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.…


PJM releases road map for creating ‘grid of the future’ to handle coming renewables, storage wave

By Ethan Howland   05/12/22  
The PJM Interconnection has developed a roadmap for handling the various changes affecting its system, including the retirement of fossil-fueled generation, growth in renewable energy and storage, and the electrification of the transportation and building…
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A Fight Over America’s Energy Future Erupts on the Canadian Border

David Gelles   05/06/22  
Hundreds of feet below a remote forest near Hudson Bay, Serge Abergel inspected the spinning turbines at the heart of the biggest subterranean power plant in the world, a massive facility that converts the water…
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Climate Change Is Straining California’s Energy System, Officials Say

By Benjamin Mullin   05/06/22  
Torrid heat, raging wildfires and prolonged drought are putting California residents at increased risk of power outages, officials said Friday, as extreme weather driven by climate change puts additional stress on the state’s already-taxed energy…
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Major grid dilemma: Treat fossil fuels like renewables?

By Miranda Wilson   05/05/22  
Now, clean energy advocates have their sights set on another issue they say may give coal, natural gas and nuclear generators a leg up with PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization that oversees the flow…
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The fight for a national clean energy transmission system emerges on three fronts

By Herman K. Trabish   05/03/22  
After years of studies showing a national transmission system is the most cost-effective way to meet growing clean energy and carbon reduction mandates, there is still no nation-spanning solution.
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Big US energy transmission projects inch closer to approval

By Susan Montoya Bryan   04/29/22  
The federal government has finished another environmental review of a proposed transmission line that will carry wind-generated electricity from rural New Mexico to big cities in the West and similar reviews are planned for two…
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Is ​‘vehicle-to-everything’ charging ready for prime time?

By Jeff St. John   04/27/22  
How much more valuable can electric vehicles be if their batteries can be tapped to power homes, other buildings or the grid at large? And are those extra benefits worth the costs and complications of…
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First all-electric heating mandate for buildings passes in Washington state

By Emily Pontecorvo   04/26/22  
The State Building Code Council voted 11-to-3 on Friday to adopt a revised energy code that requires most new commercial buildings and large multifamily buildings to install electric heat pumps. The Council will consider a…
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Heat Pump Heads Rejoice: Washington State Now Requires the More Efficient Systems

By Lauren Leffer   04/26/22  
Washington is now the first state in the country to mandate energy-efficient (and possibly fossil fuel-free) electric heat pumps, over traditional furnaces and water heaters. The rules apply in new commercial and multifamily residential buildings…
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The US has more clean energy projects planned than the grid can handle

By Jeff St. John   04/20/22  
The proposed wind, solar and battery projects seeking interconnection to U.S. transmission grids today are enough to bring the country to 80 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030. But based on historical trends, less than a…
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Renewables are growing — but a backlog of projects is holding up a greener grid

By Emily Pontecorvo   04/20/22  
From where Joe Rand stands, there’s good news and there’s bad news about renewable energy development in the United States — and it’s hard to tell which is more significant.
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What the 1970s teaches about today’s energy crisis

By Heather Richards   04/12/22  
The Biden administration faces an oil crisis the likes of which haven’t been seen since the price shocks of the 1970s. That troubled decade is burned on the American imagination with its Nixonian price controls…
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States’ solar fights pinpoint tensions between environmentalists and utility companies

By Vanessa Montalbano   03/31/22  
Lawmakers in Florida are clamping down on solar incentives for homeowners, escalating a years-long fight between clean energy advocates and politically powerful utility companies.
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FERC walks back pipeline policies changes, approves three pipeline projects

By Catherine Morehouse   03/24/22  
In an abrupt about-face after weeks of blowback, FERC voted unanimously on Thursday to solicit input and consider changes to its revamped policy statements that brought additional climate and environmental justice scrutiny to new fossil…
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Heat Pumps emit less than high efficiency gas appliances in nearly every household in America.

By Sam Calisch   03/24/22  
Heat pumps are the cleaner choice. Even under conservative DOE minimum efficiency standards and 100-year global warming potentials, 98% of U.S. households would cut their carbon emissions by installing a heat pump. If all single…
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Playing With Fire: Russia, Ukraine And The Geopolitics Of Energy

The past several weeks have shaken the world order and given us a lot to process all at once. The IPCC released its latest report the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard the most…
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What If Electric School Buses Could be Used to Supply Power When Off Duty?

The Big Yellow School Bus first entered the U.S. transportation scene in 1939 and has since become an iconic symbol of American life. We sing about them in nursery rhymes and wait for them with…
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Electric School Buses And The Grid

Currently, fewer than 1% of the nation’s school buses are powered by electricity, but with advances in electric bus technology, growing understanding of the benefits of electrification, and now a fresh influx of federal money…
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3 design considerations for electric school bus vehicle-to-grid programs

By Norma Hutchinson and Gregg Kresge   03/14/22  
U.S. electric utilities are poised to be a key part of the momentum to shift American school buses from diesel fuel to electricity. Federal and state-level investments, along with other funding and financing opportunities, promise…
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PG&E and Ford Collaborate on Bidirectional Electric Vehicle Charging Technology in Customers’ Homes

Today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Ford Motor Company announced a collaboration exploring how Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric vehicle (EV)—the first commercially available light-duty truck with bidirectional charging technology—can interact with the…
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Our Energy Library

By Hershel Spectre   03/10/22  
This document is a critique of the “New York State Climate Action Council’s Draft Scoping Plan” prepared by NYSERDA with the assistance of E3 and Abt Associates, herein called the NYSERDA Draft Plan.
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Environmental Groups Are United In California Rooftop Solar Fight, with One Notable Exception

By Dan Gearino and Anne Marshall- Chalmers   03/07/22  
A policy debate over rooftop solar subsidies in California is pitting one of the largest environmental groups in the world, the Natural Resources Defense Council, against dozens of its peers in environmental advocacy.
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Whatever His Motives, Putin’s War in Ukraine Is Fueled by Oil and Gas

By Marianne Lavelle   03/06/22  
With a Russian military convoy advancing on her city of Kyiv, Ukraine’s leading climate scientist made an emotional plea at last week’s meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
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NorthWestern announces plans to be net-zero on carbon emissions by 2050

By Tom Lutey   03/03/22  
In a plan that allows its largest carbon-emitting asset in Montana to continue burning through 2044, NorthWestern Energy announced Thursday it was committed to net-zero emissions by 2050.
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DOE Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Strategy to Secure America’s Clean Energy Supply Chain

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released America’s first comprehensive plan to ensure security and increase our energy independence. The sweeping report, “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy…
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Carbon-proofing the grid: Increasing renewables and resilience

By Jim Thompson , Christian Grant and Others   02/24/22  
The power sector is both a primary mover and a casualty of carbon emissions. Power companies drive the clean energy transition: Their move to lower-carbon sources of generation and higher efficiency enables the decarbonization of…
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EPRI, Battelle Announce Unique Research and Development Partnership to Accelerate Clean Energy Transition

By Battelle Media Relations   02/15/22  
Research and development powerhouses the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Battelle are teaming up, announcing today a new partnership with industry and other key stakeholders to accelerate the demonstration and deployment of new low-carbon…
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Tunneling robot speeds installation of underground utilities, aiding resilience efforts

By Mary Salmonsen   02/03/22  
Petra, a San Francisco-based robotics company focused on installing utilities underground, has developed a boring robot designed to tunnel utility channels through difficult terrain, including bedrock. The robot's thermal spallation drilling process creates "micro tunnels" between…
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Texas prepares for winter test of electric grid

By Asher Price   02/02/22  
It's about to get very cold — though hopefully not losing-power-for-days-on-end cold. Driving the news: An arctic cold front is bearing down on Central Texas starting Wednesday evening, bringing the chilliest temperatures we have seen…
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Overwhelmed by Solar Projects, the Nation’s Largest Grid Operator Seeks a Two-Year Pause on Approvals

By James Bruggers   02/02/22  
The nation’s largest electric grid operator, PJM Interconnection, is so clogged with requests from energy developers seeking connections to its regional transmission network in the eastern United States that it is proposing a two-year pause…
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More electric vehicles mean more utility microgrids

By Lisa Cohn   01/28/22  
Policy, economic and environmental issues are expected to dramatically boost demand for electric vehicles (EVs), a phenomenon that is spurring more utility microgrids. In fact, three utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Portland General…
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Transition to electric transportation must elevate equity beyond EVs, advocates say

By Kathiann M. Kowalski   01/28/22  
While a shift to electric vehicles can help curb climate change, advocates say policymakers should start work now so the transition is just and equitable. That process, they say, should look not just at electric…
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Three Ways Utilities Can Keep Pace With The Unprecedented Amounts Of Clean Power Coming Online

