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Mike Jacobs

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About the author: Michael Jacobs is a senior energy analyst with expertise in electricity markets, transmission and renewables integration work. See Mike's full bio.

Grid Security and Renewable Energy: Too Much Information, or Not Enough?

Grid authorities have been pushed to address physical attacks on the grid by recent reports of grid insecurity, most of which are not public. Detailed information about electric grid infrastructure is classified for homeland security. Read More

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How to Rescue Us from High Energy Bills? Energy Efficiency!

High energy bills and repeated debate over retiring old fossil-fuel plants are reminders that the market has failed to make the most profitable investments, and the regulators have failed to direct utilities to deliver the lowest cost energy supplies. The market is missing “more than $1 trillion in value through 2020.” That is the conclusion of international consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in Dec 2013. The choice is NOT burn coal or freeze in the dark. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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Can Wind and Solar Power Meet Our Energy Needs?

News out that utility Austin Energy will meet its goal of 35 percent electricity coming from renewable energy four years ahead of schedule should help settle the question. Read More

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Looking to Reduce CO2 Emissions 40% from the Power Plant Sector?

Power grid manager PJM has an answer. Results of a three-year study of the power plant fleet operations from Chicago to Virginia show that raising renewable energy to 30 percent of the electricity supply can reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent. And this can be done while maintaining the reliability of the  electric system. Read More

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How Texas Made Wind Energy a Real Player

Press reports of Texas completing new transmission lines for wind describe an energy boom with a difference — this is carbon-free wind energy.  Read More

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Frozen: The Cost of Electricity Soars as Wires and Pipelines Fail to Meet Demand

The cold weather has pushed demand for energy very high. In our energy markets, demand rising faster than supply translates into higher prices. Electricity prices in the Mid-Atlantic and natural gas in the Northeast are showing this today, and this isn’t new or unique.  Supplies to meet demand are limited by the capacity of the delivery systems. Read More

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Wind in the Great Plains – and the Flood that Shut Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

This week the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the restarting the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, which has not run since the Missouri River flooded in June 2011. That flood reminded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the unmet safety needs of that plant, and helped the plant owner see the advantages of wind power. Read More

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Misleading IER Report on Wind Power Ignores Some Crucial Facts

A new, misleading report on wind power has emerged from the Institute for Energy Research. This small single-issue group has released an analysis of a single federal tax policy – the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) – and hidden an awful lot of relevant information in the process, including the group’s history of payments from fossil fuel interests and its distortions of renewable energy facts. Read More

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Disproving the Skeptics: 10x More Windpower and Solar is No Problem!

What would happen if we tried to make the electric supply 30% wind and solar? Air pollution goes down, and reliability is unaffected. Ok, now picture adding as much as 50,000 MW of wind and 60,000 MW of solar by the year 2026, and the engineers saying, “Sure, we can do that.”

That’s the finding of a study previewed today by the grid operator PJM and a consulting team led by General Electric. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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Where Is Wind Energy Cheaper than Natural Gas?

Answer: The gas-rich states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. This week, utility Public Service Co. of Oklahoma announced that it tripled its planned purchase of 200 MW of wind energy, to 600 MW, because of the immediate savings to its customers and the 20-year guaranteed stable pricing. Read More

Categories: Energy  

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