How the Clean Power Plan May Actually Become America’s First Real Clean Energy Law

by Jesse Crabtree

The Clean Power Plan is an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and President Barack Obama to reduce carbon emissions from US power plants. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, power plants make up 40% of all U.S. carbon emissions—more than all our cars and planes combined. The plan seeks to cut energy carbon emissions 30% by 2030, a number that some are calling “ambitious” or as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, a form of climate radicalism. On the other hand, many followers of the plan have argued that the plan is actually quite weak in its goals. According to Polito.com, market shifts towards renewable energy, towards low-carbon natural gas, and a general reduction in electricity demand have already brought the U.S. almost halfway to that goal of 30%. Continue reading

National Parks or Energy: Kenya’s Dilemma

by Jessie Capper

According to a recent report released by the International Energy Agency’s ‘Africa Energy Outlook,’ unreliable power supply has been a persistent problem in African countries. The IEA claims that by addressing this uncertainty, African governments help increase investment in their respective country’s power sector, and ultimately boost their GDP by an estimated $15 (International Energy Association 2014). Kenya continues to address its problems with efficient, reliable, and high-cost energy through the pursuit of renewable energy sources—varying from solar and wind power, to hydropower, and geothermal energy. Although Kenya’s energy initiatives are progressive and admirable, there is rising concern over detrimental side effects, especially to the national parks. Continue reading

Carbon Price Analysis Using Empirical Mode Decomposition

by Makari Krause

Zhu et al. (2014) aim to enhance the science on properly setting and forecasting carbon prices. To do so they examine the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) through empirical mode decomposition to better understand the formation mechanism of carbon prices. The EU ETS is the largest carbon market in the world, covering 12,000 installations and 25 countries. Over the past few years there have been a number of studies analyzing carbon prices in the EU ETS, that have generally fallen into one of two categories; structured models and data-driven models. Structured models analyze carbon price movement through the perspective of supply and demand and can help with understanding the generation of carbon prices. However, because of the unstable nature of the market, these models have been difficult to implement. Data-driven models, such as linear regressions, work well for short-term forecasting but fail to explain the driving forces behind carbon price changes. Continue reading

The New European Energy Union Faces Some Critiques

by Nour Bundogji

The World Nuclear News recently discussed The European Commission’s intention to begin a new European Energy Union. This initiative will help “reform how Europe (EU) produces, transports, and consumes energy.”

The meeting took place on February 4, 2015 in Riga, Latvia where The European Commission outlined the intention and goals of this initiative. It’s primary aims are: “diversifying energy sources currently available to Member States, helping European countries become less dependent on energy imports, making the EU number one in renewable energy in the world, and leading the fight against global warming.” With these aims, the European Commission listed five goals for the European Energy Union, which are:

1) ensuring security of supply

2) building a single internal energy market

3) raising energy efficiency

4) decarbonizing national economies, and

5) promoting research and innovation. Continue reading