Archive: Business

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Global Monitor (July 2008)

Yucca Mountain plan sent to NRC/ CPV cells get cooling chips from IBM/ StatoilHydro to pilot test first offshore floating wind turbine/ U.S. rivers next massive power source?/ Siemens delivers 500-MW gasifiers/ Algae: A green solution/ POWER digest

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The green trade-off

By Steven F. Greenwald and Jeffrey P. Gray These should be good times for environmentalists who focus on “green” energy policy. More than half the U.S. states have adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require utilities to meet specific renewable generation targets, and many are considering additional actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Such […]

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Assessing and addressing cyber threats to control systems

Control systems used by utilities and other operators of America’s industrial infrastructure increasingly rely on an Internet connection that makes them as vulnerable to hackers as any computer or network. One reason many utility control systems are vulnerable is that, unlike your ISP’s systems, they don’t record an audit trail that reveals the source of the attack.

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Microgrids promise improved power quality and reliability

Last month, POWER explored the growing importance of the smart grid, which is envisioned as using digital technologies to enable integrated, real-time control of all the system’s elements, from generation to end use. This month we focus on the emerging technology of microgrids: controlled groupings of dispersed generation sources that are connected to the main electrical grid but that can function independent of it. We examine their benefits and their potential impact on 21st-century utilities and their customers.

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Boulder to be first “Smart Grid City”

The next-generation power grid—enhanced by digital technologies throughout the network to give generators, distributors, and customers greater control—promises to improve efficiency and lower operating costs. This year, in the most full-scale effort yet, Xcel Energy begins introducing intelligent grid technologies that it hopes will make Boulder, Colo., the first Smart Grid City.

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Why RPS programs may raise renewable energy prices

Until very recently, common wisdom held that the price of renewable energy would fall as legislative procurement mandates ensured its long-term demand. The resulting growth in supply and sales would spur investment in the field, create economies of scale, and accelerate progress down the technology learning curve. Something unexpected, however, happened along the way. Though […]

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Global Monitor (May 2008)

National Grid divested of Ravenswood/ GE to sell Baglan Bay plant; From prairie grass to power/Renewables experience 40% growth/ The sustainable city/Solar recharger for developing countries/ Seeking CCS solutions/ Hoover Dam could stop generating/ Japan turns to fossil fuels/U.S. reactors produce record power/ POWER digest

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Regulators should stop playing the greed card

In early February, Western GeoPower (WGP) announced its termination of a 20-year geothermal power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). A WGP press release explains that the company terminated the agreement because a regulatory approval condition had not been obtained within a 180-day time period stipulated in the PPA. WGP’s CEO, […]

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Economies of connection

The advent of the Smart Grid will bring a new driver for value creation to the electric power industry: economies of connection. In the future, the Smart Grid may offer our industry improved returns more typical of Internet-based businesses like eBay, Amazon, and Google to replace the diminishing returns typical of traditional “steel in the […]