Dave Belote 11/13/13
Ensuring our military prioritizes how it spends its money is an admirable goal. However, an article that appeared in the Washington Times last week written by Cheryl Chumley’s (Pentagon pushes 680 green projects, despite money woes, 11/6) misses several key points that explain why the Department of Defense views renewable energy and energy efficiency as warfighting priorities. Besides the fact that our military is vulnerable to the price volatility of overseas energy sources, the number of American lives lost protecting fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan numbers is well above 3,000. This is a cost that obviously cannot be calculated.
It’s no secret that in order to achieve energy independence, America needs a diverse, reliable, and balanced energy portfolio. Algal biofuels in particular could prove to be an important part of that portfolio. Algae have been extensively pursued for many years as a source for renewable fuel due to their high oil content, efficient growth rates, and potential to be cultivated on non-arable land with non-potable water all while recycling CO2 and promoting a cleaner environment. More recent advancements in research and development in the algae industry have foreshadowed that turning algae into sustainable fuel at commercial scale could become reality in the near future. It’s no wonder Congress has taken an avid interest in these developments.
Safety is arguably the most important thing when you are driving on the road. So it wouldn’t be a surprise that safety-conscious drivers would want their car to a have top crash-score rating – preferably a 5-star safety rating. And you surely do not want your car to simultaneously burst into flames, unless you are a Boston Red Sox fan rioting after your team wins the World Series. But a recent editorial from the Washington Times pointing to a Tesla Model S fire on October 3rd makes it seem that Tesla drivers -- or drivers of any type of electric vehicle (EV) are taking huge risks, driving dangerous, killing machines.
By Dan Frakes and Alex Keros 10/28/13
With resounding bipartisan support, the United States finalized the details of a comprehensive energy policy that leverages our nation’s technological prowess to meet our economic, environmental, and social goals. In a broad commitment to accelerate the market development of clean energy and advanced transportation, the United States has finally established a global framework for developing jobs, ensuring national security, and meeting the needs and health of future generations. What a momentous occasion!
Wake up, Dan! Wake up, Alex!
Yesterday the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a new study titled “Challenging the Clean Energy Deployment Consensus” and hosted a discussion on the topic. The study and panelists rightfully support more investment in energy innovation, but claim that proponents of renewable energy deployment policies, which they call “The Deployment Consensus,” are missing the boat on how to create competitive energy markets and combat global climate change.
The Midwest’s remarkable renewable energy resources, vast agricultural land, strong manufacturing base, and leading research institutions have propelled the region to become a hub for renewable energy development. It is home to over a third of U.S. wind power capacity and 80% of U.S. biofuel production capacity. However, uncertainty about federal policy – like the production tax credit (PTC) and renewable fuels standard (RFS) – as well as transmission constraints could hinder Midwestern renewable energy capacity additions in the near term, with 2013 expected to yield only a fraction of the installations seen in previous years. Nevertheless, increasingly affordable project costs and state renewable energy targets will continue to drive market momentum in the region, as indicated by recent, positive signals given by renewable energy companies and utilities.