an oil boom.
The Urban Green Council, a New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, released its latest research report, “90 by 50,” highlighting ways New York City can reduce its carbon footprint 90 percent by 2050.
AutoblogGreen reported that New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg laid out a goal to add 10,000 parking spaces dedicated for EVs, with 2,000 of those spots offering charging stations.
The Rhodium Group wrote that, despite declining U.S. carbon emissions, coal has made a recent comeback against natural gas.
Grist reported that Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced new “fee and dividend” legislation, the Climate Protection Act of 2013.
ClimateProgress reported that total global installed wind capacity reached 282 GW last year, up 20 percent from 2011.
FuelFix reported that one third of North Dakota’s natural gas has been burned off, or “flared,” in the last five years.
Green Car Reports cited U.S. DOE figures noting that gasoline prices are expected to fall in the next two years, partly the result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency.
Grist reported that the U.S. Government Accountability Office added climate change to its list of fiscal risks to the federal government.
ClimateProgress shared highlights from the House testimony of the Center for American Progress’s Daniel Weiss about the external costs of fossil fuel-generated energy.
AutoblogGreen reported that Nissan’s LEAF topped 50,000 sales worldwide.
Gas pump image courtesy of shutterstock.com.