Search Results for transmission

MISO's more forward-looking planning should complement the push by states, utilities, corporations, and consumers for more clean energy across the central U.S. Windtech/Wikimedia

Midwest Transmission Operator Looks to the Future and Sees Clean Energy

, senior energy analyst

In a proposal put forth on October 17th, MISO – which operates the bulk electric transmission system across the central U.S. – leaned into the undeniable transition towards renewable energy resources, emerging technologies like battery storage, and the growing momentum behind decarbonizing our economy. It’s a marked shift for MISO – one that should be recognized as proactive and forward looking. It’s also essential to ensure a modern grid is ultimately ready to support a clean and reliable electricity supply. Read more >

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Midwest Transmission Operator Planning for a High-Renewables Future

, senior energy analyst

Driven by clean energy policies, customer demand, and simple economics, renewable energy technologies are becoming the dominant part of our energy future. Studies consistently show that wind and solar technologies could produce far more electricity than we currently demand, but questions loom about the transmission system’s ability to enable this transition to clean energy and maximize its potential benefits.

A new study undertaken by the regional transmission operator serving much of the central United States is seeking answers to some of these questions. But navigating the complexity and uncertainty inherent in planning our electricity future is a daunting task. Read more >

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New Transmission Projects Will Unleash Midwestern Wind Power—And Save Billions

, senior energy analyst

As we look ahead to our clean energy future, a key piece of the puzzle is building the transmission system that will carry utility-scale renewable energy from where it’s generated to where it’s consumed. A recent study from the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO) shows that, when done right, transmission projects integrated with renewable energy can pay huge dividends. They decarbonize our electricity supply, improve efficiency, and lower costs to the tune of billions of dollars in benefits to electricity customers.

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Source: MISO
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Thinking Big: Wind Industry Is Moving to Taller Turbines. Will the Transmission System Be Ready?

, senior energy analyst

The wind industry is shifting to taller, more efficient turbines. When looking to the future, we should be thinking even bigger. Read more >

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Which Costs More? Transmission Lines for 10x More Renewable Energy, or Pipelines for 2x More Natural Gas

, Senior energy analyst

Two recent reports make clear that long-distance gas pipeline infrastructure will cost more than the transmission investment needed for achieving 80% renewable electricity. The Keystone XL pipeline is just one new pipeline – let’s think about the energy system we are building. Read more >

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UCS Files in Support of FERC’s Groundbreaking Transmission Rule

, former dir. of energy policy & regulation, Climate & Energy

On June 25, UCS joined the Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council in filing a motion for leave to intervene in a court challenge by several utilities to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) groundbreaking Order No. 1000, Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation by Transmission Owning and Operating Public Utilities. Read more >

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"Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm" by DECCgovuk is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Offshore Wind: Latest News on Turbines, State Action, and Markets from Coast to Coast

, Senior energy analyst

While other news is capturing plenty of the public’s attention these days, there are some headline-worthy happenings in the world of offshore wind, including the first turbines in US federal waters. If you could use a splash of good news (and non-other-stuff news) at a time like this, here are a few updates.

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An October 14 screenshot of The New York Times' interactive coronavirus tracking map, which shows the 14-day trend of confirmed cases by state and county and the number of average cases per 100,000 over the past seven days.

Trusted Sources of Information about COVID-19: What We’re Watching and Following

, executive director

Are you looking for reliable and trustworthy information about COVID-19 and the pandemic? Here at the Union of Concerned Scientists, we’ve assembled a team of scientists, researchers, and public health and communications experts from across the organization who have been tracking and responding to the ongoing public health crisis since February, especially when we see political interference in science-based decision making. Here are some of the resources, organizations, experts, science publications, and other sources that I and our team look to and recommend. Read more >

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How California Will Prepare Its Infrastructure for More Climate Catastrophes

, Western states policy manager

Few people think very much about infrastructure. When roads, power lines, and water systems work, we tend to take it for granted. But when they fail, the loss is immediately apparent and sometimes hugely harmful to human life. As the impacts of climate change become more perilous, we must build infrastructure that can keep up with a changing climate. That is the essence of “climate-safe” infrastructure. Read more >

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The Quandary of COVID-19 Vaccine Trials for Black Americans Who (Rightfully) Distrust Medical Researchers

, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist

Well, here we are. The place where no one wanted to be. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have surpassed 200,000 Americans. Black Americans continue to experience the highest COVID-19 mortality rates nationwide, are almost five times more likely than White Americans to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from the disease. Despite those facts, Black people are not participating in the COVID-19 vaccine trials in large numbers. Read more >

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The THRIVE Resolution Puts Forth a Bold and Just Economic and Climate agenda

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Last week, the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) resolution was introduced in the House by Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM). THRIVE has 85 original Congressional cosponsors and has been endorsed by more than 200 organizations—including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)—and sets an ambitious and just agenda for economic renewal and climate action. With our nation reeling from an unprecedented wildfire and hurricane season, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis—all of which are exacerbating long-standing racial and socioeconomic disparities—this call to action couldn’t come at a more fitting time.

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Christopher Michel

The Evidence is Clear: The US Public Wants Science-Based Policies for COVID-19

You would think that after 190,000 COVID-19 deaths, the Trump administration might finally develop a national strategy to control spread of the coronavirus. No. Instead it foists on us a new member of the coronavirus task force with no expertise in infectious disease or epidemiology. Read more >

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www.allenandallen.com/CC

Bribery and Corruption at Utilities Cost Them–and Us–Big

, Senior energy analyst

Efforts to shield fossil-fired suppliers from the effect of state policies and competition from other resources results in additional customer costs and increased climate damage. Read more >

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Hurricane Laura Threatens Gulf Coast Energy Infrastructure

, Senior Energy analyst

Hurricane Laura is projected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane late tonight along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Conditions will be severe, with pockets of rainfall totaling up to 15 inches, storm surge reaching a staggering 15 to 20 feet, and wind speeds topping 140 miles per hour. Evacuation orders have been declared across the region, racing to get people out of immediate harm’s way.

