This is the inaugural issue of my biweekly hand-picked/curated newsletter tracking significant global energy trends - including (but not limited to) distributed, cleaner, smarter, and more collaborative energy.
- World Energy Outlook 2012 released The IEA's flagship annual publication is out; the executive summary is free, but the book is not. I plan to do a review of this later.
- A Billion People in the Dark MIT's Technology Review covers the potential of microgrids to bring light and power to the billion+ of humanity living off-grid.
- Global Oil Production is Surging: Implications for Prices, Geopolitics, and the Environment A report from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on a key energy trend this decade: the rapid rise of unconventional oil supply. Not a good thing for the environment; one necessity is to fully account for pollution and carbon.
- Wind farm O&M costs plummeting per BNEF's twice yearly report on the topic. From 2008 to 2012, cumulative decrease of 38%, or 11%/year; US pricing most competitive; UK, EE least. Best firms: Enercon, Siemens, Vestas.
- New rating system for solar hardware As the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry matures, product quality will need to improve and meet objective standards; this new service is a step in that direction.
- State Clean Energy Finance Banks A report by the Brookings Inst. looks at US state-level financial innovation for clean energy projects.
- Feed-In-Tariffs beat quota systems such as Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), according to the German renewable energy agency; Germany is the world leader in transitioning a highly advanced economy to renewable energy, and it's far from tree-huggers leading the way there. The same FITs-are-best lesson is echoed in this short comparison of US and German solar incentives.
- Global Inventory and Analysis of Smart Grid Demonstration Projects This report examines 47 SG projects worldwide, and has interesting regional comparisons across technology, policy, and social aspects.
- An Electricity eBay Framework Takes Shape in Europe describes the PowerMatchingCity pilot project in Groningen, the Netherlands for a local, peer-to-peer energy marketplace between smart energy devices.
- Unlocking Africa's Renewable Energy Potential An overview of renewables in Africa; so far, the problems outstrip that continent's potential.
- Great Strides in Solar: Preventing Fraud and Abuse and Tresury Dept. Fingers Solarcity in Exploration of the Dark Underbelly of Solar Leasing Like any rapidly growing industry, fraud is appearing in solar - these two articles describe how, and what's being done about it.
- What Obama's Reelection Means for Coal, Climate Change, and America's Energy Future A short op-ed piece by the Sierra Club.
- Solar Investing Made Easy? A brief case study of community funding of a solar power project, a financing model that may accelerate.
- Pressure is mounting to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC); investors and even conservative-led state politicians are now banging the table for it.
- China Energy Outlook: An Inside Look at Chinese Energy Thinking The OilDrum.com takes a look at the new report by the Chinese government on global energy, meant to compete with the IEA's WEO and US EIA's IEO reports.
- UK Reports Major Renewable Energy Advancements in 2012 Despite some misgivings about wind turbines impacting the landscape, the UK public generally wants more renewable power.
- The latest science from Europe on fracking highlights a German government report on hydrofracking for gas/oil (released in September); here and elsewhere, the EU is being much more cautious on the technology than the USA.
- Germany's energy future By Paul-Frederik Bach; a new report on Germany's mostly-renewable future power system.
- Desertec's Promise of Solar Power for Europe Fades highlights dwindling/missing funding and political support for powering Europe from massive solar thermal plants in North Africa.
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