San Francisco’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program was renewed in December. The PACE program allows qualified property owners to obtain accessible, affordable, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements, and repay the loan through their property tax bills. PACE financing allows homeowners to install, for example, a home solar array with no initial cost and pay it off over a 20 year period.
On Tuesday an onshore pipeline ruptured along the scenic coast north of Santa Barbara, California, spilling an initial estimate of 21,000 gallons of oil into the ocean and onto beaches before the flow could be controlled. Later reports increased this estimate to 105,000 gallons. What caused the spill is still under investigation, and clean-up activities are ongoing. The incident brought back memories of the 1969 Santa Barbara Channel oil spill that effectively shut down oil development offshore California for almost 10 years.
According to a comprehensive new study on The Future of Solar Energy, released on May 14, 2015 by The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), solar energy holds the best potential for meeting humanity’s future long term energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. However, to realize this potential will require increased emphasis on developing lower-cost technologies and more effective deployment policy.
Welcome to the Our World of Energy (OWOE) blog. This is the first in what we hope will be a long series of blogs related to the state of energy in the United States. Our World of Energy has been developed to provide information to the American public on the subject of energy. Although energy is critical to the lives of all Americans and one of the primary enablers to prosperity, most Americans know little about energy, how it is produced, or how it used to make their lives better. In addition, most of the media information surrounding energy is driven by biased agendas from both sides of the energy debate – either the side promoting a specific form of energy due to economic self interest or the side opposing it for a variety of other reasons. OWOE will provide an unbiased view of energy, including pros and cons of each source, in order to educate the public on where the energy that drives modern life comes from, why this subject is important to the American consumer, and how technology is changing the industry.
Energy in America is at a critical crossroads as a number of very powerful forces are converging – the tremendous growth in energy demand driven by the emerging economies of the world, the recognition that burning of fossil fuel is the primary driver behind climate change, and the rapid evolution of technologies that have the potential to dramatically reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuel. Over the next several weeks, OWOE will examine each one of these forces and how, taken together, they will dramatically change America’s energy landscape. OWOE will present it’s vision of this energy future in which renewable energy will play a predominant role with all other forms of energy filling supporting roles for which they are uniquely suited.