Energy Exchange

Resilience in the eye of the storm: how Puerto Rico can build a stronger, more sustainable energy future

By Agustín Carbó and Amalia Saladrigas

En español

The Atlantic hurricane season is under way and scientists predict it will be one of the strongest in recent memory, as climate change makes more frequent and severe storms the new normal. For communities across Puerto Rico, already battered by an array of crises, the need to plot a more resilient future is urgent.

Energy is a critical lifeline for Puerto Ricans, and residents’ health and well-being depend on a stable and reliable source of power. Previous disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes, have shown how unreliable and fragile the current centralized energy system is.

Now, the archipelago has an opportunity to reimagine its electric infrastructure in a way that puts communities first with more sustainable and resilient solutions.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Community Solar, Puerto Rico, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

ERCOT forecast and new analysis show the Texas grid moving away from fossil fuels

A duo of recent announcements underscore the clear direction the Texas grid is headed: toward more renewable energy, storage, energy efficiency and sophisticated demand-side management resources and away from coal.

That means less climate and local air pollution, of course. But it also means more local jobs, less volatile energy costs, a more stable and reliable grid and yet another opportunity for Texas to reap the economic benefits that come with being an energy pioneer.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Demand Response, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Market resilience, Solar Energy, Texas / Comments are closed

California fires, electricity outages need not be “the new normal”

A dire, almost defeatist thread has been running through social media and other commentary around the California wildfires and the widespread, preemptive electricity outages across the state. The sense of urgency about catastrophic side effects of climate change is right on. And it is true that fixing our electric grid will be a long and mighty task.

But we do not —and should not — have to accept this as “the new normal.”

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Also posted in Air Quality, California, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

As electric trucks and buses charge ahead, how can we help them avoid roadblocks?

The business and environmental case for electrifying large electric vehicles – such as buses, delivery trucks, garbage trucks and regional “day cab” tractors used at ports – is gaining traction, and there’s good reason to be excited about this momentum.

FedEx recently announced that it’s adding 1,000 EV delivery vans to its fleet. Amazon announced a $700 million investment in an electric truck start-up and then pledged to have half of its deliveries be zero-emissions by 2030. And in California, all new municipal buses will be zero-emissions within a decade, the result of a bold new program adopted by the state’s Air Resources Board last year.

As companies and local governments move from piloting electric fleets to full deployment, their climate potential is becoming clearer. For example, a recent Bloomberg report found that by the end of 2019, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses globally. That’s more than three times the displacement by all the world’s passenger electric vehicles.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Ohio continues move to smarter power system with multimillion-dollar clean-energy agreement

Over the past few years, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has actively opposed FirstEnergy in several cases where it sought bailouts for its uneconomic coal plants. We will continue to do so.

But if the utility giant wants to build a cleaner, more modern grid, we are eager to work together. Case in point: We are pleased to report that we reached an agreement on FirstEnergy’s plan to spend $516 million on grid modernization, bringing about lower bills, greater customer choice and less pollution.

Following AEP and Dayton Power & Light’s related agreements – both approved earlier this year – and in the midst of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (PUCO) innovative PowerForward initiative, it’s clear Ohio is on a path to a smarter, more sophisticated power system. Read More »

Also posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio, Voltage Optimization / Comments are closed

3 reasons Texas’ electric grid survived a summer that pushed its limits

As the hot summer approached, Texas leaders expressed concern about potential blackouts and brownouts. Yet, thoughtful planning, a functional electricity market and clean energy helped ensure the lights stayed on.

Power outage concerns

Hotter temperatures and continued population and commercial growth drove record electricity demand this past summer. Additionally, in early 2018, Luminant (now Vistra) shut down three large coal plants – all inefficient and highly-polluting – with a combined capacity of 4,200 megawatts (MW).

The shutdown of these power plants and other changes in the electricity market initially led the state’s electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to forecast few electricity-making resources would be available beyond the amount customers would likely demand.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing, Regional Grid, Texas / Comments are closed