Archives for June, 2011

Comments Off on White House Timetable Slips for Solar Roof

Amid a surge of solar energy industry moves aimed at making installations faster, easier, and more affordable, one of the highest-profile rooftop projects is taking longer than hoped. The Obama administration missed its planned spring 2011 date for putting solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and a heating system atop the White House—an effort meant to boost…

Comments Off on On Energy, Can We Please Sweat the Small Stuff?

Is it time for a sidestep on the energy debate? The current argument over climate change seems to be going nowhere fast. Republicans, at least some of the presidential contenders, seem less and less likely to take it as a serious issue. Democrats and environmentalists are still unable to push big ideas, like a cap-and-trade…

Perhaps there wasn’t the same fanfare that greeted the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927, but a corporate jet today completed a trans-Atlantic flight that is an important first in the effort to reduce aviation’s dependence on petroleum. A Honeywell-operated Gulfstream G450 that took off Friday night from an airfield in Morristown, New Jersey and…

Comments Off on A Standard for Those Who Keep the Standards

Just as the traditional news media began its current freefall of layoffs, staff cuts, closures, and substitution of ideology for journalism, The New York Times, thank goodness, decided to double down on good (albeit not perfect) journalism. That’s why it’s baffling to see a dirty energy front group operative, Robert Bryce, getting a seat last…

Comments Off on Intern Season

I love this time of year. With another school year coming to an end, the new crop of interns has again arrived at the Pace Global. It is instructive to watch as they adapt their living habits and work behavior from the academic world to that of a bustling business office. For me, they provide…

While we debate about building new nukes, waste builds — and builds up — at the ones we already have. The tsunami-induced nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has sparked renewed debate about nuclear power’s future. Countries such as Germany and Switzerland have decided the risk ain’t worth the juice and have announced…

Comments Off on The Problem of Prosperity: Carbon Emissions Back on the Rise

Twenty years ago, when Bill Clinton was first running for president, his political adviser James Carville used to respond to questions about the issues in the campaign by saying, “it’s the economy, stupid.” The “stupid” was a little gratuitous. But the point – that the economy is everything in American politics – still holds true,…

The final day of the Aspen Environment Forum opened with a session entitled “Rio + 20 and the Making of a Global Green Economy,” (see video) which looked ahead to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development set for June of next year in Brazil. Panelists discussed the prospects for that conference and what needs…

Comments Off on Why Policy Changes in Germany and Italy Are Good for the Future of Renewable Energy

For the past two months, solar industry analysts have been glued to an Italian soap opera as the government repeatedly flip-flopped on its Feed-In Tariff (FiT) policy, a controversial tool that European governments have used to promote the rapid adoption of renewable energy through direct incentives. Conflicting reports made it very difficult to determine what…

Comments Off on Natural gas environmental impact tied to economics

Folks have lots of questions to ask about the environmental impact of natural gas fracking, but the more important questions to ask may have to do with the economics. Ultimately, the two lines of questioning are intertwined. (Related: “The Great Shale Gas Rush”) I reached out on Twitter for questions yesterday before I moderated a…