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    More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives
  • So What Direction Should Solar Panels Face?


    The following is a guest post by Dr. Joshua Rhodes, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in The Webber Energy Group and the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. There has recently been a lot of buzz about which direction solar panels should face. It seems the initial conversation was prompted by a Pecan [...]

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    Is NYC poised to become an energy storage leader?


    The recently announced Demand Management Program by ConEd includes significant incentives for both thermal and electricity storage technologies. If the plan moves ahead, the NYC area could be home to more energy storage than almost any other state by summer 2016. The Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd) provides electric service in New York [...]

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    Energy Transition: Two Energy Lessons for Germany from the United States


    As I introduced in my last post, I recently traveled to Germany as a member of a transatlantic delegation of young American energy professionals and academics working in the areas of smart grids and energy storage. The purpose of the visit was to share ideas with our German counterparts and build lasting relationships that will [...]

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    Map Monday: Global Pesticide Scorecard Launched

    Levels of pesticide regulation by country/toxin. Image courtesy: Yale EPI.

    The prevalence of pesticides and other chemicals may seem like something of a bygone era, one marked by Silent Spring and the Bhopal Disaster, but the grim reality is that they are unfortunately very much around. Whether it is BPA in your water bottle or neonicotinoids decimating bee populations, action has not been uniform. To [...]

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    I Have Seen the Future of Transit and It Is in Raleigh

    We long ago lost the skill of paying for the things we need: I won’t bore you with the statistics of how far we are behind in our infrastructure investments. You’ve heard them from me dozens of times. I just want a solution. Regarding transit, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and the [...]

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    Energiewende: Two Energy Lessons for the United States from Germany


    Last month, I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to Germany as a member of the German-American Chamber of Commerce Transatlantic Program for Young Technology Leaders delegation. The program brought together young professionals and academics from across the U.S. to meet with German energy professionals and discuss our mutual energy challenges and opportunities in the [...]

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    We’re (Almost) #1! Liquid Petroleum Production in the U.S.


    The U.S. is on track to become the world’s leading liquid petroleum producer. According to IEA, domestic production of oil was about 11.5m barrels a day in August, and the Financial Times reports that we are likely to surpass Saudi Arabia’s production for the first time in 23 years. In fact, we may also catch [...]

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    Map Monday: Will Global Warming Drown Your Hometown?

    Istanbul after GIS modeling of climate change. Image courtesy of #DrownYourTown

    You may recently have read about climate change and North Carolina for all the wrong reasons, entailing laws designed to forbid the mentioning of the term “climate change” as well as outright banning measurements of sea-level rise. At the heart of this drama, is elevation mapping technology applied to climate change to better understand future [...]

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    Researchers produce propane using E.coli bacteria


    A team of scientists has transformed E.coli bacteria into a propane factory. In their Nature magazine article, researchers from the University of Turku (Finland) and Imperial College (United Kingdom) described a new metabolic pathway for producing propane from Escherichia coli (E.coli). In “normal” E.coli, a biological process exists that turns fatty acids into cell membranes. In their September 2014 [...]

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    Guest Post: Exploding Oil Trains – Should we worry about the train or its cargo?

    mcnally exploding trains

    If you haven’t seen the video of the train carrying Bakken crude oil exploding, it is quite an impressive and scary sight. Fortunately, in the Casselton, ND incident, nobody was hurt by the explosion. But, it still leaves us with the question, should we be terrified of the train or its cargo? The hazards of [...]

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