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Video: IMF First Deputy Managing Director on "Energy Subsidy Reform - Lessons and Implications"

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is out with an important new study, which provides "the most comprehensive estimates of energy subsidies currently available for 176 countries," along with "an analysis of 'how to do' energy subsidy reform, drawing on insights from 22 country case studies undertaken by IMF staff and analyses carried out by other institutions." One key takeaway from the IMF report is the staggering size of global fossil fuel subsidies: $1.9 trillion, counting both direct subsidies and also "negative externalities from energy consumption," in 2011 alone. However, as David Roberts of Grist helpfully points out, the IMF estimates of fossil fuel subsidies are almost certainly too low, given the IMF's significant underestimate of the "social cost of capital." According to Roberts:

Research Suggests Marketing Clean Energy in the US Should Emphasize Individual Liberty

For anyone concerned with the optimal approaches to marketing cleantech - as well as approaches to avoid - a story which appeared yesterday on NPR is well worth passing along. First, a few highlights from the story.

Topics: Marketing & Communications

Flowchart: Do You Support Clean Energy?

New Guide Highlights "Compelling Reasons" to Develop Concentrated Solar Power (CSP)

A while back, we interviewed Belen Gallego, Founder & Director at CSP Today and PV Insider, on the future of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).  Now, researchers at CSP Today have completed a guide to CSP's current role and future potential in the US energy mix. According to lead researcher Jack Ahearne, "there are a number of compelling reasons why it makes sense for the US to pursue leadership in the development of CSP," and “the new CSP Today guide puts these reasons into context by highlighting the unique benefits that CSP can offer the US energy market for years to come”.  Please click here to view the guide.  Also see below for a few highlights:

Suntech Defaults on $541 Million Bond Payment


New Study: Could Online Incivility Be Hurting Clean Energy?

A new study finds that while online communications - social media, blogs, etc. - have "the potential to enrich public deliberation," a major potential downside is that "online incivility may impede this democratic goal." The study's authors specifically looked at a "neutral" blog post on nanotechnology -- an "emerging technology" that is unfamiliar to most people. What the authors found is that there is a "significant interaction" between online incivility and risk perceptions depending on levels of familiarity with nanotechnology. Specifically, the authors found that "[w]hen exposed to uncivil comments, those who have higher levels of support for nanotechnology were more likely to report lower levels of risk perception and those with low levels of support were more likely to report higher levels of risk perception."

Guardian: New Study Finds that Anti-Wind-Power Lobby's Lies Make People Sick

You almost have to laugh at this news, except when you consider how much harm these anti-wind-power propagandists have caused.

I3 Detects Possible Bump in Early-Stage Cleantech Investments

Courtesy of its email newsletter, here's some potentially promising news from Cleantech Group's I3, "the sector's leading market intelligence product providing insight into innovation."

Why Would Governments Favor Expensive Nuclear Power Over Competitive Clean Energy?

Yet another example of sub-optimal energy policy, this time at the state level.

Oil Industry Spends Taxpayer Money to Convince Lawmakers to Keep Up the Flow of Taxpayer Money

You've got to love it when oil companies spend our tax money to defend their welfare bum status.

Did State Department Approach Its Keystone Analysis Completely Backwards?

In its recent analysis of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, did the U.S. State Department get it completely backwards? That's what this analysis at InsideClimate News argues, and we're inclined  to agree.

Clean Edge: "Global Clean Energy Market Values Set To Nearly Double From 2012 To 2022"

Great news, per CleanTechnica:

If You Missed the Solar Market Insight 2012 "Google Hangout," Here's a Quick Recap

The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)'s and GTM Research's "Google Hangout" on their new Solar Market Insight 2012 report just ended, and it was highly informative. If you missed it, here's a quick recap.

More Signs of a Bright Outlook for Solar Power

More signs of a continued bright future for solar power.

Grover Norquist Once Again Does Bidding of Koch-backed Clients

Grover Norquist's dirty energy and Koch-backed clients must have talked him out of the ideological sensible position and back to doing their bidding. He's now opposed to a carbon tax, after earlier supporting one. Is anyone surprised?

Wind Power Boom Benefits Consumers, Undercuts Coal and Nuclear

As wind power continues its rapid growth in the United States, the affects on power markets are being felt in a variety of ways. Three of those are discussed in a new article by Bloomberg.

Federal Austerity Push Preventing Crucial Energy Efficiency Push?

Is the push for austerity at the federal level hurting our country's crucial need to push all-out on the energy efficiency front?  Based on this article, it sure seems that way:

Fracking Sucks Up Huge Volumes of Scarce Water: “We just can’t sustain it"

There are numerous reasons why we should proceed with caution when it comes to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), ranging from potential contamination of aquifers to questionable economics. Now, a new New York Times article highlights another great reason to slow down.

I'm Typing This as I Multitask on Three Other Thinks...Er, Things

As the title demonstrates, multitasking may be something our culture admires, but it can also lead to mistakes.  Ragan Public Relations explains.

It's Time for the Media to Crank UP Its Energy and Climate Coverage, Not Cut It Back

For a number of important reasons - economic, environmental, strategic - it's clear that energy is one of the most important, urgent topics of the day.  It's also a fascinating, fun topic to talk about, with the price of clean energy plummeting, with massive investment pouring into the sector, with tremendous opportunity for profit, and with stunning technological breakthroughs being reported on a regular basis. For all these reasons, one would think that the media in general, and our leading newspapers in particular, would be sharply ramping up coverage of energy and energy-related economic, environmental, and strategic issues.

"Smiley Faces" Take On the Problem of Energy Efficiency Not Being "Sexy" Enough

We've written previously about how energy efficiency makes a tremendous amount of sense, both economically and environmentally, yet many people continue to view it as an "eat your peas" technology or as not "sexy".  That's unfortunate, because as Jennifer Layke of the Johnson Controls-funded Institute for Building Efficiency (IBE) has explained, the potential from energy efficiency is enormous. The question is, how do we overcome the psychological barriers standing in the way of achieving this potential?  According to this article in Slate, we may now have an important part of the answer - "smiley faces and peer pressure."