It’s time to change our definition of ‘real’ energy in developing countries

Many of us have long argued for the rapid scale-up of off-grid, pay-as-you-go solar as a faster way to deliver energy and financial services to those without access to the grid or traditional banking. In January, Katherine Wolfram, a business professor at the University of California, Berkeley, argued that this model does not deliver “real” kilowatt-hours comparable in quality or price to the …

Richest 20 Americans own more than half of the country

Cross-posted from the International Business Times A homeless woman sits on a bench few blocks away from the White House in downtown Washington on Sept. 1, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA Twenty U.S. billionaires have more wealth than half of the entire country, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies. In this photo, two men in tuxedos walk …

Smoke & Fumes: the Deep History of Oil and Climate Change

This is the story of how major oil and gas companies and their associations — the world’s most powerful industry — used science, communications, and consumer psychology to shape the public debate over climate change is becoming increasingly well documented. And it begins earlier—decades earlier—than anyone suspected.  Check out the timeline below and links to documents to discover what they knew, …

Jobs and life are just among the benefits…

The REmap: Roadmap for A Renewable Energy Future report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)  states that the cost of doubling the renewable energy share by 2030 would be US$290 billion per year, a number that “is at least 4 and up to 15 times less than the external costs avoided.” In fact, as the economistLord Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on …

Anonymously owned companies unite all crimes that generate money

The U.S. is one of the easiest places to set up an anonymous shell company to move ill-gotten gains around the world. It’s also one of the most popular places to do so for the criminal and corrupt.  Examples (below, in Global Witness’ The Great Rip Off report, and on this on-line interactive map) show how these anonymously owned companies are …

Water threat is dire

Water is a growing problem worldwide, with climate change, making pollution via fracking, polluted runoff or harmful blooms or illnesses complicated by temperature rise an issue as well.  As the public becomes more aware of the effects of climate change, that’s shifting the politics of energy in the Great Lakes region of the US, a typically conservative area. As researchers …

Cutting carbon emissions fuels jobs: more Californians work in “Advanced Energy” jobs than in farming or Hollywood now

If you still think that cutting carbon emissions will kill our economy, consider California. A report out Wednesday says that the number of Californians working in clean-energy jobs jumped by 18 percent between 2014 and 2015. That means the field is adding jobs at six times the rate of overall job growth in California. More Californians now work in energy efficiency or renewable …

Green Plan Ireland: Planning the transition to 100% renewable energy in Ireland

On March 23, the Institute of International and European Affairs hosted a presentation in Dublin by Dr. David Connolly, Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark, to “outline the steps required in Ireland to transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy.” The presentation was based on Green Plan Ireland, a peer-reviewed study he published in 2014. Green Plan Ireland is a …

Who will lead an exit strategy for fossil fuels?

Truly, our problem is not a scarcity of fossil resources, it is the exact opposite. We lack an exit strategy for oil, coal and gas. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are indispensable parts of a response to climate change, but they do not tell us why private companies and private individuals should stop extracting, marketing and consuming fossil fuels. In …

Two German states already 100 percent renewable net for electricity

In 2015, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein generated more renewable power than households and businesses in each state consumed. Germany has 16 states, three of which are city-states, leaving us with 13 Flächenländer (which could be roughly translated as states that are not only urban areas). In the countryside, renewable energy production is easier than in developed areas, and population density – …