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. 



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.


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).


Billion-Dollar Power Lines Finally Inching Ahead to Help US Grids

By Brian Eckhouse, Naureen S Malik and Dave Merrill 03/06/23
The biggest impediment to the US achieving a cleaner power grid isn't climate deniers or fossil-fuel lobbies; it’s a lack of transmission lines. The country badly needs more conduits to cart wind and solar energy…
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In Puerto Rican Town, New Community Microgrids Inspire a Parade

By Lisa Cohn 02/24/23
In Adjuntas, Puerto Rico — where Hurricane Maria left some without power for a year — two soon-to-be community microgrids mean so much to the town, it plans to hold a parade to celebrate its…
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State bills spur debate over who should build transmission: incumbent utilities or independent companies

By Ethan Howland 02/23/23
Lawmakers in at least five states are considering bills to give incumbent utilities a right-of-first-refusal to build transmission lines that grid operators put out to bid, excluding independent transmission companies from the business.
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Under fire, the gas industry is hiring Democratic politicians to help

By Maxine Joselow 02/02/23
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! It’s Groundhog Day, and no matter what Punxsutawney Phil says, spring is on its way, according to our friends at The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. Was…
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Report to Congressional Requesters

Additional Steps Are Needed to Better Manage ClimateRelated Risks
Read more

Electricity Mix

By Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser 01/31/23
Electricity is one of three components that make up total energy production. The other two are transport and heating. As we see in more detail in this article, the breakdown of sources – coal, oil,…
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Clean energy is taking over the Texas grid. State officials are trying to stop it.

By Umair Irfan 01/30/23
Clean energy is rapidly rising on the Texas power grid, but regulators in the Lone Star State are now considering a plan that could give fossil fuels a boost.
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Major refineries outside Houston suffer upsets after tornado reported in area

By Amanda Drane 01/24/23
Major refineries and chemical facilities outside Houston were reporting operational upsets after a tornado was reported in the area Tuesday afternoon.
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Hey EV Owners: It’d Take a Fraction of You to Prop Up the Grid

By Matt Simon 01/23/23
If you agree to provide some of your car’s battery power in times of high energy demand, you’ll get paid, and help make the grid more stable.
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Department of Energy Announces $200 Million for Energy Earthshot Research Centers in support of the Energy Earthshots™

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $200 million for Energy Earthshot Research Centers (EERCs). This funding, provided by the Office of Science, will support fundamental research to accelerate breakthroughs in support of the…
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Energy Storage Is Going Underground

By Steve Hanley 01/14/23
If you say energy storage today, most people think you are talking about batteries. The intermittency of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind means sometimes there is more electricity available than is needed.…
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SpaceX & Caltech Just Launched The Future Of Sustainable Energy

By Will Lockett 01/14/23
Our current ultra-low-carbon energy sources have significant flaws. Solar is causing habitat loss, either directly or indirectly, by using up arable land and causing a substantial impact on the environment through intensive mining and end-of-life…
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Tennessee Valley Authority: Additional Steps Are Needed to Better Manage Climate-Related Risks

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) provides electricity to 10 million customers in 7 states. TVA faces some climate-related risks that could affect its ability to generate and transmit electricity while keeping rates low. For example,…

Short-term Energy Outlook

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

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…

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Reports and Publications

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

Stone Edge Farm

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

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

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

Your guide to understanding energy

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

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

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

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

Transition Towards a Decarbonised Electricity Sector

A Framework of Analysis for Power System Transformation.

Impact of Climate Risk on the Energy System

Examining the Financial, Security, and Technology Dimensions.

Taking Charge: Decisionmakers shaping the future of the power sector

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

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

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…

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

The US has everything it needs to decarbonize by 2035.

LIPA board OKs allowing municipalities to procure own energy

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

Cities are ready for 100% clean energy.

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

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

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

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.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.…


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…
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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.…
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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…
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“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…
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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…
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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;…
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Track public money for energy in recovery packages

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…
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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…
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Climate Bill ‘Transformative’ for Auto and Energy Industries

By Jack Ewing and Others   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…
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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…
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Intense heat pushing Texas grid to the brink highlights need for long-duration storage, experts say

By Elizabeth McCarthy   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…
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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.
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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,…
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Cryptomining Capacity in U.S. Rivals Energy Use of Houston, Findings Show

By Hiroko Tabuchi   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…
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25.5% Of US Electricity Coming From Renewable Energy

By Zachary 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…
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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…
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Texas Urges Power Conservation as Heat Wave Lingers

By Will Wade and Others   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.
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More Electricity From Wind & Solar Than Nuclear For 1st Time In USA

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

By Angela K. Evans   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…
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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…
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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,…
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Senators urge FERC to hurry up on transmission rule

By Kristi E. Swartz   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.
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G7 leaders stare down energy and climate tug of war

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

By Sammy Roth   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…
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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…
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Vehicle-to-grid (V2g): Everything You Need To Know

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

By Ethan Howland   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…
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Fuel crisis: slash demand in three sectors to protect economies and climate

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

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…
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Disrupted Energy Markets: Fossil Revival or Renewable Opportunity?

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

By Alison F. Takemura   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…
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DOE launches grid interconnection initiative to cut ‘gridlock’ hampering clean energy progress

By Ethan Howland   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…
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A summer of blackouts? Wheezing power grid leaves states at risk.

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

By Robert Walton   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…
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How Putin Has Played His Energy Cards

By David Wallace-Wells   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…
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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…
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U.S. approves major transmission line from Wyoming to Utah

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

By Alexander C. Kaufman   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…
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Democrats scramble on energy prices ahead of Memorial Day

By George Cahlink & Others   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…
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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…
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Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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

By Tristan Bove   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.
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Utilities: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

By John Oliver   05/16/22  
John Oliver discusses the incredible amount of power we give electric utility companies, how weakly regulated they are, and why they get such bad Yelp reviews.
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Rising panel costs hit solar power as electric-rate hikes boost appeal

By Mark Harrington   05/13/22  
In recent weeks and months, a U.S. Commerce Department investigation has short-circuited a key supply source of solar panels from Asia, and one major supplier to the United States, LG Electronics, has exited the market,…
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Washington, D.C., is ‘ideally poised for electrification,’ Sierra Club finds. The city’s gas utility disagrees.

By Robert Walton   05/13/22  
Renewable natural gas and green hydrogen could be used to help the District of Columbia affordably reach its 2050 carbon neutrality goal while avoiding costly grid upgrades, Washington Gas told the D.C. Public Service Commission…
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