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
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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.…


As US aims to boost clean energy supply chain, critical minerals gap largely human-caused, analysts say

By Emma Penrod   06/17/21  
For many American businesses — and consumers — the onset of COVID-19 was an unexpected wake-up call as supply chains collapsed and store shelves emptied. But potential for supply-chain logjams existed before the pandemic.
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Your Next Car and Clothes Dryer Could Help Save Our Planet

By Martin Heinrich   06/08/21  
Our future depends on our acting now to confront the climate crisis by enacting policies to convert our economy from fossil fuels to clean energy. By making this switch, we will also create millions of…
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Lithium is abundant, so extraction economics and culture matter

By Michael Barnard   06/06/21  
Lithium was once used to treat perceived mental health challenges, and now its availability or lack thereof is making markets swing. In the 1950s, Canada was a player in the international lithium market, with a…
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‘An unlikely alliance’: US investor-owned utilities and NGOs partner to advance new carbon-free tech

By Ben Fowke and Armond Cohen   06/04/21  
The stakes for taking decisive action to slow and reverse climate change have never been greater. President Joe Biden clearly recognizes the urgency, which is why he wants to slash U.S. carbon emissions in the…
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Mark Jacobson on the clean energy transition

By Adam Aron and Mark Jacobson   06/01/21  
I’m interested in what you have to say about demand reduction. There’s been a rapid rise of renewable energy and it’s going to accelerate even more, but total energy use for the world accelerates much…
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Where Wind and Solar Power Need to Grow for America to Meet Its Goals

By Veronica Penney   05/28/21  
President Biden has promised to sharply reduce America’s planet-warming carbon emissions, which means changes to the country’s energy system may reshape landscapes and coastlines around the country.
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An Australian inventor wants to stop global warming by electrifying everything

By Rachel Pannett   05/28/21  
The 47-year-old, who won the MacArthur “genius” award in 2007 for his prodigious inventions “in the global public interest,” has spent the past decade working to solve climate change through technology.
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Ethanol: The fuel behind the “dot-corn bubble”

By Parker Hughes   05/28/21  
Progress: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was established in 2005 by the Energy Policy Act and upgraded via the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In a nutshell, the RFS, which is administered by…
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The International Energy Agency Issues a Landmark Statement About Fossil Fuels

By Bill McKibben   05/18/21  
Our hope for a livable world rests on a series of crucial sentences.
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For Clean Energy, Buy American or Buy It Quick and Cheap?

By Jessica Murray   05/16/21  
US climate envoy says people will not have to give up quality of life to achieve some of net zero goals
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With solar sale, PSEG doubles down on offshore wind and nuclear

By Scott Voorhis   05/14/21  
The sale of Public Service Enterprise Group's (PSEG) solar portfolio is part of a larger strategy, one that has the New Jersey-based power company betting big on another source of renewable energy – offshore wind…
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For Clean Energy, Buy American or Buy It Quick and Cheap?

By Noam Scheiber   05/11/21  
President Biden says slowing climate change will create jobs. Tension between unions and environmentalists shows it’s not so simple.
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Electrification, not efficiency, should be climate policy focus for buildings

By Michael Barnard   05/09/21  
For well over a year, I’ve been pulling on a specific thread of CO2e emissions reductions related to existing building stock. Back in September of 2019, I did an assessment of efficiency vs electrification gains…
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Report offers Biden framework for a clean energy standard

By Peter Behr   05/04/21  
Over a quarter-century, proposals for a clean energy standard (CES) have flared up and sputtered out, done in by political indifference or opposition to mandatory federal controls to shrink power plant carbon emissions.
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US is halfway to a carbon-free power sector

By Energy Monitor Staff   04/15/21  
The US is halfway to a carbon-free power sector, says a study published in April 2021 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A review of historical trends shows the US power sector is making good progress…
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Large consumers blame renewables for 2020 declines in C&I power reliability

By Robert Walton   03/31/21  
A new report on the state of commercial and industrial (C&I) power reliability reveals a "dramatic" increase in outages, particularly in short-term interruptions which utilities may not be required to track or report to regulators.
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Hold on to your seats. FERC just hit the fast forward button on the clean energy transition.

By Allison Bates Wannop and Jon Wellinghoff   03/30/21  
Federal regulators removed a major speedbump on the road to a clean energy future March 18 when FERC clarified that its landmark Order 2222 granted demand response (DR, aka flexible load) unimpeded access to wholesale…
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Dominion, Berkshire Hathaway push better transmission siting as Biden turns focus to infrastructure

By Emma Penrod   03/12/21  
With customer demand already driving the rapid growth of renewable energy, a climate-focused infrastructure bill should focus on transmission and research, according to experts on a Thursday panel hosted by the American Council on Renewable…
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The Navajo Nation generates a ton of power — but 14,000 homes don’t have electricity

By Cameron Oglesby   03/05/21  
In a year characterized by extreme weather, avid handwashing, and increasingly remote interactions, access to electricity is more important than ever. But 12 months into the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a basic right on which…
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The Texas Power Grid and the Failure of Deregulation

By Steve Cohen   02/22/21  
By now, the early message that the electricity blackout in Texas was a failure of renewable energy has been replaced by the far more complex reality of a grid not prepared for extreme weather. Texas…
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FERC examining ‘wrongdoing’ in power markets during cold snap

By James Osborne   02/22/21  
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced Monday it would be examining power market activity over the last week for incidents of market manipulation as cold weather ravaged power grids in Texas and other states.
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A Plan to Future-Proof the Texas Power Grid

By Jesse Jenkins   02/18/21  
As the power crisis in Texas stretches into its fifth day, the blame game is well underway. Frozen wind turbines, unsubstantiated allegations of nefarious power plant outages, the state’s libertarian approach to electricity markets and…
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Texas, Land of Wind and Lies

By Paul Krugman   02/18/21  
Politicians are neither gods nor saints. Because they aren’t gods, they often make bad policy decisions. Because they aren’t saints, they often try to evade responsibility for their failures, asserting either that they did as…
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No, wind farms aren’t the main cause of the texas blackouts

By Dionne Searcey   02/17/21  
As his state was racked by an electricity crisis that left millions of people without heat in frigid temperatures, the governor of Texas took to television to start placing blame.
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A Glimpse Of America’s Future: Climate Change Means Trouble For Power Grids

By Brad Plumer   02/16/21  
Huge winter storms plunged large parts of the central and southern United States into an energy crisis this week, with frigid blasts of Arctic weather crippling electric grids and leaving millions of Americans without power…
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The Dirty Truth About the Climate Crisis and Your Electric Company

Have you ever wondered what powers your home? The truth is, the energy we use mostly comes from dirty fossil fuels. Our electric companies could switch to clean, affordable energy. But so far, they've spent…
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This popular and proven climate policy should be at the top of Congress’s to-do list

By Leah Stokes and Sam Ricketts   02/04/21  
Last year, presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigned on a bold climate plan that included cleaning up America’s electricity system by 2035 with a federal Clean Electricity Standard (CES). A national CES, which would require utilities…
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‘No compelling reason not to’: Former FERC chairs, commissioners call for federal transmission overhaul

By Catherine Morehouse   01/28/21  
Federal regulators must tackle interregional transmission planning in order to maximize the capacity of wind and solar power on the U.S. power grid, a bipartisan group of former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners and Chairs agreed…
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Boiling Point: How rooftop solar could save Americans $473 billion

By Sammy Roth   01/07/21  
With less than two weeks until Joe Biden takes office — and with Democrats taking control of the Senate — the growth of clean energy is poised to accelerate. Even if Congress doesn’t fully embrace…
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Climate-Proofing Your Home: How to Electrify

By Todd Woody   01/05/21  
The future is looking electric as a growing roster of cities bar the use of natural gas in new residential construction in a bid to lower greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate targets. In just…
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When Will Electricity Companies Finally Quit Natural Ga

By Justin Gillis and Michael O’Boyle   11/12/20  
As Americans suffer through immense wildfires, rising coastal flooding and an epic hurricane season, the nation’s corporations want you to believe they are coming to grips with the climate crisis.
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For Biden and Trump, Stark Contrasts on Alternative Energy

By The New York Times   10/22/20  
Joe Biden said solar and wind energy would provide an economic boost, while President Trump questioned their efficiency and called relying on them “a pipe dream.”
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Aggressive push to 100% renewable energy could save Americans billions – study

By Oliver Milman   10/22/20  
An aggressive push towards 100% renewable energy would save Americans as much as $321bn in energy costs, while also slashing planet-heating emissions, according to a new report.
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Should we electrify everything?

By Matt Tomich   10/08/20  
Even in the midst of the pandemic, with wildfires and storms raging, it is imperative to get on with fighting climate change. This crisis is also an opportunity to chart a green recovery, transition to…
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The Next Energy Battle: Renewables vs. Natural Gas

By Ivan Penn   07/06/20  
Dominion Energy, one of the nation’s largest utilities, in late June erected wind turbines off the Virginia coast — only the second such installation in the United States — as part of a big bet…
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Want jobs and clean energy? This overlooked technology could deliver both

By Sammy Roth   07/01/20  
Sunrise Powerlink carves a twisting path through the deserts and mountains of Southern California, skirting the U.S.-Mexico border and cutting through a national forest on its 117-mile path from the rural Imperial Valley to urban…
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Report: Worldwide data upkeep is contributing to climate change more than you’d think

By Matthew Wille   01/28/20  
Conversations around cutting energy consumption for a greener future don’t often include the digital space. But research shows that energy consumption from data storage and general internet upkeep is growing at an alarming rate that…
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Renewables beat fossil fuels on 137 days in greenest year for UK energy

By Jillian Ambrose   01/07/20  
Energy produced by the UK’s renewable sector outpaced fossil fuel plants on a record 137 days in 2019 to help the country’s energy system record its greenest year.
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Electric school buses are an ingenious solution to help utilities build more battery storage

By Adele Peters   12/02/19  
There are 480,000 school buses on the road in the U.S., more than any other form of mass transportation. Despite the climate and health risks, most still run on diesel. While some school districts want…
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