Energy Basics: Electricity, Generation and Grid Management

If you have found yourself occasionally challenged to follow some of the more technical conversations we have here, or even if you just want to brush up on the fundamentals, this mini-series is for you! We hope these episodes will give you a bit more familiarity with the terms and concepts of energy, and help to fill in some of the knowledge that you were never offered in school.

How We Cut Our Electricity Usage by 85%

You read that right: 85%. My family of four uses, on average, 4.7 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per day. Our electric bill never tops $32 per month. In the past we used just over 30 kWh/day, which is about average in the U.S., although there is huge variation. In our state, the average is over 36 kWh/day.

Mapped: How the US Generates Electricity

The US electricity system is often described as the world’s largest machine. It is also incredibly diverse, reflecting the policy preferences, needs and available natural resources of each state. Carbon Brief has plotted the nation’s power stations in an interactive map (above) to show how and where the US generates electricity.

Legal Challenges of PURPA and FERC

In addition to our deep dive on PURPA and around-market reforms, we’ll also discuss some of the likely implications of Trump’s new direction in energy policy, implications for the Clean Power Plan, and how the federal government’s leadership role on climate might be changing.