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Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 1 “A Prelude to the Future”

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-­year history. The scale of electricity generation is rapidly shrinking, from coal and nuclear power plants that can power a million homes to solar and wind power plants that power a few to a few hundred nearby homes. Electricity demand has leveled off, so that every unit of new wind and solar power produced for the grid displaces a unit of fossil fuel energy. Batteries and electric vehicles provide new tools for distributed energy storage.

Hawaii Is a “Postcard from the Future”

Today, the New York Times published a good look at how Hawaii’s residential solar power industry, the most advanced in the US, is forcing obsolete power companies to change, and how those power companies are fighting back.

Can Other Cities Match Georgetown’s Low-Cost Switch to 100% Wind and Sun?

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant renewable resources (e.g. Tucson, AZ) are stuck with a majority-coal-fired electricity supply.

If cities had these keys, many could obtain 100% renewable energy at a surprisingly low cost.

Can Other Cities Match Georgetown’s Low-Cost Switch to 100% Wind and Sun?

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant renewable resources (e.g. Tucson, AZ) are stuck with a majority-coal-fired electricity supply.

If cities had these keys, many could obtain 100% renewable energy at a surprisingly low cost.

Solar Energy in Missouri Means Jobs, Savings, and a Low-Cost Future

placeholderThere are a lot of utility-sponsored legislative and regulatory attacks on solar energy lately, and we put together this infographic to help the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association fight back in their state. Click the image to see it full size.

And FirstEnergy Shows Its Hand on HB2201

Today, The State Journal published energy reporter Sarah Tincher’s story on the differing views of HB2201.

In her story, she quoted FirstEnergy PR guy, and our old friend, as follows:

This affordable housing complex has a solar farm on its roof

Grist Magazine, April 3, 2015

Located on a busy street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, the blue-green building has a simple, rectangular design. It’s only three stories high and has a modest 30 units. A clock with a sunburst design, located on the building’s side, provides a touch of pop — and hints at the building’s cool secret: There’s a solar farm on its roof.

Why Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers

I have the privilege of talking to a lot of reporters about rooftop solar energy, and particularly about why utilities seem hell bent on stopping their customers from using their own money to add clean, renewable energy to the electric grid. If this seems confusing to you, too, here’s a quick primer with some key resources.

Daily Mail Runs My Rebuttal of AEP’s Fawcett

Today, the Charleston Daily Mail ran my rebuttal to Jim Fawcett’s March 17 op-ed which laid out AEP’s line of attack on the Legislature’s bungled HB2201.

Here’s the link to my op-ed.

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