Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Power Prices, Regulation, Regulation  -  December 9, 2017

Weekend reads: Bitcoin's energy spike; a tax bill energy guide; sustainability goal deterioration & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's energy reads: 

Bitcoin's price spike is driving an extraordinary surge in energy use (Vox): The price of a Bitcoin reached a record high of $16,601.77 Thursday morning before falling to $15,500, in what has been a weeklong tear in a price that was $10,000 a month ago and just $1,000 in January. As the value of the digital currency has climbed, so has the amount of energy needed to keep this online economy running, which now exceeds the energy use of 159 individual countries, according to one controversial estimate.

A Clean Energy Guide to the Tax Legislation Conference Committee (Rhodium Group): Broad tax legislation advanced by the US Congress in recent weeks is headed toward a conference committee, where Republicans in the House and Senate will hash out their differences. In this note we identify which provisions matter most for clean energy: Electric vehicles, wind, solar, geothermal electric, fuel cells, CHP & more. 

How Bold Corporate Climate Change Goals Deteriorate Over Time (Harvard Business Review): One response to today’s climate crisis has been a belief that markets and corporate innovation will provide the solution. As business tycoon Richard Branson has proclaimed in 2012, "our only option to stop climate change is for industry to make money from it." So while businesses are major contributors to escalating greenhouse gas emissions, they are also presented as offering innovative ways to decarbonize our economies. But how much faith can we place in business to save us from climate change?

World's No. 1 Miner Sees Bigger Role for Carbon-Capture Systems (Bloomberg): BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, said wider use of systems that trap carbon emissions will be needed to meet international climate goals, even as investments in the technology stall. "We have knowledge of geology, markets and economics, so there's probably something we can bring to the table here in terms of our understanding around CCS to try to push this technology down the cost curve so it can be more readily available at scale and affordable costs," Fiona Wild, a BHP vice president for sustainability and climate change, said in an interview.

Where, Exactly, Does EPA Chief Pruitt Stand on Climate? (Scientific American):  The conservative movement might have given U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt cover for one of the few climate change fights he's hesitated to embrace.
Pruitt has expressed cautiousness about challenging the endangerment finding, the tome of scientific evidence for the harmful impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on human health. He's said "it needs to be enforced and respected," and those familiar with Pruitt's thinking say he believes challenging the finding is an uphill battle, costly and unlikely to succeed.

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