Insights on climate and energy from the newest Nobel Prize winner

Can it really have been three years since I opined at length through a series of blogs on the free market perspective on climate change? Yet here we are, struggling to work through the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal. Today we celebrate the accomplishments of French economist Jean Tirole, winner of this year’s Nobel Prize [...]

Coal industry inspires easy solution to droughts

So there’s this new group, CoalBlue, which claims that “A clean-energy, low-carbon world can only be achieved with clean, low-carbon coal.” I got to thinking, what is low-carbon coal? According to the World Coal Association, “Coal is a combustible, sedimentary, organic rock, which is composed mainly of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.” So, coal without (much) [...]

Duke Energy’s Commitment to Overspend on Coal Plants

Duke Energy is banking on charging customers in the Carolinas an estimated $7.7 billion just to keep its existing fleet of coal plants running. For at least thirteen of those units (at 5 plants), however, it is pretty clear that the additional investment is not worthwhile, and Duke Energy should change its plans. What’s worse, [...]

“Traditional” vs “New”: Olympics and Utilities

As both the Sochi Winter Olympic & Special Olympic games have now drawn to a close, more than a few commentators sniffed about a “disappointing” Olympic games for the USA. Speedskating coach Bob Fenn reportedly said, “It’s like the fall of the Roman Empire.” One newspaper commented, “It’s just not the year the U.S. hoped [...]

Deny this, solar skeptics!

“This is the second major announcement in which a utility has stated plans to procure more than 100 megawatts of solar PV based on its cost-competitiveness with natural gas, as opposed to RPS-driven demand.” - GTM Solar Analyst Cory Honeyman If developers continue to bid in at these prices — it won’t be the last. Interesting. Solar energy, cost-competitive [...]

Why should Duke Energy go beyond compliance with solar power?

Over the past few months, we have seen several signs that Duke Energy has shifted its attitude towards renewable energy and solar power in particular.  The three most critical signs are: Duke Energy has rolled out a campaign to mislead the public about customer-owned solar generation. Duke Energy still refuses to evaluate solar power as [...]

Solar Mythbusters #3: Too much solar power?

Myth: High levels of solar penetration are too disruptive for utility and grid operations. This is the third in our Solar Mythbusters series: check out the cloud and intermittency myths we already busted. Cost and complexity are often cited as barriers to integrating large amounts of solar power on a utility grid system. More specifically, [...]

Mississippi is the “sunshine state” for the Tennessee Valley Authority

Where are the best spots to build solar power in the Tennessee Valley Authority? It turns out, many of them are in Mississippi! We recently obtained 16 years of simulated solar power production data from Clean Power Research for the Tennessee Valley Authority region, looking at 26 sites scattered from east to west, and north [...]

What’s baking? And why the EPA’s Energy Star wants to know …

No, federal energy officials are not baking fruitcakes for Christmas. But when their little project is done, some thrifty confectioners might just do a little celebrating! I recently stumbled across this odd little announcement from the American Bakers Association (ABA) simply called, “Got Data??” To better depict the current status of the baking industry, ABA [...]

How does Southern Company sell more electricity?

With energy efficiency, of course! A couple of weeks ago, we showed you how Southern Company “squirrels” the energy efficiency debate. One of our fantastic readers sent us an ad from the New Yorker, in which Southern Company tries to persuade its customers in New York City that it is promoting energy efficiency by selling [...]