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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Flexible demand programs can boost renewables integration at the neighborhood and grid level. Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL

One Way to Boost Renewables? Let Flexible Demand Lend a Helping Hand

, Senior Energy analyst

The power grid has been designed, operated, and financially oriented around fossil fuels for decades. The legacy runs deep. Which makes a key topic in the energy transition “renewables integration,” or the technology, policy, and market changes needed to bring, and keep, ever higher levels of renewables online. One such switch? Fully valuing and mobilizing flexibility in electricity demand, the subject of a new issue brief from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Read more >

Dennis Schroeder/NREL
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Lee Junda/Unsplash

Getting Renewables to the Consumer – PJM and FERC Aren’t Helping

, Senior energy analyst

Electricity is almost always invisible. Same with the workings of the power grid. But a new decision on energy policy by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is pulling back the curtain and picking a fight with just about everyone just when popular demand for clean energy is pushing our energy system to adapt and grow. For the business types, think of the grid as a trading platform – the rules set who is able to do business on the grid.

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lee junda/Unsplash
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Brayton Point coal plant Credit: Mr. Ducke (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dippy_duck/)

Coal Is No Longer a Baseload Resource, So Why Run Plants All Year?

, Senior Energy Analyst

Today’s energy experts are increasingly questioning the validity of the generations-old way of thinking about our electric grid that says coal is needed as a baseload power resource year-round. “Baseload resources” are the generators that are thought of as providing a constant stream of electric power year-round. At its simplest level, energy wonks tend to fall in one of two camps:

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Synapse Energy Economics
Sierra Club + UCS
EIA
UCS
EIA
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It’s 2020. Massachusetts Needs to Move Faster on Climate and Clean Energy. Here’s How

, Senior energy analyst

The Massachusetts legislature is back in session, and it’s not a moment too soon: We need our legislators to do their part to drive the clean energy progress that Massachusetts so dearly needs.

Progress on clean energy depends on the legislature, and the progress can drive our economy, create good jobs, improve public health by cutting harmful pollution, and help us significantly cut the carbon pollution responsible for climate change. And the legislative session is already almost two-thirds over. Read more >

J. Rogers/UCS
Massachusetts Exec. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Massachusetts Exec. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
J. Rogers/UCS
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Omari Spears/UCS

The US Power Sector’s Decade In Review: Clean Energy Ascendant, Fossil Fuels Intransigent

, Senior Energy analyst

For the long-plodding electricity sector, “transition” doesn’t begin to convey the stunning magnitude of what this decade just saw transpire. At the same time, the magnitude of what’s just occurred is only beginning to approach the magnitude of what we need to achieve in the years to come.

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Omari Spears/UCS
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