Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Energy (44 found)

Can bonds help Asia achieve renewable energy goals?

A recent study examines the causes behind the financing gap in Asia’s renewable energy sector and proposes bonds as a potential solution.  

Shared solar: The next big thing in renewable energy

The U.S. solar market is rapidly growing, but a number of policy and economic barriers remain. Community solar projects offer a unique solution. 

How fracking could shake things up in the UK

Shale gas and oil production have been associated with earthquakes in several parts of the world. New research shows that in the United Kingdom, human activities have caused earthquakes in the past and more fracking will likely increase the frequency of earthquakes.

A Roadmap to 100 Percent Clean Power

A recent study outlines the steps we need to take to fundamentally transform our power system and rely primarily on renewable energy sources. Reaching that goal will be challenging but not impossible. 

Can the Chinese economy take on a renewable energy revolution?

A new study takes a closer look at how large-scale renewable energy development may impact China’s macro-economy.

Do whites and non-whites care about the environment differently?

A recent study shows that whites and non-whites prioritize environmental concerns differently depending on how the issues are framed. It also shows that, over generations, Mexican-origin immigrants become less concerned about the environment as they assimilate into U.S. society. 

Cool-green tech: Using plants as sunglasses for roofs

A team of engineers in Italy examined the two leading energy-efficient roof technologies: green roofs and cool roofs. Finding gaps in both technologies, they devised a way to combine them for even better efficiency, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool buildings. 

When it comes to efficiency of green buildings, size matters

A recent study in Germany shows that large housing companies refurbish apartment buildings at a much higher level of energy efficiency than private landlords do

Meatless revolution: A future where humans no longer eat animals?

Through new technologies, a recent study finds, humankind could begin a whole new era of food production – one where meat can be produced in laboratories and may even reduce the environmental costs of the livestock industry.  

What the frack? Gas extraction costs stay local while benefits leave town

Researchers show that shale gas extraction in Denton, Texas bombards local residents with health issues, contaminated water, and nuisance problems while profits, jobs, and other benefits leave with non-local corporations.

Rescue from the urban heat island

One way to mitigate the effect of overheating in cities is to construct reflective or green roofs. A recent study reveals the potential and limits of reflective and green roof technologies.

Energy innovation and emissions reduction strategies overlook the poor

There is a distinct lack of innovation in energy technologies despite the need to curb emissions. Worse yet is the bigger void of innovation geared towards expanding energy access to the world’s poor. A team of experts analyzed the reasons for this gap and outlined potential solutions.

When it comes to offsetting pollution, wind power outperforms solar

New research suggests there are significant differences in the pollution offset by an additional unit of wind power versus solar power. The evidence suggests environmental policy subsidizing renewable energy instead of addressing emissions directly is inefficient and unnecessarily costly.

Climate policies lead to higher GDP and employment rates

A new study offers encouraging news about prospective climate policy impacts on employment and GDP. Comparing two scenarios to a “business as usual” model, a team of economists present two scenarios that could achieve the European Union’s emissions reduction target by 2030 and also generate higher GDP and employment rates.

Ecocognition: Finding the economic benefits of reduced environmental impacts

Innovative examples from corporations around the globe show that the tools of industrial ecology can be used to recognize and develop the multiple benefits associated with reducing environmental impact and enhancing competitive advantage.

Emergency pleas for energy conservation may have unintended consequences

When the demand for electricity threatens to exceed supply, electric utilities often issue public requests for households to dial down their energy usage during peak hours. A recent study suggests that those appeals may inadvertently have the opposite effect.

Fracking fluids in the Marcellus: Does it mix with groundwater?

The drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires the injection of specific mixtures of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground, a key concern around shale extraction. A recent study examined the movement of these fracturing fluids in groundwater.

Incorporating the water-energy ‘nexus’ into policy talks

A recent paper explores how optimization can help industry’s water and energy understanding, usage, and policies.

Sustainability index: Evaluating performance of energy technologies in rural India

A recent evaluation of sustainability performance of energy technology systems in rural India reveals that biomass has the highest relative performance followed by hydropower. The sustainability of new and emerging technologies like solar, wind, and their hybrids has improved since 2005.

Electrified vehicles: a solid choice

A comprehensive review of passenger vehicle life cycle assessments shows converging opinion that electric vehicles are better for the environment than previously believed.

Post-Fukushima: The impacts on Japanese public opinion of nuclear power

A recent paper explores how demographics, cognition and emotions characterize post-disaster opinions of nuclear energy in Japan.

Reducing emissions in the U.S. housing sector will require multiple approaches

As carbon emissions climb, the US housing sector must embrace both energy retrofits and widespread adoption of green building in new construction to reduce their impacts.

Assessing effects of shale gas
extraction in water-scarce region

Multiplied by hundreds of wells, total shale gas use in the Wattenberg Shale in northeastern Colorado is in the vicinity of a billion gallons or more — and in a basin that is actively seeking new water sources to meet existing demand.

Can New York City be a global leader in energy efficient building design?

The buildings of New York City can be zero greenhouse gas emitting as early as 2050

Carbon policies may neglect the interest of water scarce areas

A national carbon policy may exasperate water shortages in the western United States. Yet, the high cost of water reduction in the electricity sector makes it an unlikely candidate for mitigating water consumption in light of climate change and carbon policies. 

Stranded nuclear fuel poses new challenges

Since nuclear fission was discovered in 1938, the world has built many bombs, dropped a few, provided low emission energy, and facilitated the creation of long-lived nuclear waste that currently has nowhere to go

Water usage in cities tied to greenhouse gas emissions

In Changzhou, China 10% of the city’s energy footprint is related to water usage. Through strategic water conservation efforts, policy-makers can simultaneously conserve water and energy, save taxpayer money, and reduce climate change impacts.

Bioenergy and Biochar – Two concepts brought together for sustainable land use?

Increasing carbon storage in soils through biochar and producing bioenergy from perennial plants can be a powerful means to mitigate climate change. Understanding soil microbial processes is crucial to achieve improved soil fertility, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.

Utility demand-side management programs show lasting and lagged effects

Utility companies’ demand-side programs produced a 0.9 percent savings in electricity consumption over the period between 1992 and 2006 and a 1.8 percent savings overall. They also achieved their maximum impact a few years after launching and had a long-lasting effect.  Policy-makers should incorporate consideration of lasting and lagged effects of DSM programs into consideration.

Quantifying the energy paradox: US consumers undervalue future fuel costs by 32 percent

When choosing fuel efficient vehicles, US consumers undervalue future fuel costs by valuing one dollar’s worth of future savings at 76 cents for the present price, a value gap of 32 percent.

Local solutions for local problems

In the search for effective adaptations to climate change, governments and international organizations may have little need to cast their nets far from home.

Ecological and social price of mega-dam power projects might be too high

The Malaysian state of Sarawak started its implementation of a gigantic hydropower project with the goal to leapfrog into modernity. This causes a range of unfavorable consequences that should be carefully assessed by other countries in the region that plan to install similar projects.

Siting wind without the negative impacts

In Kansas, researchers are finding easy ways to minimize the negative impacts of wind energy while greatly surpassing the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2030 goals. 

Foreseeing and Managing the Water-Renewable Energy Nexus

The inevitable expansion in renewable energy infrastructure will require keen attention and careful management of restricted water supplies.

The effect of price shocks and public appeals on energy consumption

Events that happened over a decade ago in California still provide insights into what could trigger consumers to cut back their energy use today.

Only three countries lead 60 percent of global environmental technology innovations

Despite capital investment and regulatory initiatives worldwide, international environmental technology transfer between developed and developing country occurs rarely while 60 percent of related innovation is concentrated in 3 countries.

Think you’re saving energy? You might want to think again

Research finds that people who believe they are helping the environment may actually know less about energy conservation than the average person.

Hydraulic Fracturing "cheat sheet" for Peer-reviewed Literature

Though shale gas extraction with the use of hydraulic fracturing has been underway in the U.S. for about a decade, peer-reviewed literature looking at its impacts has only begun to be published. Some of the articles that were among the first published on the environmental impacts, and remain among the most talked about, are described here.

Possible contamination pathways from fracking

Previous research on hydraulic fracturing has indicated possible contamination of water wells by methane. A new research article attempts to model potential contamination pathways to aquifers from Marcellus shale gas beds.

Shale-gas extraction and hydraulic fracturing accompany methane contamination of drinking water

Scientists explore how and what kind of methane makes it into natural gas wells.

Fracking and the threat of drinking water contamination

Drinking water wells are only 60 to 90 meters below the surface, while the Marcellus Shale is at depths of 1,200 to 2,500 meters. Still, new research suggests that, because of the hydrology of northeastern Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing poses a risk to these shallow drinking water resources.

Shale-gas extraction calls for water awareness in Texas

A new study calculates the total water usage for shale-gas production in Texas. While the total water usage doesn’t overwhelm state resources currently, the variability in local conditions over time will call for more careful consideration of water resources in the future.

The true cost of power outages

Being afraid of the dark is apparently justified. 

Wind and solar energy can be a powerful combination in New York State

Almost 30% of New York State’s electricity demand can be met by wind and solar energy, and having both forms of renewable energy operating at the same time can significantly reduce the problem of intermittency.