The last 12 months have brought a lot of change to the world — some good, some less so; some too fast, some too slow. But in the energy space, the essential transition to energy that is cleaner, healthier, lower-cost, and more secure is definitely underway in the U.S. This year, we saw strong signals that we’re moving in the right direction on energy, with renewables like wind and solar (going up), coal (going down), renewables integration (looking good), and energy storage (on its way). Here’s a look at some of the year’s highlights. Read More
December 19th, 2013
December 5th, 2013
The day after Thanksgiving around our house this year, as usual, involved cleaning up from the festivities of the day before, harvesting a tree, and stringing the lights. The scrumptious desserts at our celebration on Thursday may have added to my weight (I promise to exercise more, really), and the tree may have involved a little slice of temporary deforestation (though I know the Christmas tree farms plant more).
But thanks to LED technologies, the part about the holiday lights involves a whole lot less electricity — and carbon — than it used to. Read More
November 22nd, 2013
If droughts, heat waves, and power plant troubles aren’t strong enough signals that power plant water use is something worth paying attention to, maybe this week’s approval of an energy-water resolution by NARUC, the national association of utility regulators, can help. Understanding the importance of actions like NARUC’s (and Mother Nature’s) depends on understanding how much water U.S. power plants use, and why. It’s a good time to take stock of what we know about that issue. Read More
November 20th, 2013
NARUC may not be a household name, but it, as the national body of state public utility commissioners (PUCs), deals with a whole lot of important issues for consumers in every state. And today its members weighed in on the important issue of power plant water use, following up on what UCS, Mother Nature, and others have been saying about water-related risks for the power sector, and how to deal with them.
November 7th, 2013
The latest ranking of states’ energy efficiency policies and programs is out, and many of the results are what you’d expect. (Hint: the Red Sox aren’t the only winners in this neck of the woods.) But there are some surprising results worth checking out—including shout-outs for Mississippi, Illinois, and others. Read More
Do Wind Turbines Affect Property Values? No — or at Least “No Statistical Evidence” — Says New Hedonic Study
October 22nd, 2013
October 8th, 2013
The Brayton Point coal plant is shutting down, and that’s a really positive development for a whole lot of reasons.
The new owners of the Somerset, MA, plant let it be known this week that they’d be shutting down Brayton Point by 2017. For the many community members and organizations that have worked for this goal for years, it’s a cause for celebration. But it’s also a great thing for the public at large. Read More
October 2nd, 2013
While a lot of folks are rightly focused on the House-Senate budget collision in D.C. right now, I’ve been thinking (as is my wont) about collisions of a different sort: between power plants and the rivers and lakes they depend on. Read More
September 23rd, 2013
Life in New England is also good for fans of clean energy and a stronger, cleaner energy future, which should include just about anyone with lungs or a wallet. Just-announced plans for more local renewable energy, and a new report on best cities for energy efficiency, show the important progress New England is making in some key areas for our economy and our environment. Read More
September 18th, 2013
My family and I were fortunate to get to vacation last month with cousins, siblings, and grandparents on a long road trip around an area northeast of home. Great family time, loads of car games and card games, historical and natural attractions, and lots of driving practice.
The trip also included chances to see whales doing their thing, and wind farms doing theirs. To this ocean-loving and energy-oriented tourist, both aspects of the trip — the whales and the turbines — were marvels to behold. They have important differences, but more similarities than you might think. Read More