East Coast utilities are making big grid investments to prep for a hot and stormy 2013. Fresh on the heels of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction last year, East Coast utilities are girding their grids for future storms, including a 2013 hurricane season that’s shaping up to be a tough one, according to the latest forecasts. That spending… Keep reading →
Methane leakage – specifically its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions – has made headlines in the news as a potential downside to the US natural gas boom. While much of the attention has been focused on the gas production process, leakage at the regulated natural gas transmission and distribution level also has the potential to raise… Keep reading →
It may not compare to the German solar market. But the U.S. is definitely becoming a major force globally when it comes to new installations.
According to the 2012 Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, America installed 3,313 megawatts of solar capacity last year — accounting for 11 percent of total global installations. That’s up from 7 percent in 2011. Keep reading →
The promise of smart grid has long been a closer and two-directional link between energy customers and providers. It has been the promise of an end to the decades of opaque or confusing bills arriving in the mail, an end to the lights and heat coming on or not in a kind of perceived magic only dimly related to real world assets like power plants, energy market regulations or natural gas wells.
The first generation of smart meters, now nearing a decade in age, seemed predicated on the idea that the next step in the evolution of the power consumer was a fascination about energy supply and consumption. Customers would become as obsessed with saving money and tracking usage as their suppliers were, or as they’d been proved to be in other market situations like grocery shopping. That didn’t transpire to be the case, and the high-touch, human-led information processing of the first generation of smart grid failed to have the desired impacts on usage or market transparency. Keep reading →
As a scientist with one eye squarely on the environment and the other on people, I’m proud that, for the last six years, I’ve helped to lead the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition and its diverse array of members to help the public make decisions about nuclear energy and America’s energy future based on facts.
As I step down as co-chair of CASEnergy Coalition following a busy, fulfilling six years, I feel fortunate that, along with my co-chair and friend Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, we’ve made a lot of progress Keep reading →
How many billion of dollars does it take to secure the infrastructure of an energy company against the “known unknowns” of historic storms and other forms of interruption and just as importantly, who should pay?
The Public Service Enterprise Group company of New Jersey (PSEG) had an opportunity to answer that question in real time in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, a storm that impacted facilities that had never been hit by storms in 50 years of operation and knocked out power to a remarkable 90% of the company’s customers. Since then, the firm knows that “business as usual is not enough,” PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo told the AGRION Energy & Sustainability Summit in a wide-ranging speech opening the second day of the conference in New York City this week. Keep reading →
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), a rocket engine maker based in California, celebrated another milestone in its effort to conserve energy and reduce waste with the commissioning of United Technology Corp.’s first operational large (400kW) fuel cell in the San Fernando Valley.
About 35 people attended the Jan. 9 event at PWR’s headquarters in Canoga Park, including Los Angeles City County Councilman Dennis Zine and representatives from California state assemblyman Bob Blumenfield’s office; the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; and Southern California Gas Company. Keep reading →
After Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Atlantic shoreline, my 88-year-old mother-in-law sat in her New Jersey home, unwilling to leave her things, for over a week with no electricity. Another friend of mine spent that same week waiting in gas lines to refill a generator and keep his brother’s small business going. These two examples don’t even include the truly unfortunate folks who completely lost their homes and businesses; they just lost their electric power.
There has been quite a bit of buzz about whether the “smart grid” and associated technologies and applications actually helped in the Sandy recovery efforts. They may have but I think we can do better. Keep reading →
James Hughes, CEO of First Solar, recently gave a hugely interesting interview to Australia’s Renew Economy in which he discussed his company’s future, the state of the global solar market.
Hughes’ views on utility scale v. rooftop solar are intriguing and worth reading, as First Solar is one of the largest solar manufacturers in the world and a major player in the U.S. utility-scale solar market. The company has paid considerably less attention to small-scale commercial and residential solar, and this focus is reflected in Hughes’ comments about the future of distributed renewable energy generation: Keep reading →