Menlo Energy Economics

Surging Oil Industry Brings Opportunity To Rural California

What started as a trickle has grown into a stream, and by most accounts, is likely to turn into a flood. We are, of course, talking about fossil fuel divestments as an increasing number of investors and fund managers are pledging to cleanse their portfolios of dirty assets – whatever that means. It started with… Keep reading →

California Adopts Sweeping Plan To Combat Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Far from perfect but the best there is  Winston Churchill famously said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Despite its many flaws, that is how its supporters characterize PJM’s capacity market. As proof of its appeal, countries as far away as the UK, Germany, So Korea, to name a… Keep reading →

This photo taken on October 29, 2010 sho

Not everyone can do what Palo Alto has done, but it is worth trying  Palo Alto is not your average US city. Not only is it home to world-renown Stanford University, it is, by many measures, the intellectual capital of Silicon Valley. It is an above average town in affluence, education, and by most other… Keep reading →

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Fails Pressure Test, To Be Inspected By NRC

Still wondering why more nukes are not getting built in the West? In 2002, the Finland’s parliament approved the construction of Olkiluoto 3 expecting completion by 2009. To guard against cost over-runs, Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) signed a €3.2 billion (roughly US$4.2 billion at current exchange rate) fixed-price turnkey contract with a consortium including… Keep reading →

Sunset Lines Up With Manhattan's Street Grid

If vandals can do so much harm, what can determined terrorists accomplish  Ever since The Wall Street Journal published an article on the threat that a few vandals with assault rifles inflicted on a critical substation, there has been heightened concern about grid security. The 18 Feb 2014 article titled Assault on California power station… Keep reading →

Germany Debates Renewable Energy Investements

It is that simple, yet not simple  Between 2006 and 2009, Texas installed roughly 7 GW of wind capacity, nearly all in West Texas, where it is windy. But since there is virtually no load in the area, nearly all generated power had to be transmitted to major load centers in the South and East… Keep reading →

Germany Debates Renewable Energy Investements

Despite impressive gains, policy uncertainties prevail  First, the good news: Global investments in new clean-energy capacity will total $1.61 trillion through 2020 according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest annual renewable report. The Paris-based agency predicts annual investment in wind, solar and biomass to average $230 billion. This will boost renewables’ contribution to about… Keep reading →


  Local utility caves in to pressure, finally Having been slapped by the regulators for being slow and unimaginative – that is putting it politely – Hawaiian Electric Company was forced to make an about face. HECO now says it will get 67% of its electricity from renewables by 2030%, a third of that from… Keep reading →

Germany Invests Heavily In Alternative Energy Production

Europe’s biggest economy marches towards a greener future. Aug 18 was a Sunday like any other in Germany. At 2 pm, the country’s renewable generation capacity peaked at 41 GW while demand was around 53.5 GW – meaning that renewables accounted for roughly 75% of generation capacity, a new record for Europe’s biggest economy. At… Keep reading →

Sunset Lines Up With Manhattan's Street Grid

Customer grid defection through self-generation and storage not good from societal point of view  Utilities in the US and elsewhere facing rapid rise of solar PVs are more or less unanimous on two remedies to address the revenue erosion challenge facing them: First, reducing the incentives to self-generation and Second, increasing the fixed charges customers… Keep reading →

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