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August 22nd, 2012

US Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reach 20 Year Low While Europe Misses An Opportunity

by Andrew Price, President & COO

The US Energy Information Administration recently reported that carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption during the first quarter of 2012 was the lowest since 1992. What were the biggest factors driving the historic low? An abnormally warm winter reduced heating demand and gasoline usage continued its long trend lower in the US. Carbon Dioxide emissions were reduced from a less intuitive source as well, low natural gas prices. Natural gas prices dropped below coal on a $ per million btu basis and prompted an economic shift in electricity generation.  See my previous blog post: Coal Use Plummets For Power Generation.

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August 16th, 2012

Cape Wind Approved By FAA (Again)

by Andrew Price, President & COO

Cape Wind received a key approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday. The project has received similar approvals three times already. Since development began more than 10 years ago, the FAA has provided “Determination of No Hazard” approvals to the offshore wind project four times.

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August 3rd, 2012

Solar PV: California PUC Dramatically Expands Net Metering Program

by Andrew Price, President & COO

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently voted 5-0 to dramatically increase the amount of solar PV projects allowable under the state’s net metering cap. State law limited the number of net metering projects by imposing a cap. The sum of the nameplate capacities of all net metering projects could not exceed 5% of utility “aggregate peak demand”.

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July 27th, 2012

Transmission Rates Increasing Across NEPOOL

by Andrew Price, President & COO

The two largest utilities in Maine significantly increased transmission rates for customers effectively July 1, 2012. Transmission rates for Central Maine Power (CMP) increased by almost 20% and for Bangor Hydro Electric (BHE) by 12%. Transmission costs make up a relatively small but rapidly growing portion of consumer’s electricity bills. The most recent rate hikes will certainly not be the last for CMP, BHE or other transmission and distribution utilities in New England

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July 20th, 2012

Sweet & Sour Crude

by Andrew Price, President & COO

A previous blog, US Crude Oil Benchmarks posted June 28th 2012, discussed the two primary crude oil benchmarks used around the world: 1) the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and 2) the European Benchmark, Brent. That blog mentions that there are many other crude oil grades with unique prices and that prices can vary depending on the location of extraction, transportation costs to market, and the characteristics of the oil.

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