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Expert Insight

Clean Energy Needs More Electricity Transmission Lines

Author(s): Liza Reed
Electricity Transmission Research Manager
Niskanen Center
Date: November 9, 2022 at 2:24 PM

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) invests $369 billion in climate and energy security, including tax credits for clean energy generation. Despite the hefty price tag, it does little to fix how we build the energy infrastructure needed to bring generated power to consumers. The IRA and 2021’s bipartisan infrastructure law combined constitute just a fraction of the policy changes we need for a clean energy economy. Lack of necessary transmission is already a bottleneck in bringing more clean energy online and has catastrophic consequences in extreme weather. Without more interstate transmission, decarbonization will be slower and more expensive. We must… [more]

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Net-Zero Needs a Clean Hydrogen Catalyst: The Case for Nuclear Hydrogen

Author(s): Carlos Leipner
Director of Global Nuclear Energy Strategy
Clean Air Task Force
Date: October 18, 2022 at 12:36 PM

Once again, the Atlantic hurricane season has demonstrated the impacts of climate change. Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as a category 4 storm in late September. It rapidly intensified to a “500-year flood event,” per Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, leveling communities, leaving millions without power, killing an untold number of people, and likely leaving behind billions of dollars in property damage. This follows a year of droughts, wildfires, and unrelenting heat. Clearly, the climate crisis is here. But we have answers to that crisis if we are willing to use them. Governments at all levels are already working towards… [more]

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Expert Insight

No, nuclear power is not actually ‘dangerous’

Author(s): Mike Shatzkin
Founder & CEO
The Idea Logical Company, Inc.
Date: November 19, 2021 at 3:16 PM

The global heating catastrophe being fostered by humanity’s proclivity to burn fossil fuels for energy is an emergency. An all-hands-on-deck emergency. An employ-every-tool-in-the-toolbox emergency. Despite that, a myth persists that blocks humankind’s use of the most powerful possible energy source that won’t add to the CO2 load. The energy source being vastly underemployed is nuclear. And the myth that stands in the way, so widely accepted as truth, is that “nuclear power is dangerous.” The acceptance of this four-word declarative statement as truth is pretty widespread. People’s fears about nuclear energy emerged in the 1970s due to misinformation and media… [more]

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Suddenly a Distressed Coal Town Thrives . . . and Provides a Model for Successful Clean Energy Economic Transition

Author(s): Sean O'Leary
Senior Researcher
Ohio River Valley Institute
Date: October 13, 2021 at 3:44 PM

Rural Centralia, Washington, and surrounding Lewis County have long struggled economically. From 1998 to 2014 the county added no jobs. The town’s largest employer, a coal mine, which employed 600 workers, closed in 2006. And operations at its other major employer, a coal-fired power plant have been reduced by half as the plant works toward a planned retirement in 2025. As these events unfolded, they seemed like an economic death sentence to many in Centralia. But fate intervened. The mine’s and power plant’s owner, TransAlta Corporation, struck a deal with the state of Washington and environmental groups to fund an… [more]

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Expert Insight

Extreme Weather Events: Multi-Pathway Approaches Within Our Grasp

Author(s): Scott Sklar
President
The Stella Group, LTD
Date: September 17, 2021 at 1:52 PM

The year 2021 has already outpaced 2020 in terms of extreme weather events. On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida left more than 1 million residents without power for days and led to historic rain in New York City. In February, Texas was hit with a historic -2 degree (F) cold snap that left 4.4 million people without power, caused enormous strain on the power grid, and froze pipelines. At least 217 people were killed directly or indirectly by severe cold, and the damages are estimated to be about $21 billion. This year, California faces the triple threat of wildfire… [more]

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Expert Insight

The Proposed Federal Clean Energy Standard

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 2, 2021 at 10:40 AM

A federal Clean Energy Standard has been proposed as a policy approach to help meet climate change goals.  The Biden Administration and some members of Congress are seeking to include it in budget reconciliation, and three variations of the policy have been introduced in Congress. The policy seeks to drive electric power generation to net-zero carbon emissions by requiring utilities to include more clean energy over time. Standards like this already exist in 30 states as renewable portfolio standards. Because of the similarities, many policy analysts believe a federal clean energy standard would be easy to implement. It would also… [more]

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Expert Insight

Innovation and the Energy Transition

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 7, 2021 at 9:32 AM

Experts have stated that we will need to use every tool at our disposal as well as create and deploy new energy technologies in order to meet the targets proposed in climate legislation. There are concerns that new solutions aren’t being advanced fast enough due to policy and financial barriers as well as the technological challenges inherent in innovation. OurEnergyPolicy hosted a webinar on June 2, 2021, to explore these questions and provide energy professionals with a better understanding of innovation and its role in the energy transition.  The panelists provided expertise on innovation with perspectives from government, finance, and… [more]

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Expert Insight

The Future of the Natural Gas Industry

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 20, 2021 at 3:51 PM

Natural gas is a critical but contentious part of our energy supply. Its relatively low prices, 50-60% fewer emissions compared to coal, and its flexible ramping capability have lowered the U.S.’s total overall emissions while still delivering affordable and reliable energy. Carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. energy sector decreased 28% between 2005 and 2018 with natural gas responsible for more than half of the reduction. Looking ahead, experts predict that the shift from coal to natural gas and renewables will continue in the coming years. The industry’s picture also includes expected increases in natural gas exports. On May 19,… [more]

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Why Biden Should Designate a Nuclear Waste Negotiator

Author(s): David M. Klaus
William J. Perry Fellow, Visiting Scholar
Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University
Date: April 12, 2021 at 11:54 AM

President Joe Biden comes to office at a time when there is a window of opportunity for the United States to make real progress on the management and disposition of nuclear waste. The two key challenges that must be overcome are the siting of a long-term repository for spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors, and the management of the 90,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel currently sitting at 70 reactor sites across the country. Because these challenges are mainly political, not technical, prioritizing the issue and designating a senior official to negotiate on the administration’s behalf has the potential… [more]

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Expert Insight

The Role of Hydrogen

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 29, 2021 at 9:57 AM

Hydrogen’s potential as an emission-free fuel for transportation, power generation, and industrial purposes is nothing new; however, interest in the technology has increased in recent years. Some energy professionals say hydrogen will finally have its moment, driven by the trend towards cleaner hydrogen production, the need for additional tools to address climate challenges, and hydrogen’s potential in hard-to-decarbonize sectors. On March 24, OurEnergyPolicy hosted a panel discussion examining the role of hydrogen in the energy sector.  The webinar covered the production and uses of hydrogen, current economics, and policies needed to support the continued growth of the industry. In discussing… [more]

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