Fortnightly Magazine - April 1 2003
Like diets that make us fat, efficiency is bad for the environment.
The last 30 years in America have seen great improvements in the energy efficiency of electric motors, appliances, and other end-use equipment. Think of compact fluorescents, ground-source heat pumps, and thermal window glazing. Add variable speed drives, chilled water AC, and high-pressure sodium street lighting. You name it, we've got it.
PJM ITC Tariff Splits With Midwest
It's not just for enviros any more.
Green building. It's a trend that means newly constructed buildings consume 10 to 50 percent less energy than traditionally constructed buildings, yet cost only a small percentage more than standard construction. And it's a trend that is rapidly gaining a foothold with large residential and commercial builders. No wonder utilities of all sizes across the country are paying attention.
Teen's life saved by utility line. Can industry say the same?
We can only hope it's a metaphor for the electricity industry.
In January, Joe Thompson III, 18, of Blue Springs, Kansas, was cruising along in his Jeep Wrangler sans seatbelt.
Suddenly, a car turned in front of Thompson. His Jeep clipped the other car and rolled, ultimately throwing him 25 feet or so in the air.
Rising gas prices spark a rush to wind farms, straining grid capacity and raising larger issues about market design.
When the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) was drafting rules to encourage the use of renewable energy, it took pains to guard against the chance that power producers would fail to reach the state's target of 400 megawatts (MW) in installed new renewable generation capacity by Jan. 1, 2002. The commission needn't have worried.
Beware of a national energy crisis that eclipses California's.
It seems rather elementary in an economic downturn to say that generating capacity will easily match demand over the next few years, especially with all the new plants that have been built lately. But what happens to the supply picture when you factor in a possible economic upswing, with continued high natural gas prices, an illiquid wholesale market, and an aging transmission infrastructure?