Just in case you are in the mood for a little hilarity, take a look as Mike Fell explores, photographically on Twitter, how heat pumps resemble George Clooney. 

ENERGY

ENERGY


Harnessing fossil fuels to generate energy –for electricity, transportation, heating and cooling– has enabled our huge growth over the past 250 years. Simultaneously, burning those fossil fuels has released, and continues to release, the CO2 that is the major cause of global warming and all its consequences.

We need both energy experts and environmental experts to collaborate in shifting from a fossil-fuel-based energy system to one based on renewables. Stanford University released one such plan.   

There are a wide variety of energy-related topics that we need to understand and acknowledge in our quest to preserve a livable planet. They include the development of renewables, of course, and the quest for safer nuclear (a clean energy source as far as CO2 is concerned).  Natural gas, which burns “cleaner” than coal or oil (and cheaper), has become a major player but, if safety measures aren’t carefully in place, it also releases methane (among other things), a powerful greenhouse gas, making it no kind of real solution.

This ENERGY section intends to explain the way energy currently works (explaining the sources, the role of utilities and transmission, and its uses, such as transportation, electricity, cooling and heating). It also explores the way a transition to renewables could look as we modify the grid, create energy storage through new battery technology and more exotic techniques, shift to electricity as our primary form of energy and, of course, find ways to conserve, one of the most important “sources” of energy-needs reduction — from light bulbs to smart thermostats and just plain reduction of use.

There are various emerging “drawdown” techniques, which promise to reduce the CO2 load, but also involve capturing and storing carbon. Many of these NEW TECHNOLOGIES are covered here.

Every year, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Department of Energy produce Sankey flow diagrams showing where energy in the U.S. comes from and where it’s going….The first thing that grabs attention every year is how much of this energy consumption is “rejected energy.” That’s what is wasted as heat going up the chimney or out the exhaust pipe. ..The most obvious and disturbing number on the chart is the total of petroleum, coal, and natural gas….Our biggest problems are fossil fuel-powered cars, cars, and cars. They are grossly inefficient, and our world is designed around them. When we electrify them, the total energy going to them is only a quarter of what it is now.

CREDIT: TREEHUGGER

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

World Energy Outlook 2021

10/29/21
Against the backdrop of turbulent markets and a crucial meeting of the COP26 conference on climate change in Glasgow, the 2021 World Energy Outlook (WEO) provides an indispensable guide to the opportunities, benefits and risks…

Let us find the best electricity & natural gas rates for you

10/18/21
Enter your ZIP code to see prices

Reports and Publications

10/08/21
The Future of Clean Hydrogen in the United States: Views from Industry, Market Innovators, and Investors

Stone Edge Farm

06/14/21
Imagine a lush, self-sustaining island that generates clean electricity, grows organic food and wine grapes, re-uses water, and creates fuel for zero emission vehicles.

US Energy Consumption Dropped 7.3 Quads in 2020

06/03/21
The single most important number here is the total estimated energy consumption of 92.9 quads. A quad is a quadrillion BTUs (1015) and is equivalent to the energy in 8,007,000,000 gallons of gasoline–it's big. In…

Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer

05/21/21
The Data Explorer is an interactive tool that provides access to data from the EPA's annual Inventory of the U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. You can use the tool to create customized graphs, examine…

Energy Explained

05/18/21
Your guide to understanding energy

U.S. Energy in the 21stCentury: A Primer

04/08/21
Since the start of the 21stcentury, the U.S. energy system has changedtremendously. Technological advances in energy production have driven changes in energy consumption, and the United States has moved from being a net importer of…

Clean Air Act: ElectricitySector and Greenhouse Gas Standards

03/21/21
Congress may continue to examine Clean Air Act (CAA)authorities and climate change issues as it deliberates on legislation and conducts oversightof the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Biden Administration has committed to reducing greenhouse…

Testimony Before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate

03/20/21
Climate Change Is Expected to Have Far-reaching Effects and DOE and FERC Should Take Action.

Transition Towards a Decarbonised Electricity Sector

10/01/20
A Framework of Analysis for Power System Transformation.

Impact of Climate Risk on the Energy System

10/01/20
Examining the Financial, Security, and Technology Dimensions.

