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May 21, 2018 at 2:00 PM

EFI and NASEO Release 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report

by: David Foster
Distinguished Associate
Energy Futures Initiative

On May 16th, The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) released the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER). The USEER offers data on employment trends in four key energy sectors – Electric Power Generation and Fuels; Transmission, Distribution and Storage; Energy Efficiency and; Motor Vehicles. This is the third installment of the energy jobs survey established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2016.

Overall, firms covered by the survey anticipate roughly 6.2 percent employment growth for 2018. Energy Efficiency employers project the highest growth rate over 2018 (9 percent), followed by …

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May 14, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Accelerating the Growth of Solar and Wind with Biofuels

by: Dr. Bruce Dale
University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University, Dept. of Chemical Engineering

USDA Photo

Electricity generated from solar and wind has grown rapidly in the past few decades. However, its continued growth is imperiled by the high costs of grid integration. While solar and wind energy enjoy low operating costs, they are intermittent and variable on multiple time scales. Thus they may not be available when needed. Storing electrical energy is costly and so is providing backup power. Thus grid integration costs rise as the penetration of solar and wind electricity increases.

There is a strong positive correlation between installed wind and solar capacity versus the residential energy price in 21 member …

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May 7, 2018 at 11:02 AM

What Cybersecurity Means for The Grid

by: Adam Hahn
Assistant Professor, EECS
Washington State University

Cybersecurity threats to the electric grid are no longer hypothetical.  While attacks impacting grid operations have only been reported in Ukraine, DHS recently identified intrusions into the U.S. grid. Fortunately, substantial progress has been made in recent years to protect the grid.  While the North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC) has implemented bulk grid cybersecurity requirements for the past decade, state utility commissions are increasingly defining requirements for low-voltage distribution grids.  Furthermore, NERC-led initiatives, such as national response exercises (GridEX) and information sharing programs (E-ISAC) help ensure utilities are prepared to respond to similar events.  At …

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April 30, 2018 at 9:25 AM

Debate Continues Over Carbon Neutrality of Biomass


Last Monday, Scott Pruitt announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will now consider the burning of biomass for energy to be carbon neutral. The agency memo points out that the use of biomass for energy can bolster domestic energy production, reduce wildfire risk, and help ensure that forests continue to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The memo further states that “Managed forests improve air and water quality while creating valuable jobs and thousands of products that improve our daily lives.”

Despite the ruling, using biomass for energy remains a contentious issue. Scientists and various non-governmental organizations have raised concerns that

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April 12, 2018 at 12:24 PM

A Reliable Grid Relies on Coal

by: Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN-8)
U.S. House of Representatives
Member, Energy & Commerce Committee

It is critical that we ensure our nation enjoys a reliable and resilient grid, and that consumers continue to have access to affordable and reliable electricity. But today, coal-fired power generating plants are being closed at an alarming rate. Since 2010, plants representing almost 108,000 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity have shut down or announced plans to close. Indiana alone ranks second among all states with 39 coal-fired electric generating plants having already retired.

As a supporter of an all-the-above energy strategy, I believe that power generators should rely on a diverse mix of fuel sources. Coal-fired generation is one …

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