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 Half empty in the West, and half full in a handful of centrally planned economies, nuclear power’s prospects appear to be doomed in markets where private investors tend to make the decisions and assume the risks; while in other parts of the world, where central governments make the calls and the public’s approval is not as critical, its prospects may be better… (more)

Like many other perennial debates, the one about the rebound effect simply refuses to go away. The basic argument is that if you replace an inefficient car, or light bulb, or refrigerator with a more efficient one – everything else being equal – the typical consumer will drive farther, use more light and buy bigger fridges virtually cancelling any energy efficiency gains. Those who subscribe to this theory claim that making appliances and electricity consuming devices more efficient is mostly counter-productive because consumers will simply use more… (more)

What started as a scheme to encourage homeowners and businesses to install rooftop solar PVs and other means to self-generate part of their electricity needs has grown into a gigantic headache for the industry… (more)

Declining costs of renewable power generation are poised to make these forms of generation more common. “Renewable” power will soon start to be seen as normal. Renewables have experienced tremendous growth in the recent past, 86% for solar energy in 2012 alone. And their performance is improving while costs continue to fall with mass production and economies of scale. But ask any renewable energy advocate or their lobbyists and they will tell you that the time to cut subsidies and remove mandatory targets may be around the corner but has not quite arrived yet… (more)

Utilities around the world are proceeding with ambitious – and expensive – implementation plans to replace their analog meters with digital ones. These so-called smart meters can measure usage by time interval, which allows utilities to monitor not only total volumetric consumption but the pattern of consumption… (more)

Integrating large amounts of intermittent wind is challenging, to put it mildly. If you believe the numbers, that is all it takes to supply the world with half of its energy needs by 2030: a mere 4-million 5 MW wind turbines on top of 100 m towers, spinning gracefully with no carbon emissions. Wouldn’t that be lovely?.. (more)

The rapid growth of solar rooftop PVs has significant unintended consequences. Policymakers and regulators in many parts of the world are supportive of any and all renewable energy resources, be it a giant 392 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, such as the one being built by BrightSource Energy Inc. at Ivanpah in Mojave Desert in Southern California, or a 10 kW solar PV system on someone’s roof, and everything in between… (more)

A new business model promises to make solar PVs affordable, from day one.  At currently low module prices, more consumers are finding that they can afford solar energy after all – by leasing rather than owning the rooftop panels… (more)

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