Posted On: Monday, Jun 17, 2019 - 11:30 am

Energy Initiative's director, Brian Murray, writes for Forbes: the levelized cost per unit of electricity from new utility-scale clean energy has dropped about 70 and 90 percent, respectively. In many places, the cost of new renewable generation is at or below that of existing conventional sources like natural gas, coal and nuclear. Yet, a recent study suggests that policies have driven up the retail price of electricity. Brian dives into detail about the paradox of rising and lowering electric costs.

Posted On: Monday, Jun 10, 2019 - 12:00 am

In fall 2018, Engineering Dean Ravi V. Bellamkonda posed a challenge to Duke Engineering faculty, staff, and students: Could they find high-impact ways to make the school greener and more environmentally sustainable? The community-wide initiative is called "GREENgineering." It’s focused on high-impact yet achievable projects related to improving sustainability awareness, increasing recycling, reducing waste, and energy use. A significant goal of the initiative is to have each of Duke Engineering’s 77 faculty research laboratories achieve Green Lab Certification through Sustainable Duke by the start of the fall 2019 semester. The impact would be big—research labs use five times more energy on average than other campus spaces.

Posted On: Saturday, Jun 08, 2019 - 12:00 am

Elizabeth Albright, an assistant professor at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment is quoted, "Most studies do suggest that experiencing an extreme event does affect one's beliefs about climate change."  This article explains that more people are facing climate change and its effects head-on. People are questioning it less, but now need to be motivated to take action about turning the tide.

Posted On: Thursday, Jun 06, 2019 - 12:00 am

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a mammoth undertaking that seeks to establish a “new Silk Road” linking China with over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Catalyzed by a D-SIGN grant in 2018-2019 and housed here at the Duke University Energy Initiative, the Riding the Belt and Road network was created by 5 Duke students to ignite larger interdisciplinary discussions about the Belt and Road Initiative. This article contains excerpts from their reports.

Posted On: Wednesday, Jun 05, 2019 - 12:00 am

Governor Roy Cooper has named Utilities Commissioner Charlotte Mitchell, a Nicholas School Alum, to serve as the next Chairperson of the North Carolina Utilities Commission effective immediately.

Posted On: Tuesday, Jun 04, 2019 - 12:00 am

Public attention focuses on a policy once a governor makes a formal announcement and sets the debate in motion. However, much of the work happens before that moment. Part One of this memo tackles the political case for action on a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program. Part Two describes the practical, nuts-and-bolts considerations to make before a policy announcement, to anticipate questions about design and legal authority, and to rally critical state and third-party resources.

Posted On: Monday, Jun 03, 2019 - 12:00 am

As electricity companies in low- and middle-income countries move deeper into rural regions, the cost of new connections generally increases while the electricity demanded by these new customers remains lower than urban and peri-urban customers. This brief provides a snapshot of the relevant demand-stimulating lessons learned in the off-grid space as well as those that have been pursued by governments and utilities in the past in order to help answer critical questions.

Posted On: Monday, Jun 03, 2019 - 12:00 am

Sutton Lake served as an impoundment for a Duke Energy coal-fired power plant from the 1970s until the plant was retired and replaced with a natural gas-powered plant in 2013. Coal ash solids found in sediments collected from Sutton Lake in 2015 and 2018 suggest the eastern North Carolina lake has been contaminated by multiple coal ash spills, most of them apparently unmonitored and unreported until now. Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at the Nicholas School of the Environment led the research around Sutton Lake.

Posted On: Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 - 12:00 am

The inaugural cohort of Energy Data Analytic PhD Fellows presented their research in The Generator. This article contains videos of their presentations.

Posted On: Friday, May 31, 2019 - 12:00 am

Over the 2018-19 academic year, Duke faculty, and students developed a series of pilot projects aimed at increasing understanding of the off-grid electricity market and improving system planning in Zambia. The team received seed funding through Bass Connections. The faculty and staff of the Energy Access Project at Duke—bringing expertise from economics and data analytics to development finance and power system planning—led the project team, overseeing an interdisciplinary group of 7 Duke undergraduates and 5 masters students, who earned course credit for supporting the research.