Energy

The US electricity system is undergoing a transformation that’ll change how energy is produced and used for decades. Our experts bring you the latest news and analysis on that transformation, including its opportunities, benefits, and challenges.


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Natural Gas vs. Renewable Energy: Beware the Latest Gas Industry Talking Points

The natural gas industry is on an aggressive public relations tear to convince Americans that for decades to come, it is the “bridge” between coal and renewable energy.

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Lithium Batteries Finally Get their Due with Nobel Prize Win

, Senior energy analyst

Today’s award of  the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to the scientists that created lithium ion batteries marks the common heritage of mobile communications (laptops and smart phones), electric vehicles, and a new era in energy storage for our electric system.

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Do Renewables Lead to Increased Air Pollution from California Power Plants?

, Energy analyst

California is a national leader in the transition to clean electricity, but integrating all that renewable energy onto the grid is no easy feat. Critics of renewables have long claimed that adding variable renewables (such as wind and solar) to the grid would force fossil-fueled power plants to operate less efficiently, leading to an increase in air pollution emissions. And as states start to integrate more renewables, those claims have come back.

But is this argument true? Do renewables really lead to increased air pollution?

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Tesla, Edison, “The Current War,” and What it Has to Do With Getting to Work

, Senior energy analyst

Getting to work on time can be enough of a hassle, but imagine if there wasn’t an agreed standard time, or worse if we didn’t have agreement about which side of the street to drive on. This simple but vital task of getting to work on time would be a mess.  Standardizing time zones was a key step in getting trains to run on schedules.

Today’s technology also relies on standards. “Plug-and-play” might be overused, but every appliance and wall socket are designed to meet agreed standards and offer consumers trouble-free connection for electrical products.

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M. Jacobs
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Photo: James Gignac

Weighing in on Xcel Energy’s Plans for Minnesota’s Energy Future

, lead Midwest energy analyst

This month, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is holding a series of public meetings to hear from individuals, communities, advocates, and other stakeholders on Xcel Energy’s plans for Minnesota’s energy future.

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Photo: James Gignac
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