Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.
A plan to power Europe from Saharan solar plants seems to have stalled, but several large North African solar projects are still going ahead despite local concerns. Hamza Hamouchene asks: where did the Desertec project go wrong, and can desert solar power yet play a role in a democratic and sustainable future?
If you use social media, you may well have seen a graphic going around, showing a tiny square in the Sahara desert with the caption: ‘This much solar power in the Sahara would provide enough energy for the whole world!’
An energy revolution is breaking out in California and a few other states, one that could radically increase the amount of renewable energy available to citizens and end the tyranny of foot-dragging utilities. Outside of the rapidly falling costs of solar power, it’s just about my main source of domestic optimism these days.
During its first days in office, Syriza has taken actions that suggest it is willing to confront the EU’s neoliberal approach to energy and to embark on a new course. New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also stated his government will restore collective bargaining agreements and stop 300,000 planned layoffs.
Washington, DC – In a bold moment of non-violent coordinated efforts, 16 members of the climate, energy, environmental, social, and ecological justice community coalition Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) successfully disrupted the monthly “business-as-usual” Commissioner’s Meeting at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
A drastic fall in oil prices is having far-reaching consequences, reports Eric Ruder. AT BELOW $50 a barrel on January 7, the price of benchmark crude oil was well under half its high of $107.68 less than seven months before. The price plunge has been so rapid that even Wall Street's seasoned traders are alternately downing shots of whiskey and Pepto-Bismol--and that's before noon.
No matter what metric we use, the price of adapting to climate change and mitigating against it runs high. However, the cost of doing little to nothing runs even steeper and, unlike the apathetic approach, taking action comes with some significant economic benefits.
In order to build an adequate low-carbon 21st century energy system that scientists have said is necessary to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, a new report argues that the world must look beyond large-scale, centralized renewable projects—such as industrial solar and wind farms—and take up efforts to build more democratically-controlled and decentralized power grids.
Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy.
The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels. We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel— even a “green” fuel.