Having suffered serious setbacks in the political arena throughout last year, the MAGA cult may be embracing even more warmly the idea that political violence can be a more effective means of achieving the sinister goal that they are failing to reach through legal and political means: an authoritarian takeover of US society.
As areas like California and Texas struggle amid wildfires, extreme freezes, high winds and other challenges, and take measures to keep the lights on, it’s worth pausing to consider what “resilient” and “reliable” grid power means from the perspective of grid planning.
In this article, Carbon Brief summarises how the media has covered the storm, but, particularly, its repercussions across the energy sector and potential links to climate change.
As more distributed energy resources arrive unbidden onto the power grid, they are increasingly requiring us not to just think about new utility business models, but to radically rethink what a utility might look like.
California and 12 other US states, plus parts of Canada and Mexico, are considering whether to expand the California wholesale grid and balancing area to include the entire region, in order to increase the flow of reliable, affordable, and renewable power across the West.
Demand response and demand flexibility—shifting demand to intervals where electricity is abundant and cheap, and away from when the grid is constrained or power is expensive and dirty—can help keep prices down, optimize the grid overall, and help us integrate more renewable supply into grid power while displacing more fossil fuels.
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.
The total solar eclipse that captivated the United States this week was more than just a celestial spectacle (and a reminder to take care of your eyes). It was also a valuable lesson in how to manage electricity grids when a crucial generation source – solar power, in this case – goes temporarily offline.
How to collect that solar energy, predict it, get it to the right places at the right time, save it up for a rainy day — those are the kind of challenges our massive, spread-out, and unevenly populated country faces as we make the switch to clean energy. And it all comes down to a lesson that the Evslins learned the hard way: It’s not about getting off the grid. It’s about building a better one.
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.
So, are wind and solar killing coal and nuclear? Yes, but not by themselves and not for the reasons most people think. Are wind and solar killing grid reliability? No, not where the grid’s technology and regulations have been modernized. In those places, overall grid operation has improved, not worsened.
What combination of power generators on the U.S. grid produces reliable power at the lowest cost?