Taking Charge: Decisionmakers shaping the future of the power sector

09/04/20
The electric power industry is engaged in a massive transition toward resilient infrastructure and lower emissions. In a recurring series, Utility Dive talks to top regulators, executives and other decisionmakers to share new perspectives on…

2020 U.S. Energy &Employment Report

08/20/20
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) a nonprofit association representing the 56 energy offices of the states, territories, and District of Columbia, and the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), a nonprofit think tank based…

Rewiring America

08/07/20
A handbook for winning the climate fight. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world the dire consequences of ignoring science and its predictions of global crises. But the pandemic was just a rehearsal for the climate…
Vox

How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly

08/06/20
The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035.

LIPA board OKs allowing municipalities to procure own energy

06/09/20
LIPA trustees on Wednesday approved a rule change that will bring a level of competition to electricity supply on Long Island by allowing local towns and villages to make wholesale energy purchases through contracts with…

2018 Case Study Report

02/20/20
Cities are ready for 100% clean energy.

Climate risk and decarbonization: What every mining CEO needs to know

02/10/20
Building a climate strategy won’t be quick or easy—but waiting is not an option.

U.S. Emissions Dropped in 2019: Here’s Why in 6 Charts

01/31/20
Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States dropped last year after a sharp increase in 2018, new data released Tuesday show. The drop resumed a long-term downward trend driven chiefly by a shift away from…

Carbonfund

08/01/19
Carbonfund.org is leading the fight against global warming, making it easy and affordable for any individual, business or organization to reduce & offset their climate impact and hasten the transition to a clean energy future.…

Our Energy Policy

11/09/18
The mission of OurEnergyPolicy is to facilitate substantive, responsible dialogue on energy policy issues, and provide this dialogue as a resource for the American people, policymakers, and the media. OurEnergyPolicy does not have or endorse…

MORE NEWS

Lucky drivers will get discount on Ford EV pickup for helping the grid

By Julian Spector  Photo: John Tlumacki, Getty Images   08/24/22  
A select group of drivers could soon knock a chunk off their lease payment for a hot new Ford F-150 Lightning — if they sign up for a smart-charging program with utility Duke Energy. It’s…

Does turning off the air-conditioning when you’re not home actually save energy?

By Aisling Pigott and others   08/24/22  
Hot summer days can mean high electricity bills. People want to stay comfortable without wasting energy and money. Maybe your household has fought over the best strategy for cooling your space. Which is more efficient:…

National Grid RFI finds ample renewable gas, green hydrogen available in New York, Massachusetts

By Robert Walton  Photo: Darigold   08/16/22  
National Grid on Tuesday announced it had located “robust stocks” of renewable natural gas and green hydrogen via a recent request for information, enough to meet its needs in New York and Massachusetts through 2025.…

Utility leaders hail clean energy tax incentives as House sends historic climate bill to Biden’s desk

By Ethan Howland  Photo: drnadig, Getty Images   08/15/22  
The bill contains tax, healthcare and climate provisions, including about $369 billion in spending over 10 years on energy and climate measures. In a measure expected to affect some utility companies, the legislation is partly…

The climate bill will make cleaner energy cheaper for everyone.

By German Lopez  Photo: Tony Cenicola, The New York Times   08/12/22  
By the end of today, Congress will likely have passed the biggest climate bill in U.S. history. This newsletter has already covered the bill’s main goals and the back story of how it came together.…

Wildfire and electric grid: Crisis requires long-term planning rather than rapid response

By Cassie Koerner  Photo: Ethan Swope, AP Photo   08/11/22  
Wildfires are a top priority for land management agencies and utilities, as the number, size and intensity have increased along with the cost to battle these mega-blazes. While not all wildfires are caused by the…

“He has total veto power”: Greg Abbott takes control over who will lead Texas’ troubled power grid, sources say

By Mitchell Ferman  Photo: Lauren Witte, The Texas Tribune   08/10/22  
Locked in a potentially tight reelection race and facing criticism over the grid’s 2021 collapse, the governor is exerting unprecedented influence over what the state grid operator shares with the public — and who will…

