February 23, 2012 • Current Events, Sustainability

Don’t Throw That Cell Phone Away in the EU

by Rose Shaver

A new law updating the 2003 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) was recently passed by the European Parliament to curb the dumping electronic goods such as mobile phones, computers and TV sets in landfills. According to EU officials, only about 33% of e-waste is disposed of properly and is often exported illegally to poorly-equipped developing countries, where e-waste recyclers are regularly exposed to health hazards. continue

February 2, 2012 • Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings, Sustainability

Here comes $4 billion in energy efficiency projects

by Jackie Cobb

Recently, President Obama announced a $4 billion effort to improve the energy efficiency of both government and private-sector buildings here in the U.S. The investment of $4 billion, to be spent on energy-efficiency projects over the next two years, intends to “save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.” continue

January 31, 2012 • Sustainability

New wave of investor pressure

by Jackie Cobb

In my last blog post, I talked about The Economist detailing a forecast for the energy industry in 2012. Well, it just so happens that the same “World in 2012” issue calls out the importance of water scarcity when it comes to business disclosure and investor scrutiny. continue

January 26, 2012 • Perspectives

We’re not in Kansas anymore

by Allie Heiniger

"I've got to go, Julie. We've got cows." from the movie Twister

Tornadoes have long held the public captive with their ability to destroy all things in their path (I know for

a fact that any energy consultant worth a dime has memorized at least one line from Twister). So I can’t say that I was altogether surprised to hear that tornadoes have the highest energy density of any storm in nature. Despite many claims of harnessing the energy of a tornado (I’m looking at you, Pecos Bill), Mother Nature’s fury has had a mind of its own. That is until Louis Michaud came around.

continue

January 24, 2012 • Current Events, Perspectives

The world of energy in 2012

by Jackie Cobb

Recently, I came home to find the latest issue of The Economist in my mailbox. As it turns out, this issue was the special “World in 2012” edition, which focuses exclusively on trends to expect in the coming year. As I flipped through the articles profiling different political, economic and cultural trends by country and global region, I stopped on one detailing what’s to come in the energy industry. I found it interesting, and thought you might too. As such, here are the findings from The Economist (and my associated musings…): continue

January 17, 2012 • Current Events, Energy Innovation, Natural Gas

2011: The year in energy (Part 4: Extreme Production)

by Eric Bickel

So far in this series, we’ve focused on global themes from the economy to governmental upheaval, and then circled back to how they’ve affected the U.S. In this final post, we’re going to focus on a recurring theme in the U.S. energy market and how this theme could affect the global market in years to come. And that theme is none other than U.S. natural gas production.

continue

January 11, 2012 • Current Events, Natural Gas, Perspectives

2011: The year in energy (Part 3: Revolution!)

by Eric Bickel

Last year will be remembered in the history books as the year in which people become fed up with a whole lot of governments (mostly the dictatorship kind, while there was also this). The former was likely the largest single influence on energy markets in 2012 (at least in Europe, a little less so in the U.S.). continue

January 5, 2012 • Current Events, Electricity, Energy Generation, Energy's Lighter Side, Natural Gas

2011: The year in energy (Part 2: Nature)

by Eric Bickel

Global energy markets in 2011 were plagued by something more devastating than economic malaise: nature. With weather being in the lap of the gods, and as nature takes its course, some scenarios are impossible to predict. And 2011 had its fair share of outliers. continue

January 4, 2012 • Current Events, Perspectives

2011: The year in energy (Part 1: Economics)

by Eric Bickel

“Economic malaise” became the phrase of choice in 2011 for forecasters, and not just when describing the U.S. economy. Troubles in the Eurozone have impacted growth prospects for even the strongest economies in the region (see here, here, and here for more), as debt concerns and austerity measures in the peripheral countries of Greece, Italy and Portugal hamper any and all hope for growth for the region. continue

December 27, 2011 • Electricity, Perspectives

Energy and the ease of doing business

by Jackie Cobb

Whether you’re a retailer needing to keep the lights on at hundreds of stores nationwide or an industrial company running intense machinery, energy is a mandatory resource for business. The fact that energy management companies like Summit Energy exist is, in and of itself, a testament to the basic, but important, role of energy. For nearly every business, keeping operations running requires electricity and/or natural gas.

The World Bank itself recently came to the same conclusion in its annual report, “Doing Business.” continue

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