After a homebuilders association objects to the cost of new energy conservation standards, a state panel strikes some changes from the books

Last June, the North Carolina agency responsible for making changes in state building codes voted in tougher energy efficiency standards for new residential construction. By December, on the urging of the North Carolina Homebuilders Association, the Building Code Council had reversed course, voting 15-1 to junk some of the changes because they would be too costly.

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A Year-End Update on Electricity Policy From the Field

The electricity sector’s competitive dynamic completely flipped in 2017.

It is now cheaper to build new wind and solar than new coal or often natural gas. In growing swaths of the country, it’s often cheaper to build new wind (and sometimes solar) than continuing to run existing coal plants. The implications are profound.

Utilities from Missouri, to Wisconsin, Minnesota and others have proposed early shutdowns of coal facilities, pointing to real customer affordability benefits from switching to cleaner power sources. Once-profitable merchant coal plants in Texas and Massachusetts retired or announced retirement, unable to compete with

We are all familiar with the importance of proactive public planning. Take the road network for instance. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people commute into and out of cities, relying on well-placed and adequately sized roads to get them where they want to go. To keep traffic flowing, road planners must anticipate the numbers of commuters, their intended destinations, and the needs for road maintenance, new construction and alternative resources like public transit.

But we know what happens if the number of commuters ticks up without the infrastructure to accommodate them: honking horns, missed meetings and late school pickups as a result of long and frustrating traffic

It's been an interesting year for mergers and acquisitions in the distributed energy space, with some unexpected developments.

We haven't seen the same massive M&A deals of years past, such as GE’s purchase of Alstom or Honeywell’s acquisition of Elster -- although Tuesday's announcement that smart metering and utility software provider Aclara was being sold for $1.1 billion to Hubbell Inc. helped bring this year's total closer to the peaks of the past. 

But when you look at the activity in 2017, a pattern emerges.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a number of major European energy companies -- and some Japanese, American

When President Trump announced plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord attention quickly turned to Corporate America. Would business leaders forge ahead in the fight against climate change in the absence of federal backing?

In 2017, at least, the answer is yes. 

As of December 12, when heads of state joined to commemorate the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement, 327 major corporations, worth $6.5 trillion, had committed to matching their emission reduction plans with the Paris goals through the Science Based Targets initiative. Another 864 companies have stated their intention to adopt a science-based target within two years. 

The fuel cell sector posted a third year of steady growth in 2017.

The latest Fuel Cell Industry Review by London-based consulting firm E4tech estimates that megawatts shipped rose to 670 megawatts this year, marking a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

Factoring in market expansions of 73 percent in 2016 and 61 percent in 2015, fuel cell industry volumes have more than tripled over the past three years. They could rise again by half in 2018, with an estimated 335 megawatts of additional shipments, reaching the 1,000-megawatt level for the year.

These volumes and growth rates are consistent with those seen in solar and wind in

A federal appeals court says the current rules are inadequate to protect children

A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to speed up the development of new rules on lead found in paint and dust in light of an "obvious need" to protect the health of children.

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Solar and storage trends to watch in 2018.

I'm back with my yearly list of predictions for the rooftop solar industry. I did OK on last year’s predictions, only completely whiffing on two.

This year, I'm combining my solar predictions with storage, since battery storage is rapidly becoming integrated with PV systems.

1. U.S. solar cell manufacturing won’t restart anytime soon

Billions of dollars in long-term investments are required to achieve large-scale production of the next generation of high-efficiency solar cells. With the right solar industrial policies in place, the cell industry can indeed recover, and bring along associated panel and component manufacturing. Unfortunately, implementing policies to support these investments does not

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Qatar Green Leaders is a Green Building Certification Management & Training Company, dedicated to helping its clients achieve the most feasible LEED / GSAS certification.

We are a privately-owned Qatari company established in June 2011 and operating from Doha, Qatar.

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