Electricity Is One Part of US Inflation That Congress Can Help Tame

By Nathaniel Bullard  Photo: David Paul Morris, Bloomberg   08/04/22  
We are less than a week away from the much-anticipated release of the Consumer Price Index, the key measure of US inflation, for July. As of June, US personal spending on energy goods and services…

Why electricity is more expensive and less reliable

By Brien J. Sheahan  Photo: Yin Yang, Getty Images   08/03/22  
With the annual rate of inflation reaching 9.1% in June, the highest in 41 years, consumers are being hammered by unsustainable price increases for staples like food, housing, furniture, gasoline, airfare, and cars and trucks;…

Track public money for energy in recovery packages

08/02/22  
As governments across the world continue to invest hundreds of billions in the energy system to reboot their economies, our analysis is expanding to cover more countries and provide a more comprehensive global picture. Countries…

A Controversial Ruling Puts Maryland’s Utility Companies In Charge Of Billions in Federal Funds

By Aman Azhar  Photo: Tom Williams, Getty Images   07/30/22  
A recent decision by Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) allowing electric utility companies to access millions of dollars in federal grants without public oversight or input violates the Commission’s regulatory responsibilities, the state agency representing…

Climate Bill ‘Transformative’ for Auto and Energy Industries

By Jack Ewing and Others  Photo: Ruth Fremson, The New York Times   07/29/22  
The $369 billion climate and tax package Democrats in the Senate proposed this week could have far-reaching effects on the kinds of cars that Americans drive, where those cars are made and how the country…

Concerns grow over Texas power grid as temperatures rise

By Isa Gutierrez   07/20/22  
As Texas sees record-breaking high temperatures across multiple areas this summer, there are renewed concerns over the state’s power grid system. NBC News’ Isa Gutiérrez has more including how Texans were asked twice to cut…

Intense heat pushing Texas grid to the brink highlights need for long-duration storage, experts say

By Elizabeth McCarthy  Photo: Adeline Kon   07/19/22  
Energy storage of different durations and attributes is needed to absorb excess intermittent renewable energy and fill in resource gaps as extreme weather, electric vehicles and building electrification push up demand on U.S. power grids…

Biden appoints Robinson to DOE grid office after GOP pushback against previous nomination

By Catherine Morehouse   07/19/22  
Maria Robinson, whose name was withdrawn to lead the DOE Office of Electricity just last month after Republican criticism, has been appointed again by the White House.

Renewables, EVs to double Northeast grid. Will it work?

By Miranda Willson   07/19/22  
New England’s electric grid will more than double in size over the next 20 years as thousands of megawatts of renewable energy comes online and over a million electric vehicles and heat pumps are installed,…

Cryptomining Capacity in U.S. Rivals Energy Use of Houston, Findings Show

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Mark Felix , Getty Images   07/17/22  
Seven of the largest Bitcoin mining companies in the United States are set up to use nearly as much electricity as all the homes in Houston, according to data disclosed Friday as part of an…

25.5% Of US Electricity Coming From Renewable Energy

By Zachary Shahan  Photo: Zac Shahan   07/16/22  
Electricity generated by renewable energy sources continues to grow month over month and year over year in the United States. In April 2022, the share of US electricity coming from renewable energy was up to…

Western US at risk for widespread blackouts through dog days of summer

By Andrew Keiper   07/15/22  
Across most of the western half of the U.S., electric companies are bracing for a heightened risk of blackouts during high usage periods due to rising temperatures and lower-than-expected energy production, according to a recent…

Texas Urges Power Conservation as Heat Wave Lingers

By Will Wade and Others  Photo: Mark Felix   07/14/22  
The operator of the Texas power grid is asking homes and businesses to cut back on electricity use Wednesday afternoon as a heat wave continues to smother the state.

More Electricity From Wind & Solar Than Nuclear For 1st Time In USA

 Photo: Zach Shahan , Cleantechnica   07/14/22  
During the first four months of 2022, electrical generation by renewable energy sources accounted for over 25% of the nation’s electricity. In April alone, renewables accounted for 29.3% — an all-time high.

