Friday, October 13, 2017

End of Clean Power Plan unlikely to change energy direction in Michigan

Crain’s Detroit Business, feat. Steve Skerlos

Michigan's top energy officials say the Trump administration's move to rescind the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan will have a negligible impact on the state's plans to produce cleaner energy that will reduce pollution by using renewable energy and natural gas to generate electricity.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Why the world would keep warming even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases

Michigan Radio, feat. Richard Rood

A recent article in The Conversation asks this question: “If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases right now, would we stop climate change?”

The article’s author Richard Rood, a climate change scientist with the University of Michigan, brought Stateside the answer today.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Many people in the Midwest may still remember the Northeast blackout of 2003, which left around 45 million people without power, some for as long as two days. Occurrences as massive as that blackout are relatively scarce in the Midwest; generally power outage events are relatively localized and fixed within a few hours. In recent years, however, cities across the country have come to the conclusion that, for critical health care and industrial assets, waiting a few hours for power is not always a possibility.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Using University of Michigan buildings as batteries

The Michigan Engineer News Center, feat. Johanna Mathieu and Ian Hiskens

Michigan researchers and staff are testing how to use the immense thermal energy of large buildings as theoretical battery packs. The goal is to help the nation’s grid better accommodate renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Q&A: Michigan economist discusses the market forces pushing electric vehicles, clean energy

Midwest Energy News, feat. Ellen Hughes-Cromwick

After serving 18 years as chief global economist at Ford Motor Co. and then as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick brings a market-driven perspective to the way energy use and transportation could mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A carbon tax would not cause too much grief at the gas pump

University of Michigan News, feat. John DeCicco

A new report from the University of Michigan Energy Survey offers insight into how American consumers would react to a carbon tax.

A tax of $40 per ton of carbon—which adds 36 cents per gallon to the price of gasoline—still leaves more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers inside their comfort zones for fuel prices and travel choices.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A new report from the University of Michigan Energy Survey offers insight into how American consumers would react to a carbon tax. A tax of $40 per ton of carbon — which adds 36¢ per gallon to the price of gasoline — still leaves more than 90% of U.S. consumers inside their comfort zones for fuel prices and travel choices. But the report, based on asking consumers how much they feel they can afford to pay for fuel, also finds that much greater pressure would be felt by consumers in the lower third of the distribution by household income.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

- China’s government leaders have outlined an ambitious plan to increase the sales and production of new energy vehicles.

- As in other countries, without substantial subsidies or carbon taxes, aggressive targets will be difficult to achieve. 

Get this week's full report at the link

Friday, September 08, 2017

Biodiversity proves its real-world value

University of Michigan News, feat. Brad Cardinale

Hundreds of experiments have suggested that biodiversity fosters healthier, more productive ecosystems. But many experts doubted that results from small-scale experiments would hold up in real-world ecosystems where nature is most unpredictable and complex.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • -  Our thoughts are with the people of Texas as they struggle to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. The recovery has begun; the road ahead is long and arduous.

  • -  The concentration of energy assets in the area hit by the hurricane adds to the challenges, though many have displayed remarkable resilience. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Harvey adds new urgency to climate change debate

The Hill, feat. Barry Rabe

Barry Rabe, an environmental policy professor at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, said past extreme weather events have not moved the needle much on the public’s perception of climate change.

“People are extremely confident, increasingly so, one way or the other on this. And it’s not clear that past singular weather disasters have had an enduring effect,” Rabe said, citing polling data from past disasters.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

This week's takeaways: 

  • Energy exchange traded funds have exploded in recent years.
  • In principle, this is a positive development because it has made investing in the energy sector less expensive, thereby providing more funds for capital spending in the sector.
  • Most recently, investors are voting with their purse: year-to- date returns on “alt energy” bets are in the plus column.