Utilities

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BOULDER AND THE SPREAD OF COMMUNITY CHOICE UTILITIES

By | Thursday, November 21, 2013|, |

Boulder Colorado’s election results are being heralded as yet another “solar victory,” in a string that stretches back to the Louisiana and Idaho Public Utilities Commissions decisions earlier this year. The relevant questions on the ballot, however, pertain to Boulder’s attempt to join more than 1,300 American communities that have formed their own utility. Question 310 would [...]

RENEWABLES BIRD PROBLEM

By | Wednesday, October 30, 2013|, |

It’s not what you think. Meet the Duck Chart. In the lively conversation about how to integrate variable renewables such as wind and solar into our electric grid’s generation mix, an unlikely player has entered the fray: a duck. It’s not literally a duck, mind you, but rather a mallard-esque graph—now famously known as the [...]

PUBLIC UTILITIES & THE NECESSITY FOR CHANGE

By | Saturday, October 26, 2013|, |

On page 4 of an Edison Electric Institute (EEI) booklet called Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail, “Distributed Energy Resources” (the best known source of which is Rooftop solar) is identified as “the largest near-term threat to the utility model.” Though the impact of this “disruptive technology” is still small, [...]

RWE MAKING RADICAL DEPARTURE FROM CONVENTIONAL UTILITY APPROACH

By | Thursday, October 24, 2013||

Much has been written about the potential death of utility companies that don’t adapt to the distributed, clean energy revolution that is underway. They’ve been called dinosaurs, obstructionists, dummies, and much more. Well, it seems that German utility RWE, one of the largest utilities in the world, doesn’t want to fall into that lot and is eager [...]

AUTO POLLUTION KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN AUTO COLLISIONS DO, RESEARCH SAYS

By | Wednesday, October 23, 2013|, , , , , , , , , , , , |

Automobile pollution kills more people than automobile collisions do. That’s the rather blunt way of wording the recent findings of a study on the subject done by researchers at MIT. To word it another way — a notably greater number of annual premature deaths in the US can be attributed to automobile pollution than can [...]

CALIFORNIA’S NEW ENERGY STORAGE INITIATIVE

By | Saturday, October 19, 2013|, |

After two and half years of debate, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has finalized a decision that the state’s investor-owned utilities must  begin buying a combined 200 megawatts of energy storage technology by 2014 and reaching 1.3 gigawatts (1,325 megawatts) by the end of 2020. All 5 CPUC Commissioners approved the landmark decision. In [...]

POTENTIAL SOLUTION FOR LONG DISTANCE POWER TRANSMISSION LEAKAGE

By | Saturday, October 5, 2013||

(Editors Note: According to San Diego utilities engineer Bill Powers, around 7-8% of the power that passes through systems like the Sunrise Powerlink is lost in transmission. This number can rise to as much as 14% on a hot day. In the article that follows it states that there have been occasions where transmission leakages [...]

DOES A DECADE MAKE A DIFFERENCE? THE DEBATE TO BRING ENERGY DEREGULATION BACK TO CALIFORNIA

By | Wednesday, September 25, 2013||

It's been more than a decade since California deregulated the energy industry, but a recent settlement with a major Canadian power company has just been reached to refund $750 million dollars to California residents who were drastically overcharged during the energy , notes the Los Angeles Times. What started as an attempt to bring in [...]

SAN DIEGO RANKS #20, IN SURVEY OF US ENERGY EFFICIENT CITIES

By | Monday, September 23, 2013|, , , , |

San Diego ranks #20 in a  report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, with an overall score of 38.25. The top five cities were Boston (76.76), Portland (70), San Francisco (69.75), New York (69.75), and Seattle (65.25). The report compared what America’s 34 largest cities are doing to save energy and costs in five [...]