Browsed by
Month: October 2008

“Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself”

“Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself”

The October 15 "U.S.-EU High-Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum" was meant to be a cheery affair, but there were cracks in the façade that couldn't be covered over.  Yes, cast against the larger goal of addressing barriers to Transatlantic trade, regulators on either side of the ocean are now not only more aware of each other, they can and do communicate…

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Falling off A Cliff

Falling off A Cliff

In a previous post I outlined one of the central problems behind the credit market crisis: plummeting house prices. Although most people have a general understanding of how much housing construction took place at its peak, the chart below illustrates how much (over)building took place during the boom. Compare that to what is happening now, which is likely the most…

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CEE’s Industry Partners Take the Lead in Promoting Efficiency

CEE’s Industry Partners Take the Lead in Promoting Efficiency

Just finished participating on a panel discussion in New Orleans at the CEE Fifth Annual Industry Partners Meeting. The discussion focused on what industry groups — CEE's partners — are doing to encourage energy efficiency. Up on stage with me were reps from ALA and AHRI, both of which have interesting programs that promote energy efficient products in their industries….

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Not a Very Merry Christmas

Not a Very Merry Christmas

The federal government's $125 billion injection of equity capital into nation's 9 largest banks, along with several other concerted moves by the Treasury, Fed and FDIC are the first step in stabilizing the credit markets. With these efforts now moving forward, all attention is now being focused on the U.S. economy's prospects-and the evidence thus far isn't too comforting. Retail…

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Why Did They Name An Orchestra After Electric Light?

Why Did They Name An Orchestra After Electric Light?

Why Did They Name An Orchestra After Electric Light? Working at NEMA as a non-technical specialist often has its “Hey what about…?” moments. And so in these days of financial uncertainty, while others might be seeing their lives pass before their eyes, here I am out of the blue remembering ELO. How did that British group of the ‘70s/’80s come…

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Lost in the Shuffle

Lost in the Shuffle

As quickly as energy prices shot up earlier this year, they appear to be collapsing just as quickly. However, concerns over the financial and credit market crisis have largely overshadowed this. Falling prices generally bolster demand for a product, but concerns over the economy are keeping consumers off the roads. In addition, consumers may have changed their behavior directly as…

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Smart Billing

Smart Billing

As a resident of Washington, DC, I am pleased to be able to take advantage of a pilot program run by the local incumbent electrical utility that allows our family to save money by reducing our electricity usage during high-priced hours and shifting activities to times when the prices are lower. As part of the program, we were given a brand-new programmable…

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Nanotech Start-ups: Can Other People Build It?

Nanotech Start-ups: Can Other People Build It?

I read an excellent article from the October 3, 2008 edition of the N.Y. Times Magazine about the world of budding renewable energy companies and the role and function of venture capital companies in supporting them in their efforts to commercialize products.  The article provided four basic questions, the answers of which determine largely whether a small start-up company survives; “Can it…

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Including the Kitchen Sink

Including the Kitchen Sink

One thing often overlooked by casual market observers is the enormous set of policy options available to the Federal Reserve, and how they can be used to ameliorate the credit crisis. Sure, virtually everyone is familiar with the federal funds rate, which Fed members decided to cut by 50 basis points this morning in concert with cuts made by the…

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If You Want Electricity, You Need Transmission Lines

If You Want Electricity, You Need Transmission Lines

Even in the worst of economic times, Americans need electricity. We might cut back on our use of it — and NEMA's members are doing their part to help reduce U.S. consumption (see, for example, Dain Hansen's blog entry of August 20) — but for the foreseeable future we'll continue relying on electricity for our comfort and safety. That's why I applaud the approval by Virginia…

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