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Feb 6, 2013

Energy News: The Week in Review (Jan. 28, 2013)

 

Steven ChuHere’s a cross-section of the energy conversations that took center stage last week:

The U.S. DOE reported that Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will resign at the end of his first term.

After a federal court threw out the EPA’s cellulosic biofuels mandate, the New York Times reported that the EPA has come back with proposed new standards for cellulosics, biodiesel, and other advanced biofuels.

The Guardian reported that, starting July 1, France will require shops and offices to turn off their lights overnight. The move is expected to reduce light pollution, save 250,000 tonnes of CO2, and save enough energy to power 750,000 French households for an entire year.

National Geographic reported that world water demand for energy production is expected to double within the next 25 years, according to an International Energy Agency forecast.

Grist offered its perspective on the future of driverless cars.

The New York Times noted that Secretary of Energy Steven Chu shared his thoughts for what it would take to make EVs a mass-market product at the Washington Auto Show.

The Telegraph reported that U.K. officials suspect sabotage in the case of two wind turbines that toppled less than 20 miles from each other in winds less than half their rated strength.

Grist reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proposes cutting $4 billion in oil subsidies.

AutoblogGreen noted that some companies are exploring kits that turn EVs and hybrids into backup generators for homes in the event of a power outage.

Greenbiz reported that Honeywell and Opower have unveiled a trial program with PG&E to engage homeowners with energy efficiency and demand response via a cloud-connected thermostat.

The Guardian noted that, thanks largely to the deployment of energy efficiency and a doubling of renewables capacity in the last five years, U.S. carbon emissions have fallen to their lowest levels since 1994.

Clean Technica reported that Washington, D.C. is now requiring large commercial buildings to track and report their annual energy and water use, which will be made publicly available and compared to a 2012 baseline.

Greentech Media reported that a new solar power purchase agreement in New Mexico clocked in at a dirt cheap 5.79 cents per kWh.

The New York Times reported that the City of Sacramento has moved forward with a new initiative, Clean Energy Sacramento, which will allow owners of homes and commercial buildings to incur no upfront costs for energy-saving upgrades. The Property Assessed Clean Energy financing will be paid back in installments on property tax bills.

NRDC’s Switchboard featured a story about how decoupling is transforming the utility industry.

A new report from the World Future Council examined the cost of not using renewables.

AutoblogGreen reported that Toyota is recycling old hybrid batteries and turning them into energy-storage systems for dealers as part of a green push to reduce energy consumption and costs.

The New York Times reported that nuclear opponents are arguing that its risks of financial default are too high, and that the federal government should revise or abandon loan guarantees.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that renewables, energy efficiency, and natural gas are transforming the U.S. energy landscape.

The U.S. EIA reported that China now accounts for nearly half of global coal consumption.

Grist ran an “electric car manifesto” that offered insight into the camaraderie and tribe of EV owners.

Greentech Media reported that delays in issuing energy efficiency standards for appliances and other equipment cost American consumers $300 million per month in lost energy savings, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Quartz asked if “peak car” is already happening in some countries, noting a decline in total vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. in recent years despite an increasing population.

Greenbiz ran a story about how Ocean Spray reduced its shipping emissions by 20 percent while also cutting costs for the freight route by 40 percent.

AutoblogGreen reported that Germany may hit one million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2020.

Recommended Reading

Image courtesy U.S. DOE. 

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