Search Results for electric-grid
34 item(s) were returned.
Discussion

What Maine Did to Secure Its Electric Grid from Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbance

Author(s): Andrea Boland
State Representative
Maine State Legislature
Date: August 8, 2013 at 10:38 AM

On June 11, 2013, the State of Maine passed the first legislation in the nation to protect the electric grid against electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and geomagnetic disturbance (GMD). EMP’s, such as high-altitude nuclear explosions, and GMD’s, such as major solar flares and storms, have the potential to critically disrupt or destroy the electric grid. In March 1989, a moderate solar storm hit Quebec, Canada, causing a province-wide blackout that cost two billion dollars in direct damage, and scattered effects throughout the northeast United States. The Maine legislation that I sponsored, LD 131, “Directing the Public Utilities Commission To Examine Measures… [more]

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Is Net Metering a Sustainable Policy for Utility Customers?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

A battle is heating up in California regarding the State’s net metering policy as the California Public Utilities Commission is reviewing the policy’s costs and benefits.  Net metering is an incentive that allows consumers who produce their own electricity, from rooftop solar panels for example, to sell excess back to the grid (often) at full retail price. Opponents of net metering contend that the volumetric retail rate includes fixed costs that are essential to the long-term stability of our utility infrastructure. They claim that net metering customers get the benefit of using the grid, but pay less to do so… [more]

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Protecting the Grid Against Solar Storms

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 18, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Numerous studies by accredited groups, such as the Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Commission, the National Academy of Sciences, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have concluded that solar storms and resulting geomagnetic disturbance are a critical threat to the reliability of electric grids. The recent report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” presented solar geomagnetic storms as one of eight “black swan” events that could change the future course of human history. Solar storms effecting power grids are not merely a hypothetical scenario. A moderate solar storm hit Quebec, Canada in March 1989, causing a province-wide blackout. Despite the… [more]

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Could New Gas-Fired Power Plant Technology Revolutionize The Energy Mix?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: October 1, 2012 at 7:16 AM

GE recently announced a line of new natural gas turbine models that offer both increased efficiency and flexibility. Traditionally, “Conventional natural-gas power plants are generally either flexible or efficient. That is, some can quickly increase and decrease power output to meet spikes or lulls in electricity demand, while others are able to hum along steadily without using much natural gas but take hours to bring up to speed,” wrote Kevin Bullis of MIT’s Technology Review. Power plants need to become more nimble as demand increases, fossil fuel prices continue to fluctuate, and more renewable energy sources are added to the… [more]

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Encouraging Grid Security with Distributed Generation

Author(s): Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Member
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: August 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Along with Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), I recently introduced H.Res.762, with which we mean to express “the sense of the House of Representatives regarding community-based civil defense and power generation.” The Resolution is intended to “encourage community based civil defense preparations, including distributed generation of 20% of local electricity needs.” The U.S. electric grid is one of our nation’s most critical infrastructures—none of the other 17 critical infrastructures will function properly without it. America’s grid is vulnerable to widespread blackouts of extended duration from any and all of the following threats:… [more]

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Making the Electric Grid More Resilient

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: July 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Heat waves and violent storms recently knocked out power to millions of Americans from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic, and for many the power was slow to come back on. These weather-related power outages highlight one of the U.S. power grid’s key areas of vulnerability – others include susceptibility to conventional or cyber attack, and man-made or solar electromagnetic pulses – and the heat-related deaths and lack of economic productivity due to the outages show just how dependent on the grid we are. Many suggest that “smart grid” technologies would enable electric operators to diagnose failures and reroute power more efficiently,… [more]

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What’s Holding Electric Vehicles Back?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 16, 2012 at 7:40 AM

On March 13th, C2ES held a panel discussion in Washington, DC titled “Electric Vehicles Plugging into the U.S. Grid.” The panel addressed the opportunities and challenges surrounding broad roll-out of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). A key point of discussion was the need for harmonization between the auto industry, utilities, and government so as to optimize the electric grid as PEVs become a larger proportion of the vehicle fleet. Another key point was the need for consumers that are well-educated on PEVs. What’s keeping PEVs, and other alternative fuel cars, from breaking into the market? Is it simply a lack of… [more]

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DOE-backed Firm Claims Battery Breakthrough

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 28, 2012 at 8:08 AM

As reported by the New York Times, Envia Systems, a California-based battery manufacturing company, announced yesterday what it calls a “major breakthrough” in battery technology that is “poised to revolutionize cost, range and safety in electric vehicles.” According to Envia’s press release, the breakthrough is a world record 400 Watt hour/kg lithium-ion battery, at a cost of $150 per kilowatt-hour, which is expected to “slash the price of a 300-mile range electric vehicle by cutting the cost of the battery pack by more than 50 percent.” Envia was awarded $4 million by DOE’s ARPA-E in 2009, and later received $7… [more]

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Obama’s FY2013 Budget Heavy on Energy R&D, Renewables, Efficiency

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM

President Obama sent his requested FY2013 budget to Congress Monday, and requested, among other energy-related items, significant increases to energy R&D, renewable energy investments, and energy efficiency programs. From the request: “In light of the tight discretionary spending caps, this increase in funding is significant and a testament to the importance of innovation and clean energy to the country’s economic future.” Among the energy-related budget requests: $27.2 billion to the Department of Energy, a 3.2% hike over FY2012 $5 billion for DOE’s Office of Science $2.3 billion for DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office – a 29% increase –… [more]

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Energy Storage and the Future of Energy

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: January 9, 2012 at 8:15 AM

The New York Times recently published an article outlining the role of energy storage in facilitating increased adoption of renewable energy. The article highlights two companies – SolarReserve and BrightSource – that will open and operate solar thermal storage plants over the next several years. These plants will use the daytime sun to heat water and salt. The latent heat will then be used to power traditional electric turbines after the sun has set. The Energy Storage Council lists the following among the uses of energy storage: Enabling “renewables, solar or wind, to store energy generated during off-peak hours for… [more]

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