Posts Tagged ‘clean energy’

Keys to Unlock Energy Storage for Micro-grids and Utility Grids

New energy storage technologies can make electric grids better as batteries become part of the electricity supply. Huge markets for storage and self-supporting micro-grids are coming, and not because of our renewable energy needs. One of the largest U.S. power plant owners, NextEra, recently predicted that storage may be used for all new peaking power plants within a decade! Read More

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Renewables and Efficiency Seeking a Leader in Michigan

Things are heating up in the Michigan legislature as both the House and Senate are considering proposals to re-shape Michigan’s energy future. Unfortunately, the current proposals miss the mark on renewable energy and energy efficiency – both of which are widely recognized as important resources for meeting Governor Rick Snyder’s goals of adaptability, reliability, affordability and protection of the environment. As the conversations continue into the fall, will a leader emerge to ensure a strong commitment to a truly clean and sustainable energy future for the state? Read More

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Solar Power Shines in Land of Oil and Wind

The news today of a large solar plant in Texas tells a story about the future of energy in a place with a rich energy past. Read More

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King Coal’s Stages of Grief, Part 4: Bargaining for Delay

This week’s post in my ongoing series focuses on the third stage of grief, bargaining. The U.S. coal industry continues to get hammered by a series of terrible earnings reports, an ongoing wave of bankruptcies, and falling bond prices. Since my last post, Alpha Natural Resources has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because of consistently and unusually low stock prices, and Arch Coal executed a 10-1 reverse stock split in an effort to delay the same fate. In the bargaining stage, the grieving person typically looks for ways to avoid the ultimate fate, or buy time. For the coal industry, the bargaining stage manifests itself as industry supporters trying to delay any attempt to limit pollution from coal, including action to reduce carbon emissions. Read More

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What We Learn From A New Clean Power Plan Grid Report

Much heat and smoke has been produced over the EPA Clean Power Plan rule. PJM, the grid operator serving the region from Chicago, through the Ohio Valley to Washington D.C. and Norfolk finds no need for alarm. This is one independent authority that has provided more clarity on grid reliability impacts from the CPP than others with a preview of its next report. Read More

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Jaw-Dropping News in the Solar vs. Fossil Fuels Debate

You know the cliché about work that can be 59 minutes of boredom and one minute of white knuckle excitement and danger? In the electric power industry, this happens when a major power plant loses its connection to the grid, instantly and dramatically unbalancing the supply and demand of electricity. Blackouts follow if there isn’t an instant response.

Last week I had a similar exciting moment at a conference of utility commissioners, where I learned that a key grid reliability requirement during these emergencies has not been provided by new natural gas plants. Read More

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Look Ahead Minnesota: There’s Reason for Optimism about Your Clean Energy Future

Minnesota’s legislature might have missed an opportunity to advance the state’s clean energy future during this year’s session, but with Governor Dayton’s support for clean energy and leadership from state agencies, there’s still plenty to be optimistic about. Read More

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The Pope Is an Energy Wonk. Engineers Agree with His Assessment.

From the Papal encyclical: “In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.” Read More

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The Surprising Facts About the Clean Power Plan: Most States Are Already On Track to Meet 2020 Benchmarks for Reducing Carbon Emissions

A new analysis released today by UCS shows that most states are already making progress toward cutting carbon emissions from power plants by shifting from coal-fired power to cleaner generation sources like renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas. As a result of recent decisions and state laws that predate the proposed Clean Power Plan, 31 states have already made commitments that would put them more than halfway toward meeting the 2020 benchmarks set out by the EPA, and 14 of those states are already on track to meet or exceed them, including some unlikely suspects. Read More

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Congress Can Empower Energy Innovation Far and Wide. Here’s How.

Today there is much attention to new energy supplies, and the policies that can best guide their adoption. As part of that discussion, it’s important to note that most of the new technology and market-based behavior by users and suppliers of electricity stems from Congress passing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and its amendments. Read More

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