Sarah Lippincott, on 3/31/16 6:00 AM5 min. read
It seems like an eternity, but actually it was only two years ago that crude oil prices were hovering around $100 per barrel. Today, crude oil prices are around $40 per barrel, after rebounding from a low point of under $30 per barrel earlier this year. Given such low oil prices, one would think that the clean energy industry might be having a hard time maintaining its enormous momentum. Yet here we are, with oil prices -- and natural gas prices as well -- at their lowest levels in years, but with wind, solar and other clean energy sources not just holding their own but thriving. A few recent data points highlight what we're talking about.
Lowell F., on 3/29/16 8:13 AM2 min. read
As renewable power sources scale up, energy storage technologies are also likely to grow rapidly. In fact, as Greentech Media (GTM) reported recently, we're already seeing that happen, with the U.S. energy storage market expanding 243% in 2015, and with the U.S. energy storage market expected "to reach 1.7 gigawatts by 2020—with a value of $2.5 billion." According to GTM, "With exponential growth predicted over the next couple of years, energy storage solutions will deliver smarter, more dynamic energy services, address peak demand challenges and enable the expanded use of renewable generation like wind and solar." And as energy storage scales up, the cost is falling fast, with GTM projecting that the "cost of installing energy-storage systems is expected to decline 41 percent over the next five years as key components get cheaper."
From time to time, guest bloggers will contribute posts to Scaling Green, offering a practical take on the science of climate change, energy and environment. This post is by Megan Ray Nichols of the Schooled by Science blog.
Lowell F., on 3/24/16 10:43 AM2 min. read
The story of "Boaty McBoatface" is a cautionary one for those looking to use social media to build their brands. In this case, here's what happened:
Lowell F., on 3/23/16 2:02 PM5 min. read
Over the past few years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has been widely criticized for consistently and significantly underestimating the growth of renewable energy, both in the U.S. and the world. For instance, see the December 2013 post here on Scaling Green, "EIA Renewable Energy Forecast Isn’t Just Wrong, It’s Wildly, Laughably Too Low." As we pointed out then:
Lowell F., on 3/21/16 8:09 AM4 min. read
The B2B (business-to-business) environment is rapidly changing. Most of this change is driven by businesses modeling the purchasing behavior of the general population by using personal and professional networks, as well as information available online, to inform decision making. This “crowd sourcing” of solutions is a paradigm shift for any business that provides products, services or information to other businesses.
Lowell F., on 3/18/16 7:48 AM2 min. read
Last fall, we highlighted great work by the Checks and Balances Project (C&BP) watchdog group on the fossil-fuel-funded front group, the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), which has been a vociferous opponent of clean energy and climate solutions. We also wrote about C&BP's October 28, 2015 lawsuit against the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), demanding immediate access to public records on Commissioner Bob Stump’s taxpayer-funded smartphone.
Lowell F., on 3/17/16 7:04 AM3 min. read
When we talk about the benefits of "scaling green," in large part we're referring to the fundamental concept of "economies of scale" -- "the cost advantages that enterprises obtain due to size, output, or scale of operation, with cost per unit of output generally decreasing with increasing scale as fixed costs are spread out over more units of output." This concept is broadly applicable, and is extremely important for the rapidly-growing, technologically-advancing clean energy sector.
Lowell F., on 3/10/16 7:08 PM3 min. read
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is out with a new report, produced in conjunction with Greentech Media (GTM), that should put a big smile on the faces of solar power fans. A few highlights include: