Today's PUF

World’s Fair for Our Future

Remember going to the World’s Fair in Queens? Oh, ok, so you weren’t born yet, in 1964 and 1965.

Well, I certainly was born before then — so long ago, practically at the dawn of civilization — and went to the World’s Fair with my parents and then my friends. There were so many exhibits and activities there it was impossible to take it all in. You needed a pre-planned strategy in order to see the best stuff for you.

April 6, 7, 8, 9

EPRI coined this progression of numbers, 6 – 5 – 4 – 1, to capture in simple terms the country’s progress on cutting emissions and the path we’re on. You’ll hear a lot more about 6 – 5 – 4 – 1 on April 6, 7, 8, 9 (four more numbers to remember). That’s when you’ll be at EPRI’s ginormous Electrification 2020 mega-event in Charlotte.  

That is, if you register, which is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. Drop in on the electrification2020.com website and you can join three thousand or so of your closest friends in utility regulation and policy.

6 to 5 to 4 to 1

It was one of Chicago’s first great hits. Released in 1970, “25 or 6 to 4” climbed to fourth on the Billboard Hot 100. To this day this rousing brass composition remains the number one marching band song of all time.

The other day, I tinkered with the lyrics a bit. To put to music the country’s progress on cutting carbon dioxide emissions and the path we’re on, 6 gigatons in 2005 to 5 gigs now to 4 gigs in 2030 to 1 gig in 2050.

2019 Coal Under Million GWH?

EIA released data through the third quarter for grid non-renewable production of power. Notably, the power from the grid’s coal-fired plants was just about three-quarters of a million gigawatt-hours, on the nose nearly, in this year’s first three quarters.  

The grid’s coal plants produced ten percent more a quarter million gigs in last year’s fourth quarter. Assuming the fourth-quarter number will drop this year, by some amount, it shall be a close call as to whether 2019 coal output totals under or over a million gigs when all is said and done.

Wind Passes Hydro

The nation’s electric grid has always produced more of its power from hydroelectric facilities than from wind farms. In every year. Until now.

For the first time, wind is ahead of hydro, year-to-date, through the third quarter of the year.

That’s based on the latest data from the Energy Department’s Energy Info Admin. Affectionately known as EIA.

Here in San Antonio, Question of the Day

Down here, in San Antonio, at NARUC’s Annual Meeting, we’ll be asking the PUF Question of the Day, each day of the conference. How will you answer when asked?

Today’s PUF Questio n of the Day is, What do you want to hear about at this Annual Meeting?

Tomorrow’s Question of the Day will be, Have you used ideas discussed at prior NARUC meetings back home? Any examples?

And Wednesday’s Question of the Day will be, What was the most important thing said during this Annual Meeting?

Happy Sam Insull's Birthday!

Excerpted from “Sam Insull, Bill Nye, and the Urge to Innovate,” in the November 2019 special issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly on innovation:

“Today, the eleventh of November, is Samuel Insull’s Birthday. We’re in Insull’s debt for his many breakthroughs for the utilities industry, in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. Not the least of which is, literally, the innovation of utility regulation.

From Insull’s memoirs: