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Study: Solar and Wind Won’t Break the Grid

A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) shows that major power systems are able to cope quite well with increasing shares of intermittent renewables, if the right measures are taken. The study says that increased generation of these renewables does not make the grid less reliable or compromise security of supply. Critics of renewable energy have often warned that there are strict...

How Fossil Fuel Allies Are Tearing Apart Ohio̵...

With scare studies, policy drafts and political donations, industry groups turned Ohio lawmakers against policies they once overwhelmingly supported. COLUMBUS, Ohio—On March 30, Bill Seitz, a charismatic Republican, took to the floor of the Ohio House to make a case for gutting a 2008 law designed to speed the adoption of solar and wind as significant sources of electricity in the state. The law, he warned, “is like...

Iowa town’s municipal utility effort is financiall...

A northeastern Iowa community could lower its electric bills by creating a municipal-owned utility, according to a feasibility study presented to its city council Tuesday. Supporters of an effort to create a city-owned electric utility in Decorah, Iowa, got a boost this week from a consultant’s report that concludes the move is financially feasible. “We think the results are very robust,” said Andy Johnson, one of the...

Forum: Building a strong, equitable electric vehic...

With automakers ramping up development and production of electric vehicles (EVs), Michigan has the opportunity to be a leader in the transition to a cleaner transportation system. As chief executive officer and co-owner of Crystal Mountain — a family-owned ski, golf and spa resort in Benzie County — and a long-time EV owner, I see the widespread adoption of EVs in our state as a way to improve public health while generating...

Battery Storage Revolution Could ‘Sound the ...

If we want to accelerate the world’s renewable energy transition, we’ll have to modernize the electric grid and we’ll need much better batteries. Just look at Germany, which generates so much clean energy on particularly windy and sunny days that electricity prices are often negative. Sure this is good news for a German person’s wallet, but as the New York Times noted, “Germany’s power...

Regulators urged to reverse ‘net metering’ decisio...

Ohio officials made a serious mistake with a recent ruling that will discourage the use of renewable energy systems at homes and businesses, said environmental advocates Wednesday during a rare hearing before state regulators. Utility companies supported the recent policy shift that reduces some of the financial incentives of using the systems, which include solar panels and wind turbines. The Public Utilities Commission of...

GOP voters support green energy, oppose coal, nucl...

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Conservative Ohio voters, whether Independent or Republican, are tired of utilities asking for special charges for coal and nuclear power plants, support mandatory energy-efficiency programs, favor home solar systems and are willing to pay higher monthly bills for renewable energy. These are findings in a poll commissioned by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum reveal grassroot attitudes are at odds...

One step forward, one step back for Ohio policy to...

Rooftop solar provides many benefits to the electric grid, like having no fuel costs and increasing electric grid resiliency – the ability to quickly recover from problems. So how can utilities recognize these benefits and reward people who install solar at their homes and businesses? A popular way is through net metering, which allows customers to send the electricity from their solar panels to the power grid and receive a...

3 Charts That Illustrate the Impact of EVs on Batt...

“While this transformation would be extreme, it is not considered impossible.” Electric vehicles will put the pressure on battery, oil and power demand. By 2035, there could be 125 million electric cars on the road, up from 2 million last year. The result: a steep upward swing in demand for batteries and electricity, and a similarly strong decline in global oil demand. A new report from Wood Mackenzie details the rise of...

Why a military adviser says climate change is thre...

Scientists in Colorado are publishing alarming new research about the storms of the future. Computer simulations show bigger, more frequent and more intense storms. These conclusions have now captured the attention of the United States military. A study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), details how large, long-lasting storms called mesoscale convective systems — which can be a...

Pittsburgh’s Microgrids Technology Could Lea...

 Gregory Reed tours a former school now becoming a lab for energy research in Pittsburgh. Reed says he’s focusing on how microgrids can provide reliable, resilient and locally produced energy. Daniella Cheslow/NPR hide caption  Gregory Reed tours a former school now becoming a lab for energy research in Pittsburgh. Reed says he’s focusing on how microgrids can provide reliable, resilient and locally produced...

Advocates say recent net metering changes could sl...

Recent rule changes in Ohio would not fully reward solar energy and other renewable resources for the flexibility they bring to the market, say advocates. On November 8, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio released new net metering rules on how utilities compensate customers who supply their own excess generation to the grid. Compared to rule changes adopted in 2014, the changes reduce the amount customers get, limit...

AEP Exec: The Future for Coal Power Is ‘Very Limit...

American Electric Power plans to spend $1.8 billion on wind and solar over the next three years as it shifts away from coal. When Charles Patton joined American Electric Power in 2000, around 90 percent of the company’s electricity production came from coal. Since then, AEP’s executive vice president of external affairs says things have changed dramatically. “I will confess, there was a time I wouldn’t have publicly...

PUCO ruling expected to shrink credits paid for se...

Central Ohioans who have rooftop solar panels receive a credit on their electric bills for selling excess power back into the grid. After a ruling Wednesday by state utility regulators, that credit is likely to shrink. For an American Electric Power customer, the credit would be reduced by about 30 percent. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio issued the 3-0 ruling in a case dealing with the rules for so-called “net...

How other Midwestern states treat solar consumers

With Senate Bill 309 enacted, what is the affect on solar energy in Indiana? “I have not looked to Illinois for guidance policy on anything because I’ve rarely found a time when they’ve done anything right.”  That scathing review comes from Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Wheatfield, who authored the latest legislation determining net metering in the state of Indiana. The conservative lawmaker looked at a number of other states as...