A hurricane, though, is often only the first part of what can become a rapidly widening disaster post-storm. In particular, lasting disruptions to critical infrastructure like electricity can prove another disaster all their own. This is made all the more urgent given that not all residents in the region have the capacity to leave, and all disaster response will be additionally complicated by navigating the challenges simultaneously posed by the ongoing pandemic. Read more >

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Tanisha Belvin (left) holds the hand of neighbor and friend “Mama Nita” LaGarde (right), while they are evacuated from the New Orleans Morial Convention Center to the Reliant Center in Houston. LaGarde, Belvin, and Belvin’s grandmother managed to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina without being separated. Eric Gay/AP

Hurricane Laura and the Inequities of Evacuating to Safety

, Climate Vulnerability Social Scientist

For decades—if not longer—people in the United States have found themselves on one side or another of a widening equity chasm. The vast majority of people are on the side of that chasm that is also crumbling beneath our feet, yet somehow the chasm remains invisible in the list of the nation’s priorities. But sometimes there are events that lay our vulnerability so bare, so crystal clear that they serve as clarion calls for change. COVID-19 is that event. Hurricane Laura, forecast to make landfall somewhere along the Texas/Louisiana coast this week as a Category 3 or higher hurricane, could be the next.  Read more >

Eric Gay/AP
Lauren Bauer. 2020. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/05/06/the-covid-19-crisis-has-already-left-too-many-children-hungry-in-america/.
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FEMA

As Hurricane Laura Bears Down on Gulf Coast, Data Shows How COVID-19 May Affect Evacuations

, senior climate scientist

With Hurricane Laura churning toward the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands of people on the Texas and Louisiana coasts are currently under either voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders. Along with the thousands of people who have evacuated their homes due to wildfire threats in California, Gulf Coast evacuees will be adding to the ranks of those hoping to find safer shelter from climate-related events in the time of COVID-19. Read more >

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Better Ways of Valuing Energy Efficiency in Minnesota and Beyond

, lead Midwest energy analyst

Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a new report on ways to better value the benefits of energy efficiency. Our report, Energy and Emissions Benefits from Minnesota Energy Efficiency Investments, focuses on improving the analytical approach to how Minnesota utilities value energy efficiency but is broadly applicable to other states as well.

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Are California’s Rotating Blackouts a Sign of a Broken Grid?

, Energy analyst

This past weekend, California experienced two consecutive days of power outages, and more are possible in the days to come. Prior to this past week, this type of power outage had not happened in the state since the California Electricity Crisis almost two decades ago.

In the midst of a global pandemic and a west-wide heatwave, rolling blackouts—or rotating outages as the experts call them—are exactly the last thing Californians needed right now. For some, a power outage is just a minor inconvenience, but for others, power outages can be deadly.

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CAISO
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Why Did My Power Go Out? Four Ways the Grid Can Fail and Cause an Outage

, Energy analyst

There are many steps involved in delivering electricity to customers, and a power outage can be caused at any step along the way. First, power plants generate electricity. Then high voltage transmission lines move that electricity over long distances. Finally, the last leg of the journey happens on the distribution network, which delivers electricity to customers. Power outages can happen because of failures at any point in that process. Read more >

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With EPA Methane Rollbacks, Natural Gas Bridge Becomes Just Another Piece of Crumbling US Infrastructure

, Senior Energy analyst

Today, the EPA is finalizing rollbacks to methane standards governing oil and gas operations, dealing a major blow to climate, public health, and—oh, what’s that?—the fossil fuel lobby’s favored theory of change.

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President Trump walks into Lafayette Square after US Park Police and other law enforcement agents forcibly cleared peaceful protestors on June 1, 2020. Photo: The White House

The Clearing of Lafayette Square: Interior Park Police Chief’s Testimony Stains Agency’s Reputation

, Climate scientist

The allegation that park police misused their authority in violation of the first amendment and contributed to a possible slide toward autocracy makes me sick to my stomach. Read more >

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Man on city street in mask making stop gesture

How COVID-19 Disinformation Goes Viral

, Research Analyst

Disinformation is like a deadly virus. It originates from an initial source, replicates and spreads outwards, and can result in harm and death. Disinformation—false statements and images that have been intentionally manufactured—is a particularly virulent form of misinformation that can spread faster and with even more destruction. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 era, during which disinformation is so rampant that established scientific concepts continue to be distrusted, such as the value of mask wearing and the need for large-scale testing. Read more >

Gustavo Fring/Pexels
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How Will People Cope With Extreme Heat and Rising COVID-19 Risks This Week?

, senior climate scientist

As we speed toward a future where heat waves like this become the norm, we must do better. Read more >

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U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Matkin

Heat Wave and COVID-19 Clash: Tens of Millions of People at Risk in States Seeing COVID Spikes

, Climate Vulnerability Social Scientist

A major, long-lasting heat wave is spreading through the country over the next week. Many of these states are also in the throes of a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more >

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Louisiana National Guard member prepares to do COVID-19 screening
Louisiana National Guard

Roundup: Without Federal Coordination, Many States See Rising COVID-19 Cases

Liz Borkowski , UCS

The second three months of 2020 saw some progress in the fight to control the COVID-19 crisis, but with a vacuum of consistent, science-informed federal leadership the US became one of the few countries to see its case numbers plateau rather than drop—and case counts are now growing with alarming speed in states that relaxed standards too quickly. Read more >

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