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: FLOWCHARTS

The 2021 energy flow chart released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory details the sources of energy production, how Americans are using energy and how much waste exists. (click image to enlarge or download a PDF version).

CREDIT: FLOWCHARTS

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Short-term Energy Outlook

10/12/22
Many households across the United States are likely to spend more on energy in the winter of 2022–23 compared with recent winters. Higher forecast energy expenditures are the result of higher fuel prices, combined with…

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…

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…

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.…

MORE NEWS

How states and utilities can lower consumer bills and accelerate the clean energy transition

By Sara Baldwin and Others   12/15/22  
By acting now, state policymakers and utility regulators can put more consumers and communities on a path to long-term energy affordability and mitigate the impact of future energy price spikes.

China Dominates the Rare Earths Market. This U.S. Mine Is Trying to Change That.

By Lara Seligman   12/14/22  
On a dusty road at the northern edge of the Mojave Desert, a pair of 100-ton haul trucks — their wheels twice the height of a fully grown man — emerge from a deep chasm,…

Security News This Week: Attackers Keep Targeting the US Electric Grid

By Andy Greenberg   12/10/22  
WE AT WIRED have written plenty about the threat that cyberattacks pose to power grids worldwide. But lately, the most significant attacks on electrical systems have demonstrated that hacking is hardly necessary when physical destruction…

Attacks on grid infrastructure in 4 states raise alarm

By Miranda Willson   12/09/22  
Shootings at two electric substations in North Carolina last weekend are among the numerous threats posed to U.S. electric infrastructure since mid-October, raising questions about whether such incidents are on the rise. Concerns grew further…

Finally, Some Good Climate News: The Biggest Wins in Clean Energy in 2022 – Inside Climate News

By Dan Gearino   12/08/22  
You can forgive people who work on U.S. energy policy for being tired this month. They have just sprinted, and sometimes slogged, through an extraordinary year of action and progress at the federal, state and…

Central U.S. grid rule unfair to renewable energy, FERC told

By Miranda Willson   12/06/22  
Federal regulators should not have approved a plan by the Southwest Power Pool that doesn’t correctly value the attributes of wind and solar, advocates said.

Major U.S. grid operator eyes price cap for extreme weather

By Miranda Wilson   12/02/22  
The PJM plan comes as grid operators across the U.S. are grappling with more frequent storms and growing concerns about the reliability of the power system.

The White House Is Ready to Shell Out $13 Billion to Modernize U.S. Power Grid

By Angely Mercado   11/23/22  
The White House and the Department of Energy (DOE) are soliciting applications from utility companies, state governments, and tribal nations to create a stronger energy grid. The DOE has announced that it is ready to…

Price of Diesel, Which Powers the Economy, Is Still Climbing

By Clifford Kraus   11/10/22  
Gasoline prices have dropped as much as a dollar a gallon since early summer, easing a financial strain on many people. But the price of diesel, the fuel that moves trucks, trains, barges, tractors and…

Clean Energy Is Booming. Now Here’s the Bad News

By Mitch Jones   11/09/22  
When it comes to building more clean energy, there’s good news all around. New wind and solar generation surged 22 percent this year, which is part of a longer-term trend. Environment America found that the…

Technological learning and policy together can advance clean energy

By James Arnott and Others   11/04/22  
Year after year, the costs for climate technologies fall dramatically, continually undercutting forecast prices and accelerating the clean energy transition. Now, with the Inflation Reduction Act, costs are likely to drop even faster – good…

How will DOE loan out $250B to make dirty energy systems clean?

By Jeff St. John   11/03/22  
The Inflation Reduction Act contains $369 billion in tax credits, grants and incentives meant to drive investment in new clean energy technology over the next decade, a fact that has been widely reported. But it…

War in Ukraine Likely to Speed, Not Slow, Shift to Clean Energy, I.E.A. Says

By Brad Plumer   10/27/22  
The energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to speed up rather than slow down the global transition away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner technologies like wind, solar and electric vehicles,…

The Energy Crisis Could Actually Be Good for the Climate

By Molly Taft   10/27/22  
In the world of climate change, we’ll take all the good news we can get. The energy crisis kicked off by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year could represent a “historic turning point” for…

Energy loss is single biggest component of today’s electricity system

By Karin Kirk   10/24/22  
Traditional electricity generation has a thermodynamics problem: Burning fuel to generate electricity creates waste heat that siphons off most of the energy. By the time electricity reaches your outlet, around two-thirds of the original energy…

Once Cheap, Wind and Solar Prices Are Up 34%. What’s the Outlook?

By Dan Gearino   10/20/22  
Early last year, I thought the increase in wind and solar power prices was a blip. After all, one of the constants in my decade-plus covering energy was that wind and solar prices were in…

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $2.8 Billion to Supercharge U.S. Manufacturing of Batteries for Electric Vehicles and Electric Grid

10/19/22  
The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced the first set of projects funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and…

Americans Will Pay the Most in 25 Years to Stay Warm This Winter

By Julia Fanzeres   10/13/22  
Americans trying to keep warm this winter are poised to spend the most on heating in at least 25 years. US households face an average power bill of $1,359 this winter, the highest since at…

EIA raises retail electricity price forecast for this year and next, signaling more pain for consumers

By Robert Walton   10/13/22  
U.S consumers are billions behind on their utility bills and, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there is no relief in sight, as electricity prices are expected to continue rising this year and next.

