Author: Ben Paulos


Ben Paulos

Bentham Paulos is an energy consultant and writer based in California. His views are his own, and don’t necessarily represent those of any of his clients.

How will Volkswagen’s Dieselgate settlement be spent?

German car maker Volkswagen, caught cheating on emissions tests in 2015 in the “Dieselgate” scandal, is rolling out plans to spend almost $15 billion in penalties and settlements. Some of the money goes back to customers, but about half will be used for infrastructure and pollution mitigation. Ben Paulos takes a look.

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Get ready for the next generation of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are approaching a tipping point, as a wave of new cars are matching the cost and performance of traditional petrol cars. Three breakthrough electric cars, from GM, Tesla, and Nissan, are offering drivers everything they want – but without the pollution. Ben Paulos takes an in-depth look.

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Solar comes to the trailer park

Solar power, once thought to be only for the wealthy, is now helping rural poor reduce their energy bills. Americans who live in mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty. But a new program could get them clean energy and provide long-term savings, says Bentham Paulos.

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On Biofuels, part 2: Climate science for bioenergy is lost in the woods

This is the second article in our series about biopower: read part three here.

Producing electricity from biomass is one of the most controversial and least understood forms of renewable energy.  In this three part series, we explored myths and facts about biopower. In this second installment, Ben Paulos tries to make sense of a seemingly simple question – is biopower good for cutting our carbon emissions?  It is anything but simple.

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On Biofuels, Part 1: Dispelling myths about biopower

This is the first article of three about biopower: read parts two and three to learn more.

Myths about biopower abound: from the fear that it is deforesting the US, to the exaggeration of how fast it really grows. Does bioenergy hold potential as a global warming solution? In this first installment of three on bioenergy, Ben Paulos looks for the facts.

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Wind and solar get cheaper and better

Wind and solar power have reached a tipping point in the US, as their prices become competitive with conventional electricity sources. Ben Paulos looks at the leaps and bounds in solar and wind, and what this means for the US energy transition.

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What comes after coal?

How do communities deal with the energy transition, in particular the loss of mining jobs? Ben Paulos takes a look at the documentary After Coal and two coal-dependent communities in Wales and Kentucky.

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The secret about nuclear power

There are some contradictions about the US nuclear power industry which have rich potential for creating confusion among citizens, the press, and elected officials. For instance, nuclear power is cheap to operate, but wickedly expensive to build and repair. Ben Paulos takes a look.

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