Archive: Business

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Lockheed Martin—Helping Our Federal Customers Save Energy

The support of energy savings performance contracts helps customers achieve goals.

The federal government is the largest single user of energy in the United States. Energy efficiency is the cleanest, cheapest and fastest source of energy. Put the two together and you have the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).

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How Sugarcane Ethanol Contributes to a Cleaner World

Over the past three decades, the Brazilian sugarcane industry has experienced major and continuous technological improvement. Today, sugarcane is the basic input for an extraordinarily diverse range of value-added products including food, animal feed, chemicals, biofuels and electricity coming from modern, integrated biorefineries that produce sugar, ethanol, bioelectricity and bioplastics in Brazil.

Climate Change Pledge Is No Easy Sell on Hill

One day before the Copenhagen climate change summit was scheduled to end, negotiations had deadlocked. Developing nations led by China were demanding that rich countries pledge as much as $200 billion a year to help them cope with drought, rising sea levels and other ravages of global warming already afflicting some of the poorest countries on Earth. For its part, the United States was insisting on international verification of carbon emission reductions, a condition anathema to China but viewed as essential to gain Congress’ approval.

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Alliance Promotes Federal Renewable Energy Standard

The RES Alliance for Jobs is a coalition of businesses and organizations that support Congressional enactment of a strong federal renewable energy standard (RES). The group’s members include companies and associations representing the wind, solar, biomass, waste-to-energy and hydro power business lines. The Alliance seeks to demonstrate that a strong RES would create sustainable growth in the renewable energy industries, enabling manufacturers to invest billions of dollars in the U.S. economy and create hundreds of thousands of high-quality American jobs that cannot be outsourced.

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The Volvo Group and Sustainable Mobility

Efficient transport plays a crucial role in the development of society and its economy and, in many respects, commercial transport solutions are the lifeblood of the economy. At the same time, transportation has a negative impact on society, not least in the form of emissions and congestion. "The key is to strengthen the positive aspects of the transport system while working to combat the negative ones," says Stefan Lorentzson, President of Volvo Group North America. "The Volvo Group is continually developing new engine technologies which reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency."

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DOE to Invest up to $12 Million to Support Early-Stage Solar Technologies

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced last week that the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will invest up to $12 million in total funding ($10 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) in four companies to support the development of early-stage solar energy technologies and help them advance to full commercial scale. The goal of this effort is to help further expand a clean energy economy and make solar energy more cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity.

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The Impact of Carbon Trading on Performance: What Europe’s Experience Can Teach North American Generators

The European carbon trading system experience suggests that North American generators should expect severely altered coal-fired power plant operating profiles if cap-and-trade legislation becomes law. In a groundbreaking study, Solomon Associates predicts the reduction in mean run time that North American generators should expect. The trends outlined in this study provide an overview of some of the broad challenges facing generators in moving to a carbon-constrained market environment.

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Which Country’s Grid Is the Smartest?

The U.S. isn’t the only country evaluating and implementing elements of smart grid technology. In fact, it could be argued that other nations are much farther along the path to a comprehensive, technically advanced system for integrating renewables, managing load, and creating a more flexible power grid.

An Economist Looks at Climate Policy

An economist scratches his head in consternation as he looks at the discussion about climate change and energy conservation. Take his quiz to learn why commonly accepted assumptions make poor economic sense.

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A New Regulatory and Environmental Milieu

There will be no shortage of important issues to keep utility executives and their staffs busy throughout 2010. Few of these will be surprises, although a number will emerge quickly and assume larger-than-life significance. The confluence of the great recession and the sturm und drang of environmental legislation will create the liveliest of the debates, but more subtle trends will drive additional stressors. The results of Black & Veatch’s 2009 fourth annual industry strategic directions survey can offer guidance as to how these issues will affect the industry in the coming year.