Australia’s Plan for a Zero-Carbon Economy by 2020

According to Beyond Zero Emissions’ Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Stationary Energy Plan, “a combination of energy efficiency, fuel switching from gas and oil to electrified energy services, then using a combination of commercially available off-the-shelf renewable energy technologies, Australia’s energy needs can be met with 100% renewables,” by 2020 in an economically feasible manner. The study estimates the incremental cost per household to be $8 per week.


Guardian’s ‘Greenest-Government-Ever’ Meter Priorities

Damian Carrington at the Guardian has it right that the coalition government probably won’t do very well on the “greenest government ever-o-meter.” But probably more for the reasons suggested in the comments of the article than for the factors that Carrington outlines: national forests, flood defense, and high speed rail. While these are important they … Continued


Code for America: Hackers Helping Municipalities

Evidently corporate America needs to encourage a hacker culture to bounce back, and now local governments need hackers to help them solve their ever-increasing problems using their ever-decreasing budgets. Modeled after Teach for America, Doctors Without Borders and Architecture for Humanity, Code for America (CfA) officially launched on January 5, 2011. The brightest minds on the Internet … Continued


BOEMRE Issues A New Rule For Offshore Drilling

By David Pettit, NRDC (Originally published on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog). On January 3, 2011, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (“BOEMRE”) issued a new rule affecting thirteen oil companies whose drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico were suspended by the federal moratorium following the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout.  … Continued


EPA Regulations in GOP Crosshairs

Last year, after successfully being vilified as “Cap-and-Tax,” Cap-and-Trade was defeated. Not that I was particularly upset about it. . . After all, cap-and-trade was a very complex solution to an easily rectifiable problem. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have worked; a similar scheme to cap sulfur dioxide back in 1990 proved successful… Initiated by … Continued


Is the End of Coal Already Here?

There’s been an implicit assumption that with Peak Oil either already here or arriving soon and our society’s gargantuan (and growing) appetite for energy, and with efficiency and renewables unable to keep pace, that we would be falling back on dirty old coal, sure as a greasy meatball would slip out of the frying pan and into the fire. The facts, however, do not seem to bear that out.

Texas Home Alone: Another Court Rejects Challenge to Coming Carbon Standards

By David Doniger, policy director in NRDC’s Climate Center (Originally published on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog) Texas just lost another round in its bizarre and solitary quest to block the first carbon pollution control requirements under the Clean Air Act, which take effect next week.   The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, rejected the … Continued

Wind Gets Knocked Out of the Pickens Plan

So much for the Pickens Plan. T. Boone Pickens claimes that with the low cost of natural gas in the United States, utilities just will not accept energy generated from wind because of the cost differential. To that end, he is now rallying his 1.7 million Pickens Plans supporters and Congress to pass a new energy plan–without wind a part of it.

EPA Issues Plan for GHG Regulation

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set forth plan to set standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the heaviest polluters. In a landmark announcement, in line with their relatively new jurisdiction over GHG regulations within the Clean Air Act, the EPA announced that they will issue more specific standards in the upcoming year. … Continued


San Francisco Extends Producer Responsibility to Pharmaceuticals

By Susan Hopp There is a saying among keen, long-time observers of social and cultural change, “Everything starts in San Francisco!” In keeping with this sentiment, SF’s Board of Supervisors last week (12/14) set in motion a truly groundbreaking movement. The “Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance” passed the Board with a vote of 7 to 4. … Continued

photo copyright DECC, Crown Copyright; reproduced w permission

UK Energy Market Reform Too Good To Be True? Probably.

The UK’s Department for Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne announced the biggest energy reform “in decades” on Friday. The reform package includes: a carbon price floor “increasing the cost of fossil fuel based generation, and strengthening the carbon price for UK electricity generators.” two Feed in Tarrifs: standard and premium contracts under which … Continued

renewables system

Wave Energy Technology Signals New Approach to Renewable Sector: Systems Thinking

The governments’ signals to markets and businesses is clear from Cancun, ‘don’t wait for us, get greening on your own.’ In a market that’s still ‘risky’ and under-capitalized and receiving conflicting signals from the government, it’s important to look at the market with respect to systems thinking. This is the position of Aquamarine, a wave … Continued


California to Create the Nation’s First-of-its-Kind Carbon Market

“The King is dead! Long live the King!” I never really understood what that phrase meant – until now. Supporters of carbon markets witnessed the death of any potential for a climate bill in the US, at least until after the 2012 election. The Chicago Climate Exchange, a voluntary emissions exchange platform built as the … Continued