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Energy Storage: Coal Mines, Molten Salt, and Flow Batteries

6.6.17 | Energy Storage, New Technology

Renewables such as wind and solar power, can only generate power when the wind blows or the sun shines, and finding storage for the excess energy renewables produce has been on the rise. Potential has been found in isolated coal mines by using a new type of compressed air energy storage (CAES) process. Using a chamber that can withstand high pressures, coal mines are said to be more affordable and more accessible CAES than other forms of energy storage. More on the topic of CAES can be found here.  Salt that is heated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, has been another solution for energy storage for the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant. The heated salt, which turns into a molten hot liquid, is used to power a generator that produces electricity for up to 10 hours. Read the story on NPR here. Harvard University researcher, Michael Aziz, and his colleagues designed a flow battery, developed to store the oversupply of energy during peak periods and provide homes with electricity during  off-hours. More on the breakthroughs of their research can be found here.

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Commissioning, Retro-Commissioning, and Continuous Commissioning: A Guide to Cost Savings

6.6.17 | Commissioning

Commissioning, retro-commissioning and continuous commissioning are services the Stone House Group provides that involve supervising the installation of mechanical or electrical systems to new or existing construction projects, and resolving operating problems within these systems. Building commissioning provides buildings with added benefits such as improved energy efficiency of systems, building performance, and up to 15% on overall energy savings. For more on cost savings for retro commissioning click here. Understanding which type of commissioning your building needs and the cost savings associated with it could help decide which type of commissioning is a best fit for a project.  To learn more about the commissioning process go here. You can find more on commissioning and quality assurance here.

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The Carbon Movement

6.6.17 | Changing Policy, Energy Costs

Carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system are two incentives that could create a shift in businesses, households and industry to increase demand for green solutions. These practices aren’t new to our society. The United Kingdom, as well as Sweden and parts of Canada, have adopted carbon taxation and saw a reduction in CO2 emissions. More about carbon tax and the cap-and-trade system can be found here. In the article, Carbon taxation 101: Is using the price signal a good way to help with global warming? Or will pigs fly first?, LinkedIn Influencer, Scott Nyquist, discusses the history, pros, cons, and prospects of carbon taxation and cap-and-trade in the United States as a remedy to reducing emissions from electricity generation. While investigating the likelihood of a carbon tax being adapted by todays American society, Nyquist points out the growing acceptance for the carbon tax ideology and the potential for states to take the initiative, including the PJM Interconnection. Read more about it here.

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Energy Forecast: Oil prices expected to rise in the future

6.6.17 | Changing Policy, Energy Pricing

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts a rise in oil prices in the future. Predictions from the EIA for 2018 can be found here. The Worldwatch Institute validated these claims globally, stating that despite higher oil prices, the demand for oil is expected to rise beyond the amount that can be supplied, creating more room for renewable energy to grow. More information can be found here. In the article, Oil Prices: What to Make of the Volatility, Clifford Krauss discusses projections for oil prices in the future, who is benefitting and losing from the rise in prices, and the impact on prices from the OPEC and Trump Administration. Krauss’ article can be found here.

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Podcast: REC or Wreck? Making GHG Accounting Sense of Green Power Claims, Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting, RECs and Offsets

In the podcast, Michael Gillenwater discusses RECs and how they differ from true Carbon Offsets, like VER’s (verified emissions reductions). Dr. Gillenwater is a leading expert on climate change and renewable energy, with a specific focus on greenhouse gas measurement, reporting, and verification issues. Listen to the podcast here.

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Clean Air-Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting

Clean Air-Cool Planet’s Campus Carbon Calculator User Guide can be found on University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability website here. This guide can assist those using the Campus Carbon Calculator to understand Greenhouse Gas Accounting concepts (such as biogenic emissions of carbon and the nuances of reporting CO2 emissions from biogenic sources), enter and track greenhouse gas emissions data, understand the outputs of the calculator and ideas to set Climate Action Plan goals.

 

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EPA: Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting

November 2014 Report from the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation and Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division assessing the extent to which the production, processing, and use of biogenic material at stationary sources results in a net atmospheric contribution of biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Read the full report on the EPA’s website here.

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EPA 2011 Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting

The 2011 Report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Atmospheric Program on Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2 emissions from stationary sources. The full report can be found on the EPA website here.

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IPCC, 5th Assessment Report and Synthesis Report

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting

The full Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2014 Synthesis Report (SYR) can be found on the IPCC website here.

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Second Nature: Carbon Management & Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies

2.16.17 | Greenhouse Gas Accounting

Second Nature provides a resource for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Included in the multi-part article are alternatives to burning fossil fuels, such as biomass, landfill gas (methane), renewable energy technologies and solar options. Read more on the topic from Second Nature here.

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