RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
Plug Into New Ideas
Krugman’s endorsement of solar energy is even more compelling when renewables such as solar are juxtaposed with fossil fuel-based electricity. Under our current system, the cost of electricity to consumers, businesses and society at large is intrinsically linked to the price of fuel.
The long history of government subsidies and other forms of support provided to the nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas has aided those now mature industries in reaching their current shares in electricity production. It's time to level the playing field.
In September, Coca-Cola added six all-electric trucks to its fleet of more than 700 alternative fuel vehicles in North America. This spring United Parcel Service, with a green fleet of more than 2,300 vehicles, began its tryout of a lightweight delivery van clad in rugged ABS plastic that's expected to boost fuel efficiency by 40 percent.
On Friday, Japan will mark nine months since the massive 8.9-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The crisis has "sharply divided intellectuals and elites from the public."
The majority of floor space in the U.S. commercial building stock is leased, and the split incentives dilemma creates several barriers to making that leased space truly efficient. The main questions have historically been financial: who pays the energy bill? How do the tenant and landlord split the upfront costs and long-term benefits of energy efficiency?