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GET TIMELY INSIGHTS. Our blog showcases a variety of voices from our home at the University of Pennsylvania—including faculty, students, staff, senior fellows, and visiting scholars. Opinions and perspectives are from the authors; not the Kleinman Center.

Sep25
2017

A Looming Bust for U.S. Solar Industry?

Christina Simeone
The U.S. solar market may soon be heading into a very dark place. Back in July, I mentioned the international trade case threatening to upend solar markets.  Well, on Friday, September 22, 2017, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) unanimously found that American solar photovoltaic (PV) cell and equipment...
Sep13
2017

Part 2: Artificial Arctic Feedback Loops: How Might Market Forces and Geopolitics Influence an Evolving North?

Oscar Serpell
This blog is a continuation of Part 1 The United States Geological survey estimates that the arctic region could hold enormous quantities of oil and gas; 13% and 30% respectively of the planet’s undiscovered reserves. Over the last several decades, various attempts have been made to extract fossil fuel resources from...
Sep11
2017

Part 1: Artificial Arctic Feedback Loops: How Might Market Forces and Geopolitics Influence an Evolving North?

Oscar Serpell
The Paris Climate agreement, which entered into force in November 2016, brought together nearly 200 countries to address the mitigation of extreme climate change. The parties agreed that each country would submit a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), with an overall goal of reducing global greenhouse gas...
Sep08
2017

Examining the Role of Early-Stage Venture Capital Investment in Energy

Peter Sopher
VC deal flows for companies with solar module and component technologies – such as cells, wafers and panels – have fallen in recent years while startups with business models related to providing financial and marketplace solutions for developing solar projects have received relatively more investment  The following is...
Sep05
2017

Big Natural Gas Customers Want Sustainability Reporting from Producers, Invite Stakeholder Comments

John Quigley
Investors are increasingly demanding that companies disclose climate and other operational risks to their bottom lines, and to report on sustainability efforts. Now, major natural gas consumers are getting into the act.   A very significant group of U.S. natural gas purchasers, including natural gas distribution...
Aug31
2017

Zero Emissions Credits: An Overview

Rachel D. Valletta
2016 brought the potential for a financial boon in the form of zero emissions credits (ZEC) to a fraction of the nation’s struggling nuclear fleet. Since their creation, ZECs have excited some, frustrated others, and confounded many. What exactly is a ZEC? Designed to compensate certain nuclear power units for...
Aug29
2017

Hurricane Harvey: Energy Markets Respond to the Flooding of a Major Energy Hub

Oscar Serpell
On Friday night, August 25th, the strongest storm to hit the Texas coast in half a century made landfall 20 miles northeast of Corpus Christi as a category 4 hurricane. Over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey moved inland before stalling 60 miles southwest of Houston, devastating the region with record rainfall. The...
Aug29
2017

Plain as the Nose on Your Face: Nuclear Subsidy Food Fights Miss Market-Oriented Climate Solution

John Quigley
As I’ve written, the deep decarbonization effort that’s needed to salvage a habitable climate is in deep trouble.  As the public policy clown car careens toward the climate cliff, special interest politics are playing out in state capitals– including in our own Harrisburg-despite an obvious opportunity to do the right...
Aug24
2017

DOE Reliability Study: Everything’s Okay, For Now

Christina Simeone
Back in April, DOE Secretary Perry issued a memo calling for a reliability study of U.S. power systems, expressing concerns that competitive markets, renewables, and regulations were forcing retirement of baseload (i.e. coal and nuclear) power plants critical to reliability. In an April blog, I detailed reasons why...
Aug21
2017

Shot and Chaser

John Quigley
We’re in a world of climate trouble. Climate disruption is already having major impacts on the United States, according to a draft report prepared by U.S. government scientists.  And a new study finds that there’s only a five percent chance that we’ll avoid increasing global average temperatures by less two degrees...

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