Search Results for electricity
43 item(s) were returned.
Expert Insight

U.S. Hydropower Potential Untapped

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 24, 2012 at 7:42 AM

On April 17th, US DOE released a report titled An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States. The report analyzes the hydroelectric power generating capacity at 54,000 existing dams across the United States, and indicates that fully developing non-powered dams (NPDs) could result in additional generating capacity of more than 12 gigawatts (GW). This would increase current US hydropower capacity by 15% and provide enough energy to power four million households. The report concludes that of the 12 GW of potential capacity, “a majority is concentrated in just 100 NPDs, which could contribute approximately 8 GW… [more]

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Cheap Natural Gas & U.S. Power Supply

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 18, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Last week the EIA reported that natural gas-fired power generation will increase by as much as 17% in 2012, while coal is expected to decrease 10%. This shift away from coal and toward natural gas is largely tied to gas’ low price, as well as projections of the impacts of increasingly strict federal regulation on power plants. In March, natural gas spot prices averaged $2.18MMBtu, their lowest level since 1999. Then on April 11th, the NYMEX May gas futures contract settled at a 10-year low of $1.984/MMBtu [EIA]. Despite low gas prices, some utilities express hesitancy about over-committing to gas-generated… [more]

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Could a “Green Button” Change our Energy Use?

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: April 8, 2012 at 7:30 AM

In 2011 the Obama Administration put out a challenge to utilities: give customers a way to better access and understand their energy use data. The challenge, and its result the “Green Button” initiative, is based on the assumption that the more information consumers have, the smarter they will be about their energy use decisions. Utilities around the country have begun to sign on to the initiative and commit to provide their customers with real-time energy use data. Data provided by utilities through the Green Button initiative will be collected and hosted by the Department of Energy in a standardized format.… [more]

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Impact of EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rules

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM

On March 27, 2012 the Environmental Protection Agency, under the authority of the Clean Air Act, released proposed greenhouse gas standards for newly constructed power plants. The rules would require that “new fossil‐fuel‐fired power plants meet an output‐based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt‐hour (lb CO2/MWh gross).” Combined-cycle natural gas plants should be able to meet this requirement, and coal- or petroleum coke-fired plants would be able to with emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage. The proposed rules elicited varied response from advocacy groups, many of which were highlighted in this Los Angeles Times article. Environmental… [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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Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 Introduced

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would require electric utilities to derive increasing percentages of their supply mix from low-CO2 sources. The bill would take effect in 2015, and would require that by 2035 84% of power from large utilities come from low-CO2 sources. Sources eligible under the legislation include: renewables, such as wind and solar, “qualified” renewable biomass and waste-to-energy, hydropower, natural gas, and nuclear. Facilities with CO2 capture and storage, and some combined heat and power facilities, are also eligible. The bill establishes a market-based… [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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NRC Approves First Nuclear Reactors in more than 30 years

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved by a 4-to-1 vote Southern Company’s bid to build two nuclear reactors along the Georgia-South Carolina border. These are the first new reactors to be approved by the NRC in more than 30 years. The reactors will cost a Southern Co. led investment group around $14 billion, and will begin producing power as soon as 2016 or 2017. “Today’s licensing action sounds a clarion call to the world that the United States recognizes the importance of expanding nuclear energy as a key component of a low-carbon energy future that is central to job creation,… [more]

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The High Cost of Clean Energy Standards without Efficiency

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: January 17, 2012 at 8:22 AM

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a Clean Energy Standard (CES) requiring that 80 percent of the nation’s electricity come from clean energy resources by 2035. Over the past decade, Congress has debated renewable electricity standards, typically allowing energy efficiency to meet a portion of the target. For example, in 2009, an RES was included in the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009, requiring 15% renewables by 2021, and 27% of this target could be met by energy efficiency. What happened to energy efficiency in the President’s proposal? A well-designed CES policy would enable… [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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