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Q&A: Retired Air Force general on the need to...

A retired Air Force general talks with Midwest Energy News about his solar-powered Wisconsin home and the case for developing alternative liquid fuels. Energy was always on General Donald J. Hoffman’s mind, as a kid growing up in a big family in central Wisconsin, and in the Air Force where he was a pilot and managed Air Force weapon systems from bases around the world. As Hoffman explains it, energy has always been at the...

Ohio’s energy future: No time to waste

For years Ohio’s lack of a comprehensive, long-term energy policy has harmed our economy and our health by continuing our reliance on burning coal for electricity. Now we finally have a chance to move forward. During a 2-year legislative “freeze” on our energy efficiency and renewable energy progress, utility companies gamed the system, demanding that customers subsidize their old, outdated coal and nuclear plants, instead...

The Time Has Come for Battery Net Metering

 A proposal in California would reward solar customers who use batteries to export to the grid at night. Both industry and utilities like the idea. Net metering for stored solar power could open up new market interest in battery-paired systems. Net metering compensates solar customers for the power they contribute to the grid — but if they route the electrons through a battery, they’re out of luck. Utilities understandably...

Space weather threatens high-tech life

Shortly after 4 a.m. on a crisp, cloudless September morning in 1859, the sky above what is currently Colorado erupted in bright red and green colors. Fooled by the brightness into thinking it was an early dawn, gold-rush miners in the mountainous region of what was then called the Kansas Territory woke up and started making breakfast. What happened in more developed regions was even more disorienting, and carries a warning...

When Will Renewables Become The Dominant Source Of...

As the amount of renewable energy in global electricity networks continues to surge, a new question arises – when will renewables become the dominant source of energy? A new report, the Lloyd’s Register 2018 Technology Radar, examines this issue and also looks at which technologies are likely to have the biggest impact in different countries and what are the key drivers and barriers to success. A survey of 800 key industry...

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...