The Smart Grid’s Missing Ingredients

The same technology that links our phones to other smart devices is the key to unlocking a more intelligent, efficient, and reliable electrical grid.  Every day, we bear witness to the breathtaking pace of technological advancement in the modern world. Yet when we go home and turn on the light, the bulb is illuminated in […]

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Experts Debunk 100% Renewables Decarbonization

A group of 21 prominent energy and climate experts, writing in the June 19 edition of PNAS (“Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”) finds that the argument by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson that the U.S. can end carbon dioxide emissions with an energy diet entirely of wind, solar, and hydro “between 2050 and […]

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Warming Skeptic Challenges Climate Science Education

Veteran global warming gadfly David Wojick is mounting a challenge to the way climate science is being taught in our schools, and raising money online for his venture. At the same time, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt says he wants to mount teams to debate climate science, according to the Washington Post. Full disclosure: […]

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Glenn Schleede, Energy Policy Expert, Dead at 83

Glenn Schleede, one of the most significant and least known figures in U.S. energy policy over the past 50 years, died May 7. He was 83. The cause of death was glioblastoma, a brain cancer he had been fighting for several years. Glenn Schleede Schleede served as a policy analyst and advisor to three Republican […]

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Nuclear Farewell?

In 1957, legendary Calypso singer and civil rights activist Harry Bellefonte recorded “Jamaica Farewell,” which became a major hit in the U.S. The song’s chorus: “Sad to say, I’m on my way, won’t be back for many a day.” That looks like the theme song for nuclear power in the U.S. (and perhaps Western Europe […]

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Is Fuel Diversity a False God?

Fuel diversity is a topic that comes up often in discussions of electricity policy, generally thought to be a worthwhile, even indispensable, attribute in an energy system. A new analysis by R Street, a Washington free-market think tank, questions the conventional fealty toward fuel diversity, arguing that “a diverse fuel supply is not, in and […]

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Trump’s FERC Inaction Continues, Suggesting a Policy

An old saw among Washington’s large class of political cynics, reflecting decades of gridlock, goes, “Democrats can’t be trusted to govern. Republicans are incapable of governing.” The Trump administration so far is proving the cynics right. Exhibit 1 is the obscure but powerful Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, nominally part of the Department of Energy but […]

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Trump’s Infrastructure Failure at FERC

The Trump administration has still not nominated candidates to fill three vacancies at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. While hardly the stuff of Washington Post A-section attention, the inability of Trump to unlock FERC, which currently has no quorum, holds up important U.S. infrastructure projects, including natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas export terminals. […]

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States and Feds May Face Policy Donnybrook

A major dustup over national energy policies is brewing between state governments and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It’s about basic regulatory authorities, with the states emboldened by Trump administration rhetoric about states’ rights, and the feds handcuffed by the apparent unwillingness (or incompetence) of the White House in filling vacant FERC seats. If FERC […]

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Is Blockchain a Key to Distributed Energy and Grid Modernization?

Could the software technology that is the backbone behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin provide a path for electric utilities to accommodate the swirling financial transactions that accompany distributed generation and micogrids? The software technology is “blockchain,” a transaction recording software that, according to its advocates, provides “an incorrubtible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be […]

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