Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Dec 08, 2013 | Jeff Lewis and Rajiv Diwan

    If progress is viewed as the highway we travel, the U.S. has just put the ten-year anniversary of the historic 2003 northeastern blackout that affected almost 45 million customers squarely in the rearview mirror. Our grid today is stronger under blue-sky conditions, more resilient and more reliable. However, the urge to use cruise control must be resisted as we look at the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy that put 8 million people out of power, many of whom were out for two weeks.

    Comments: 3
  • Dec 05, 2013 | Gerald R. Gray

    Ergon Energy is the government-owned electricity utility for the State of Queensland in Australia. With more than 700,000 customers spread over 1.7 million km squared, Ergon Energy has similar integration, geographical and technology challenges of a larger utility but manages these with a smaller customer base, in the face of rapidly evolving technology, growing solar generation penetration, and flat to declining revenues.

  • Lux Research Gives Positive Exposure
    Dec 04, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Utility-scale solar power is getting a lot of exposure now that a major research firm has said it would be almost as competitive as natural gas by 2025. But, it adds, the two fuels could mutually benefit by joining forces.

    Comments: 1
  • Dec 03, 2013 | Lauren Riga

    Smart cities are sustainable, resilient and efficient. Sustainability is about interweaving economic, social and environmental elements to develop holistic and adaptive policy processes; thus creating more resilient communities. Sustainability is about long-term prosperity, and resiliency is about the ability to adapt to change – they go hand-in-hand.

    Comments: 3
  • Dec 02, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The wind energy’s production tax credit is likely to just blow past its year-end deadline without getting extended. Efforts are underway to continue the credit but those are being met by forces from competing energy forms, which say that the subsidy has already cost taxpayers $12 billion over 20 years.

    Comments: 6
  • Dec 01, 2013 | Harry Valentine

    The cost of further, prolonged armed conflict across the Middle East would be unproductive. Given the US$5-trillion estimated of the Iraq involvement, it would cost far less to assist Iran to convert their proposed nuclear-electric program from uranium to thorium fuel that would produce far less toxic waste that would be quite unsuitable for use in an explosive device.

    Comments: 2
  • Nov 26, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Just how much methane is released by the oil and gas industries during the exploration and the delivery processes? That's vital, given that the greenhouse gas is considered 21 times more potent than other such releases even though it only remains airborne for 20 years compared to 100 years for carbon dioxide. 

    Comments: 6
  • Nov 25, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The United Nations is wrapping up its climate talks in Warsaw, Poland while the Asian countries are grappling with how best to fuel their economies. China, India and Japan are environmentally aware but -- for different reasons -- looking to coal.

    Comments: 8
  • Net Metering and Who Pays What at Issue
    Nov 22, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Industry and their customers will certainly be grappling with this issue of net-metering for a while. It is clear that the grid won’t vanish and, in fact, it will likely expand. But that dynamic is bumping up against another one -- that more customers want to generate their own power. Regulators such as those in Arizona will enact rules that will need to be flexible as times and experience evolve.

    Comments: 6
  • Nov 21, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The nation’s biggest publicly owned utility is quickly evolving. But one such change is still in the mix -- the one to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    Comments: 7