Electric utilities 101: A breakdown of the basics on US power providers

By Alison F. Takemura   10/12/22  
You don’t have to be a senator negotiating a revolutionary climate bill in secret to boost clean energy. Engaged community members also have the power to encourage wind, solar and battery deployment, as Canary Media’s…

Winter Fuels Outlook, October 2022

10/12/22  
Many households across the United States are likely to spend more on energy in the winter of 2022–23 compared with recent winters. Higher forecast energy expenditures are the result of higher fuel prices, combined with…

Permitting: America’s next big climate conundrum

By Dana Nuccitelli   10/11/22  
The vast majority of newly-installed and planned energy projects in the U.S. consist of clean energy – solar and wind farms, often paired with battery storage - even before the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) expanded the tax…

A Clean Energy Trifecta: Wind, Solar and Storage in the Same Project

By Dan Gearino   10/06/22  
Elected officials and energy company executives gathered last week in rural Oregon to mark the completion of Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility, a project that combines a wind farm, solar array and battery storage.
E&T

Global rise in electricity demand met entirely with renewables, report finds

By E&T Editorial Staff   10/05/22  
The rise in wind and solar generation met over three-quarters of the demand growth in the first half of 2022, while hydro met the remainder, preventing a possible 4 per cent increase in fossil generation…

Solar Is Now 33% Cheaper Than Gas Power in US, Guggenheim Says

By Angel Adegbesan   10/03/22  
Natural gas’s dominance as power-plant fuel in the US is fading fast as the cost of electricity generated by wind farms and solar projects tumbles, according to Guggenheim Securities.

Central U.S. grid operator sees record queue for renewables

By Jeffrey Tomich   09/28/22  
The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the nation’s midsection is poised to keep accelerating, according to the recent flood of applications from solar, battery storage and wind developers wanting to connect projects…

What Many Progressives Misunderstand About Fighting Climate Change

By Alec Stapp   09/25/22  
Since the 1960s, fighting for the environment has frequently meant fighting against corporations. To curb pollution, activists have worked to thwart new oil drilling, coal-fired power plants, fracking for natural gas, and fuel pipelines. But…

Even before Fiona, Puerto Rico’s power grid was poised for failure

By Joshua Partlow   09/19/22  
The hurricane winds that knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico over the weekend encountered an electrical grid that experts liken to a house of cards: a fragile, decrepit, patchwork system running…

The U.S. safety net was built for cold winters. Hot summers threaten it.

By Dino Grandoni and Others   09/17/22  
The moment NeedLink Nashville opened its doors just after Labor Day weekend, Melissa Besong entered the nonprofit’s office holding her overdue electric bill. Four months after losing her job as a home health aide, she…

Can EVs Help Power a Cleaner & More Flexible Grid?

By Sarah Lozanova   09/14/22  
Duke Energy recently announced that it wants to use EV batteries from Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks (F-150s) to help power the grid by utilizing “vehicle-to-grid” technology. This pilot program in North Carolina will partner…

Retail electricity prices continue rapid rise; US homes could pay more than 15 cents/kWh next year: EIA

By Robert Walton   09/09/22  
The average price of electricity for residential consumers could reach $0.1524/kWh in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast on Thursday in its latest Short Term Energy Outlook. That would represent about a 3.3% increase…
npr

Extreme weather sparked by climate change is putting a strain on infrastructure

By Rachel Martin   09/09/22  
Residents of Jackson, Miss., still do not have drinkable water and are being advised to boil it. The city's water treatment plant was already struggling, but a flood made a bad situation worse. Extreme weather…

Can the Northeast slash carbon and keep the lights on?

By Miranda Wilson and Others   09/09/22  
New England needs to start pivoting away from natural gas to address its longstanding electric reliability issues, even as it leans on the fuel in the short term to keep the lights on, the head…

It Wasn’t Just Oil Companies Spreading Climate Denial

By Robinson Meyer   09/07/22  
The electricity industry knew about the dangers of climate change 40 years ago. It denied them anyway. “If we had to stop producing CO₂, no coal, oil, or gas could be burned,” Carroll Wilson declared.…

THE STATE OF CLEAN ENERGY – 2022

09/02/22  
Clean energy industries represented the growth sectors of the U.S. energy economy over the past decade, providing good-paying jobs while supporting a cleaner, healthier future for communities across the nation. CEBN and the Business Council…

The American electric utility industry’s role in promoting climate denial, doubt, and delay

By Emily L Williams, Sydney A Bartone and Others   09/01/22  
For decades, oil and gas companies have misled the public on climate science. Despite conducting their own research that showed climate change was real, these companies publicly sowed doubt about its existence and human cause…

California hopes to avoid blackouts amid heatwave by asking millions of people to use less electricity

By Celina Tebor   09/01/22  
A multi-state heatwave will test California's electric grid over Labor Day weekend as triple-digit temperatures hit millions of people simultaneously, prompting concern that the state could once again turn to rolling blackouts. State officials hope…

Extreme heat wave pushing California power grid to limit, with rolling blackouts possible

By Gregory Yee and Others   08/31/22  
The worst heat wave of the year is presenting a critical test for California’s overtaxed power grid, with officials warning rolling blackouts are possible without major conservation efforts during a week of scorching temperatures. Extreme…

Negative Power Prices? Blame the US Grid for Stranding Renewable Energy

By Naureen S Malik   08/30/22  
As energy costs soar around the world, a curious thing is happening with increasing frequency in power grids in certain corners of the US: Prices are plunging below zero.

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

By Julian Spector   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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   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…