Crossover utility vehicles blur distinction between passenger cars and light trucks

Read the full story from the Energy Information Administration.

Light-duty vehicles are generally classified into two groups: passenger cars and light trucks. However, crossover utility vehicles (CUVs)—which appear similar to sport utility vehicles but share design attributes with passenger cars—are blurring the distinction between the two classifications.

Proposed federal budget and its impact on energy and environment: A roundup

Below is a roundup of some of the most recent stories about the effect of President Trump’s proposed budget on energy and environmental agencies. I’ll do additional roundup posts as more information becomes available.

Family, air quality and a strong business case: the coal executives defecting to green energy

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Australian clean energy activists might have recognised some strangely familiar faces joining their ranks of late – those of their greatest adversaries in the coal industry.

Coal sector executives have been quietly switching sides to chase the lucrative profits up for grabs in green energy and – welcome or not – the experience they bring could prove vital to the increasingly desperate race to avert cataclysmic climate change. From a fifth-generation coalminer applying his hereditary knowledge to harvesting the building blocks of a clean energy economy to a fierce opponent of a price on carbon launching an energy-efficiency start-up, here are a few examples:

Triple play boosting value of renewable fuel could tip market in favor of biomass

Read the full story from the University of Wisconsin.

Technologies for converting non-edible biomass into chemicals and fuels traditionally made from petroleum exist aplenty. But when it comes to attracting commercial interest, these technologies compete financially with a petroleum-based production pipeline that has been perfected over the course of decades.

Winning that competition — or at least leveling the economic playing field — requires a leap forward. And by developing a new process for obtaining not one, but three high-value products from biomass in one fell swoop, University of Wisconsin–Madison engineers and their collaborators have now made that leap.

Consumer vs Prosumer: What’s the Difference?

Read the full post at Energy.gov.

Most of us have been consuming electricity from the grid the same way for more than a century now.

But that’s starting to change.

A new buzzword is out on the streets signaling a growing shift in how we power our homes and communities – “prosumers.”

Simply put, a prosumer is someone who both produces and consumes energy – a shift made possible, in part, due to the rise of new connected technologies and the steady increase of more renewable power like solar and wind onto our electric grid.

Think of it like a Facebook feed or YouTube page. Most users don’t just read or watch content – they also create their own and actively add to the conversation on social media.

4 Technologies Driving Energy Efficiency Jobs

Read the full post at Energy.gov.

When you think of energy jobs, you may first picture someone fixing a wind turbine or installing a solar panel.

These jobs are certainly on the rise. But as businesses and home owners increasingly seek cost savings on their utility bills, a large portion of energy jobs today – almost a third in fact – are focused on efficiency.

More than 133,000 energy efficiency jobs were added in 2016, bringing the total number of Americans working in the sector to 2.2 million people. More than half of those jobs (1.4 million) are in the construction industry alone. Whether it’s construction, manufacturing, or wholesale trade, much of this job growth has been driven by four technology areas.