By Michael O'Boyle   01/26/22  
Starting with President Biden’s call for 80 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030, new federal and state policies and economic realities are poised to drive unprecedented growth in clean power. But keeping up with this transformative…
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By Michael Holtz   01/24/22  
On september 13, I took my first plane trip in 18 months: Kansas City to Boise with a layover in Denver. The trip itself was largely uneventful, with one exception. After I boarded my connecting…
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A 21st-century reinvention of the electric grid is crucial for solving the climate change crisis

By Charles F. Kutscher and Jeffrey Logan   01/12/22  
In the summer of 1988, scientist James Hansen testified to Congress that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels was dangerously warming the planet. Scientific meetings were held, voluminous reports were written, and national pledges were…
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Cold weather reignites debate about stability of Texas’ gas-powered grid

By Shelby Webb   01/12/22  
A week since temperatures dipped below freezing in Houston — and almost a year after the deadly February 2021 blackout — a spat has erupted again over the ability of the state’s natural gas operations…
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Virginia okays Dominion’s plan to deploy 1.1M smart meters

By Jason Plautz   01/11/22  
The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) on Friday approved Dominion Energy's proposal to deploy roughly 1.1 million smart meters as part of a $776 million grid transformation plan. The plan also includes investments in security,…
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Dixie Fire caused by PG&E, Cal Fire says. Fire was second largest in California history

By Dale Kasler and Rosalio Ahumada   01/05/22  
Cal Fire said Tuesday that investigators have determined that a tree contacting Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines caused last summer’s Dixie Fire, which burned nearly 1 million acres and destroyed more than 1,300…
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Top News of 2021

By Larry Pearl   01/04/22  
The election of a Democratic president intent on addressing climate change through federal policy drove some of the biggest utility stories of the past year.
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An Energy Transition Needs Lots of Power Lines. This 1970s Minnesota Farmers’ Uprising Tried to Block One. What Can it Teach Us?

By Dan Gearino   01/03/22  
If the United States is to make a transition to clean energy, it will need to build many more transmission lines—the thick wires that deliver power from rural areas, where there’s enough open space for…
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Microgrid Knowledge Names Congressman Jimmy Panetta as ‘Microgrid Person of the Year 2021’

By Elisa Wood   12/31/21  
Microgrid Knowledge began choosing a person of the year in 2019, but we have yet to name an individual, instead making the award conceptual rather than personal, a convention Time magazine sometimes uses. Last year,…
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Report highlights dirtiest power plants in Delaware

By Kristian Jaime   12/29/21  
An energy watchdog group recently released a report outlining the dirtiest power plants in the nation.
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2021: Year in review

By Jeff St. John   12/28/21  
States have long led U.S. clean energy policy by setting renewable energy targets and requiring carbon emission cuts from their broader economies. The Biden administration has shifted the federal government’s policy toward similar goals, but…
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New video explores ups and downs of global energy pricing in 2021

By Peter Sinclair   12/20/21  
“Volatile and unpredictable.” Those are the terms used in this new Yale Climate Connections video produced by independent videographer Peter Sinclair.
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Redfin CEO: 2022 Will Be a Big Year for Electrified Homes–and Entrepreneurs Should Take Note

By Kevin J. Ryan   12/17/21  
The carbon footprints of our homes will start to shrink significantly in 2022. That's according to Glenn Kelman, president and CEO of Seattle-based tech-powered real-estate brokerage Redfin. In a recent LinkedIn post, Kelman forecasted that…
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Could The Next Blackout Be More Deadly Than Katrina?

Having lived for more than 20 years in Houston Texas I have experienced some very extreme weather between hurricanes, floods and freezing temperatures with ice and snow. I learned from the 2005 hurricane Katrina that…
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What’s better than a big battery? How about a big battery you can move around

By Jeff St. John   12/06/21  
Study after study has shown that the power grid of the future is going to need a lot of batteries. To meet that need without breaking the bank, those batteries must be as affordable as…
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Solar and green groups buy into Duke’s net-metering plan in North Carolina

By Jeff St. John   12/02/21  
Duke Energy customers in North Carolina are poised to get a revamped net-metering regime for new home solar systems — one that would closely tie the value of rooftop solar power to how much households…
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‘A long way to go’: How ConEd, Xcel and 4 other utilities are helping cities meet big EV goals

By Robert Walton and others   11/30/21  
Electric vehicles (EVs) could finish 2021 as 5% of new car sales in the U.S., according to market observers, and are expected to make up a growing share in the years to come. Driven by…
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Democratic lawmakers create Electrification Caucus in Congress

By Dave Kovaleski   11/19/21  
A group of Democratic lawmakers in Congress recently established the Electrification Caucus, which will work to advance policies to accelerate widespread electrification.
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