Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (2015)

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (2015)
Source: Transportation Research Board/National Research Council

In the past few years, interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has grown. Advances in battery and other technologies, new federal standards for carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy, state zero-emission-vehicle requirements, and the current administration’s goal of putting millions of alternative-fuel vehicles on the road have all highlighted PEVs as a transportation alternative. Consumers are also beginning to recognize the advantages of PEVs over conventional vehicles, such as lower operating costs, smoother operation, and better acceleration; the ability to fuel up at home; and zero tailpipe emissions when the vehicle operates solely on its battery. There are, however, barriers to PEV deployment, including the vehicle cost, the short all-electric driving range, the long battery charging time, uncertainties about battery life, the few choices of vehicle models, and the need for a charging infrastructure to support PEVs. What should industry do to improve the performance of PEVs and make them more attractive to consumers?

At the request of Congress, Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles identifies barriers to the introduction of electric vehicles and recommends ways to mitigate these barriers. This report examines the characteristics and capabilities of electric vehicle technologies, such as cost, performance, range, safety, and durability, and assesses how these factors might create barriers to widespread deployment. Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles provides an overview of the current status of PEVs and makes recommendations to spur the industry and increase the attractiveness of this promising technology for consumers. Through consideration of consumer behaviors, tax incentives, business models, incentive programs, and infrastructure needs, this book studies the state of the industry and makes recommendations to further its development and acceptance.

Country Analysis Brief: China

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: China
Source: Energy Information Administration

China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Rapidly increasing energy demand, especially for petroleum and other liquids, has made China influential in world energy markets.

Roundup of Recent CRS Reports About Science, Technology and the Environment

May 18, 2015 Comments off

CRS — U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues (March 18, 2015)

May 13, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Even though the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its longrange missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30 years. The 114th Congress will continue to review these programs, and the funding requested for them, during the annual authorization and appropriations process.

A Policymaker’s Guide to Comprehensive State Energy Planning

May 11, 2015 Comments off

A Policymaker’s Guide to Comprehensive State Energy Planning
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

A comprehensive energy plan serves as the state roadmap for meeting changing energy needs; promoting eco­nomic growth; and ensuring access to affordable, diverse and reliable energy.

An effective plan is a valuable asset due to the critical role energy plays in the economic success of each state and the nation as a whole. The plan provides a vision for a state’s energy future, whether it is to grow new industries in the state, reduce energy costs, increase the resiliency of the grid or meet environmental goals. It serves as a guide for policymakers, government agencies, industry, businesses and utilities as they develop integrative energy policies that meet the plan’s goals.

This guide introduces policymakers to state energy planning and explores legislative approaches to developing an effective plan. The document also investigates the reasons for and goals behind these efforts, highlighting state case studies where useful. This report was developed under the direction of the NCSL Task Force on Energy Supply, which was formed in 2009 to consider potential solutions to the nation’s energy challenges.

Stranded Assets and Subcritical Coal: The Risk to Companies and Investors

May 8, 2015 Comments off

Stranded Assets and Subcritical Coal: The Risk to Companies and Investors (PDF)
Source: University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

We have located subcritical coal-fired power stations globally and identified the ones most at risk of stranding due to their carbon intensity and deleterious effects on local air pollution and water stress. The research shows which companies own these assets and ranks companies by exposure. Furthermore, we examine how environment-related risks facing subcritical coal assets might develop in the future.

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa

May 5, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa
Source: Energy Information Administration

South Africa’s energy sector is critical to its economy, as the country relies heavily on its large-scale, energy-intensive coal mining industry. South Africa has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs, particularly in the electricity sector. Most of the oil consumed in the country, used mainly in the transportation sector, is imported from Middle East and West African producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is locally refined. South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from the Secunda coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant and Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant. The synthetic fuels industry accounts for nearly all of the country’s domestically produced petroleum as crude oil production is very small.


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