Wednesday, April 23, 2014 Think Energy SC

This Week's News, April 23rd


As coastal communities like Folly Beach battle against rising seas and a U.S. Senator from another state tours the southeast to learn more about the impact of climate change on our region, South Carolina elected officials continue to do the bidding of the American Petroleum Institute and its members.

Folly renourishment project provides short-lived relief.

U.S. Senator Whitehouse visits Charleston on his tour of the southeastern coast.

Ignoring an abundance of in-state clean energy resources like solar, offshore wind, and energy efficiency, Senator Scott, Representative Duncan, and Governor Haley have instead committed to gambling with South Carolina’s coastal economy and environment.

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Learn more about offshore drilling and SC 

A solid approach to integrated resource planning is a key component of keeping electricity rates low for utility customers, and deficiencies in planning methodologies can lead to poor investment decisions and lost opportunities for utilities and their customers. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) takes a closer look at whether Duke Energy is making the right choices when it comes to the future of their coal fleet.

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Georgia has become the poster-child for how updated energy policies can drive economic development. Our neighbor has enjoyed the nation’s highest jump in solar jobs (225%) over the past year. Today Georgia has 146 companies and over 2,000 employees in the solar sector.

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The decreasing cost of solar combined with advances in battery technology will soon make the electric grid optional for many U.S. utility customers. A recent report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) suggests that the changing economics of electricity markets, spurred on in part by advances in customer owned energy generation, will eventually make the current utility business model obsolete.

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Energy Efficiency Spotlight

A law that would have eliminated energy efficiency standards for state owned buildings in South Carolina has been amended to keep these requirements in place. A compromise was reached between manufacturing interests, conservation groups, and green builders that ensures new state buildings will continue to reflect industry best practices for efficiency in water and energy usage.

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Here’s a short overview on what energy efficiency improvements for buildings can mean for reducing our nation’s energy demand.

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Climate Change News 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released their 5th report on the current state of climate science. A comprehensive overview of climate related impacts, adaptation and mitigations options, and vulnerability assessments can be found on the official IPCC website.

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Is it time for Americans to start thinking like the Dutch when it comes to water management?

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