What an $8B Western grid project means for U.S. clean energy

By Peter Behr   07/14/22  
A planned 2,000-mile network of electric lines known as the Energy Gateway is more than a project to transport massive amounts of wind and solar energy among Western states that face potential supply shortfalls. It’s…

Electrification won’t break the grid, it will make it smarter.

By Sam Calisch & Others   07/12/22  
To meet our climate goals, we must electrify nearly everything in our economy. That will require delivering about two to three times more electricity than we do today [2]. A share of this will come…

Is Burying Power Lines Fire-Prevention Magic, or Magical Thinking?

By Angela K. Evans  Photo: Shmuel Thaler , Getty Images   07/11/22  
With the West stricken by rising temperatures, deepening drought and blasting winds, often all that’s needed to ignite a fire is a spark. Increasingly, power lines strung through expansive wildlands to sprawling Western communities provide…

Electricity grids aren’t making the most of wind power

By YCC Team   07/05/22  
“Instead of the grid operator telling the power plant when to run and how much, the power plant gets to tell the grid operator, ‘We’re going to run this much,’” Gomberg says. “So there’s some…

Risks and Opportunities: It’s an Interesting Time to Be in the Power Industry

By Aaron Larson   07/01/22  
“The war in Ukraine, which was unpredictable on most economic forecasts, has had both macro and micro impacts on the power generation industry,” John Stilwell, U.S. Partner-in-Charge, Energy Advisory—Power and Utilities with Grant Thornton LLP,…

Senators urge FERC to hurry up on transmission rule

By Kristi E. Swartz  Photo: Francis Chung   06/28/22  
Two senators are urging Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick to enact swift reforms regarding two high-profile transmission issues seen as critical to shifting the nation to cleaner, cheaper forms of electricity.

G7 leaders stare down energy and climate tug of war

By Andrew Freedman  Photo: Gabriella Turrisi   06/27/22  
The geopolitical fallout from Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is on display at the ongoing G7 meeting in Germany, where climate change is a key topic of conversation Monday. State of play: In the bucolic…

Electric vehicles could significantly increase demand on the power grid, trials underway to change energy use behaviour

By Kym Agius   06/24/22  
Electric cars could increase demand on the power grid during the evening peak by at least 30 per cent unless households adopt smart charging, a new trial shows. Origin Energy has teamed up with the…

Is a Michigan energy firm using dark money to influence California’s climate plans?

By Sammy Roth  Photo: Erin Kirkland , Getty Images   06/23/22  
For all of California’s groundbreaking climate policies — the 100% clean energy mandate, the goal of ending gasoline-vehicle sales by 2035 — there’s still a lot of uncertainty over how the Golden State will zero…

Putin Still Holds the Cards When It Comes to Global Energy

By Suriya Jayanti   06/18/22  
The much lauded Transatlantic unity against Russia’s war in Ukraine has failed either to save Ukraine or hobble Russia. Judging by the rhetoric coming out of the Kremlin, however, it has fed Russia’s delusions of…

Vehicle-to-grid (V2g): Everything You Need To Know

06/17/22  
V2G stands for “vehicle to grid” and is a technology that enables energy to be pushed back to the power grid from the battery of an electric car. With electric vehicle-to-grid technology—also known as car-to-grid—a…

Power Company NextEra Plans to Cut Carbon Emissions to Close to Nothing by 2045

By Katherine Blunt   06/15/22  
No major U.S. utility company to date has committed to near-total decarbonization without the use of offsets or carbon-capture technology. The strategy represents a big gamble for new NextEra Chief Executive John Ketchum, who earlier…

NextEra Energy plans to cut all carbon emissions by 2045, partly via FPL adding 140 GW of solar, storage

By Ethan Howland  Photo: Glen Richard , Getty Images   06/14/22  
Outside Florida, NextEra aims to help decarbonize the utility and other sectors through its NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary. NextEra sees a roughly $4 trillion investment opportunity in decarbonizing the U.S. economy by 2050, a move…

Fuel crisis: slash demand in three sectors to protect economies and climate

By Felix Creutzig  Photo: Krisztian Bocsi , Getty Images   06/13/22  
The war in Ukraine has triggered an energy and resource crisis. Russian exports account for 3.6% of coal, 7.0% of natural gas and 5.8% of oil consumption globally (see Supplementary information). Much of those exports…

Collaborating for a Clean Energy Future: California’s First 100% Renewable Multi-Customer Microgrid is Now Operational

06/07/22  
Research and development was supported through a $5 million grant from California’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)—a statewide program which invests in scientific and technological research to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector to…

Disrupted Energy Markets: Fossil Revival or Renewable Opportunity?

