Tag Archives: electricity

An Energy Efficiency Parable

Here’s a story that captures a lot of the challenges we face as we try to improve energy efficiency. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t have a happy ending, but I’m holding out hope for the sequel. Many of us leave our … Continue reading

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Money for Nothing?

Since the beginning of electricity grids, demand has fluctuated and supply has been made to follow along. But for decades, economists and some grid engineers have dreamed of having demand play a more active role in balancing the system.  With … Continue reading

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Too Big to Fail?

(This post is co-authored by Catie Hausman) The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) was closed abruptly in February 2012. During the previous decade, SONGS had produced about 8% of the electricity generated in California, so its closure had a pronounced … Continue reading

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Why Aren’t We Talking About Net Energy Metering for LEDs?

The fights over net energy metering have gotten loud and heated. For those of you who have missed the drama, here, in a nutshell, is what “net metering” means. Say I install enough solar panels on my roof to provide … Continue reading

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How Much Energy are We Flushing Down the Drain?

California is in the middle of a drought. In the Bay Area, that has meant day after day of glorious, uncharacteristically sunny winter weather. But, I am haunted by media images of dry creek beds and by my own mental … Continue reading

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A Small Bet with Big Stakes

Back in November 2011, I made a bet with economist Geoff Rothwell about the future of nuclear power.  By making a bet we weren’t trying to trivialize the issue. To the contrary.  We had different predictions, and we saw this … Continue reading

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The Politics of Renewable Energy

I found yesterday’s NY Times article on the shifting politics of renewable energy morbidly fascinating on both a political and economic level. Basically the article pieces together anecdotes of odd-couple political alliances between renewable energy boosters and Republicans, Libertarians (e.g. … Continue reading

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Understanding energy usage starts at home

Since Catherine and Max have written blog posts about their home heating, I thought I’d start the year with my own, equally geeky, piece on electricity use at home. Electricity is probably the least salient thing we consume.  When we … Continue reading

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Smart Meters but Dumb Pricing? Not in Sacramento

Smart meters are supposed to give you more control over your electricity bills. As a PG&E customer, I can log onto a website and look at our household smart meter data, which shows our consumption hour-by-hour. That’s how we learned … Continue reading

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Rate design wars are the sound of utilities taking residential PV seriously

Imagine walking into your supermarket with a bag of zucchini from your garden and saying that you’d like to trade them straight up for an equal quantity of zucchini next month. The store manager would explain that they aren’t in … Continue reading

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