Search Results for utilities
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Expert Insight

How Do Utilities Survive And Thrive With Distributed Generation?

Author(s): Todd Foley
Chief Strategy Officer and SVP for Policy
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
Date: September 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

With the recent growth of the distributed generation energy market and incentives for customers to produce their own energy and sell excess energy back to the grid, known as Net Energy Metering (NEM) in place in over 40 states, the traditional utility model has come into question. Facing competition from those who generate a portion of their own power and an associated loss in revenues, there is growing speculation that the traditional utility will struggle to survive if it doesn’t adapt to new market conditions. The Edison Electric Institute deemed rooftop solar “disruptive” – a threat to the traditional utility… [more]

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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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Will the Bonanza of Cheap Natural Gas Postpone the Transition to a Clean Energy Future?

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: March 27, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Thanks to breakthroughs in seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the US in 2012 reduced its reliance on much dirtier coal by shifting to gas-fired power plants. This trend is expected to continue, spurred by low gas prices and increased regulation on coal. The move to shale gas is being heralded as a key to economic prosperity and a clean energy future. But there are other options for displacing baseload electricity from retired coal plants, the principals being nuclear, renewables and energy efficiency. Will the gas bonanza enable or postpone the transition to these cleaner options? While natural gas… [more]

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Economic Impacts of Another Drop In Natural Gas Prices

Date: December 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Last year, significant growth in natural gas production combined with low demand – due to a warm winter – caused natural gas prices to plummet below US$2 per thousand cubic feet. This benefited consumers, but forced some energy companies to abandon gas drilling programs and put significant pressure on their budgets, most notably Chesapeake Energy Corp.  The decade-low prices also facilitated a transition in electric power generators from coal to gas, and in some cases nuclear to gas. However, according to EnergyWire, some analysts, like James Sullivan of Alembic Global Advisors, believe that this short-term electricity fuel transition has maxed… [more]

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