U.S. Department of Energy

Riding on The Wind

Plug-in hybrids usher a new era for wind power.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) open a new intersection between wind power and transportation.

Memo to the President-Elect (Part 2)

A clear and present need for nuclear energy expansion.

Addressing climate change will require extending the life of today’s nuclear fleet and laying the foundation for new plants.

Memo to the President-Elect (Part 1)

A clear and present need for nuclear energy expansion.

The new administration might be our last, best hope for recapturing America’s technological and economic superiority. The time has come to institute an “Apollo Project” level of effort to convert to a carbon-free energy infrastructure while tossing aside the business-as-usual model. The future lies in nuclear power.

Transformer Change-out

New DOE rules mandate more efficient (and expensive) equipment.

When a federal court ordered the DOE to develop more than 20 energy-efficiency rules, the first rule DOE created was a commercial rule for energy transformer distribution equipment. The new DOE rule, published at the end of last year, is the first increased efficiency standard created since the beginning of the Bush administration in 2001.

Nuking the Tar Sands

Can nuclear heat allow for low-cost commercial reclamation?

Deposits of unconventional fuels—both crude oil and natural gas—occur in geological environments with very low energy. The exploitation of these low-energy deposits/reservoirs will require significant external energy to replace that lost or never provided by Mother Nature’s handiwork.

Building the iUtility

Market forces are transforming the IOU business model.

As market forces transform the IOU business model, Apple’s iPhone provides a metaphor and possible example for the industry to follow. The iUtility will emerge as companies renegotiate the regulatory compact and reinterpret the traditional rate formula.

Revisiting the Keystone State

Rate caps have squelched competition in Pennsylvania.

The prolonged period of capped rates in Pennsylvania—years longer than in any other state—has produced some benefits and some drawbacks. On the plus side, due largely to the rate caps, electricity costs in the Commonwealth have fallen from 15 percent above the national average in 1996 to below the national average in 2007. This has been a significant benefit, but a temporary one that many have taken for granted.

Energy Technology: Cultivating Clean Tech

New Models for Energy RD&D: A new ‘Clean Energy Institute’ could lead the industry’s war on climate change.

Clean-energy R&D needs better funding and leadership to meet aggressive greenhouse-gas emissions reduction targets. But how does the industry get there, and what management model best suits achieving such lofty goals? A new ‘clean-energy institute’ might be the answer.

Sticker Shock!

Increasing prices for materials, equipment and services are driving utility infrastructure costs into uncharted territory.

The evidence is overwhelming: After a decade of relatively stable, or even declining, construction costs, the industry is now facing a prolonged period of elevated construction price tags. What are the causes behind this trend, and how might the cost increases translate into higher rates?