06/03/22  
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and surging inflation disrupt global energy markets, even insiders are scrambling to make sense of this moment. The European Union recently agreed to ban imports of 90 percent of Russian…

The power grid explained — plus demand response, virtual power plants and more

By Alison F. Takemura  Photo : Binh Nguyen , Canary Media   06/02/22  
How does electric power reach our homes and workplaces? Via the grid — a vast network of electrical lines, transmission towers, transformers, and control and sensing equipment that carries electricity from power plants to where…

DOE launches grid interconnection initiative to cut ‘gridlock’ hampering clean energy progress

By Ethan Howland  Photo : Lovelyday12 , Getty Images   06/02/22  
In an effort to spur clean energy development, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching a program to improve the grid interconnection process through a partnership with utilities, grid operators, state and tribal governments, clean…

A summer of blackouts? Wheezing power grid leaves states at risk.

By Evan Halper  Photo: David J. Phillip , AP   06/02/22  
The nation’s power grid is under stress like never before, with regulators warning that the kind of rolling outages that are now familiar to California and Texas could be far more widespread as hot summer…

Inside Ithaca’s plan to electrify 6,000 buildings and grow a regional green workforce using private equity funds

By Robert Walton  Photo: Robert Walton/Utilitydive   06/02/22  
Ithaca is known for its progressive politics — in the 90s the city pioneered a time-based currency to inspire local spending, for example. But the decarbonization plan is among its most ambitious efforts, according to…

How Putin Has Played His Energy Cards

By David Wallace-Wells  Photo: Ibrahim Rayintakath   05/31/22  
Almost as soon as the war in Ukraine began, in February, I found myself returning to an essay published online in Foreign Affairs in November. In “Green Upheaval,” Jason Bordoff and Meghan O’Sullivan predict that…
Rmi

The Economics of Electrifying Buildings

By Sherri Billimoria and Others   05/31/22  
Seventy million American homes and businesses burn natural gas, oil, or propane on-site to heat their space and water, generating 560 million tons of carbon dioxide each year—one-tenth of total US emissions. But now, we…

U.S. approves major transmission line from Wyoming to Utah

By Nichola Groom  Photo : Stephen Lam , Reuters   05/27/22  
The Biden administration on Thursday gave final approval to a 416-mile electric transmission line that will help connect more wind and solar energy to the Western U.S. grid.
Rmi

Three Questions Wisconsinites Are Asking about Heat Pumps

Lauren Reeg and Others   05/27/22  
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission, which regulates public utilities in the state, is currently deciding what role the state’s energy efficiency program will play in developing the local market for heat pumps. Heat pumps are…

The U.S. Is Addicted To Gas Heating. A New Bill May Make Going Electric The Easy Choice.

By Alexander C. Kaufman  Photo: Leon Neal , Getty Images   05/25/22  
When it’s cold outside, most American homes burn gas or fuel for warmth ― a big part of why buildings are the country’s fourth-largest source of climate-changing emissions. When it’s hot, an even bigger percentage…

Democrats scramble on energy prices ahead of Memorial Day

By George Cahlink & Others  Photo: Francis Chung , E&E News   05/25/22  
Both parties have spent weeks trading blame over who is responsible for high fuel costs that threaten to be a major issue in the midterm elections. Partisan bills have been proposed that won’t pass the…

How changing demand and supply for energy can help tackle climate change

By Ben Van Beurden   05/24/22  
With the huge uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, volatile energy prices and threats to a secure supply of energy, there is a fear that countries and companies will shy away from their promises…

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

05/23/22  
Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse…

The American West should brace for a blackout summer, electricity regulator warns

By Tristan Bove  Photo: George Rose—Getty Images   05/20/22  
Electricity shortages and blackouts are increasingly possible for the American West this summer, as an electrical operator warns of “out-of-the-ordinary” conditions.