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Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency’

Managing Risk in Ohio: Clean Energy’s Role in a Reliable, Diverse Power Supply

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is a mantra often used by investors who diversify their portfolios to protect against volatility in financial markets. It’s also appropriate for the electricity sector in Ohio, a state that has historically been overdependent on coal and is fast becoming over reliant on both coal and natural gas, leaving consumers vulnerable to volatility in energy markets and many other risks. Renewable energy and energy efficiency can help diversify Ohio’s power mix, and bring safe, clean, reliable, and affordable power to consumers, according to a new UCS report. Why then is the central policy that is successfully supporting these clean energy industries in Ohio under attack? Read More

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“Not A Good Day in the Neighborhood” — Electricity Grid Progress since the August 2003 Blackout

Electricity grid operators knew hours before the 4 p.m., August 14, 2003 Northeast power failure that things were going badly. One called his wife, predicting accurately that he would have to work late, and another complained it was “not a good day in the neighborhood.”

The largest blackout in North America left 50 million people without power and largely without communications, but some engineers knew that the blackout could have been prevented. Part two of a two-part series on the Northeast Blackout of 2003. Read More

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The Alabama I Used to Know: Is the Southeast Getting Climate- and Water-Smarter?

A trip I just made to the Southeast included my first visit to Birmingham in decades, and glimpses of changes the intervening years had brought. New houses in my grandmother’s old neighborhood. Food that’s just as tasty as it used to be, but a whole lot more varied. And an energy scene that is changing, but not nearly as much as it should.

Our tour through Georgia and Alabama was aimed at talking with a range of audiences and experts about our new Water-Smart Power report. And when it comes to water-smart, there are plenty of reasons for the region to get on a different path, and lots of other reasons to celebrate where they’re headed. Read More

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13 of the Largest Power Outages in History — and What They Tell Us About the 2003 Northeast Blackout

What gets the most attention is not what causes blackouts in North America and Europe. It’s the system, not a shortage of power plants that is the problem. Take a look at the 13 major power outages over many years, and see that the problems we face are not because we aren’t building enough power plants. Part one of a two-part series on the Northeast Blackout of 2003. Read More

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Energy-Water Collisions: A Shared Concern for State Utility Regulators

Last week, I presented the key findings from our new report Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World to state utility regulators and their staff at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Meetings in Denver. Read More

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The President Touts Natural Gas as an Important Climate Solution: How Far Can it Take Us?

The President’s climate plan is an important start for reducing carbon and other heat-trapping emissions from human activities that are driving climate change. One of the key components of his plan is directing the EPA to complete carbon standards for new and existing power plants, which could help transition the power sector away from coal to natural gas and other cleaner sources like renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read More

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Nuclear vs. Solar: Corporate Profits and Public Risk

In the Sunshine State (Florida) and nearby states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, proposals for new nuclear power plants stand in stark contrast to lower risk, less expensive energy alternatives. Consumers in these states have already donated $6 Billion to the utilities’ nuclear ambitions. Read More

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A Welcome Voice of Corporate Leadership

A theme that I have been writing and speaking about a lot recently is the obligation of industry CEOs to lead their companies in reducing heat-trapping emissions and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy – not only because of the essential societal benefits but because it’s good for business. Read More

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Will Clean Energy Research and Development Be Sequestered?

In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the role research and development (R&D) has played to advance our society and enhance our quality of life. I think that most people would agree that keeping the lights on in a clean and safe manner is a core “quality of life” issue for all Americans. Yet, unless Congress reaches a budget deal by the end of the month, mandatory across-the-board funding cuts known as the sequester will kick in March 1. Given the important role R&D has played in advancing clean energy, I thought I’d lay out what’s at stake. Read More

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Bring on the Fire Trucks: RGGI States Tighten Cap, Up Their Climate Game

The nine states involved in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced plans yesterday to get stricter about power plant carbon emissions, with a tighter cap on those emissions and other updates that build on the program’s successes. That’s good news indeed, for the region and the country. Read More

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