Electricity Policy



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NREL: US wind industry, jobs, will get clobbered without a full PTC


By Kennedy Maize

April 18, 2014 – Without continued federal subsidies, wind power is unlikely to be competitive with electric generation from natural gas, according to a study this month from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The production tax credit for wind and other renewables has expired, and Congress is considering another extension, as it has repeatedly taken such action in the past.

Read more: NREL: US wind industry, jobs, will get clobbered without a full PTC

Tesla’s plans for a full-scale electric pickup sparks skepticism, suggestion


Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who owns electric car maker Tesla, says he wants to make an electric pickup truck to compete with the Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the US market. But automotive writer Aaron Turpen, writing in Breaking Energy, says the state of electric vehicle technology and the demands of a working half-ton or larger pickup truck are in major conflict. It’s a combination of power demand, load, and torque. He writes, “Will they do it? Good question, but it’s fair to say that if they do, they may be treading on the thin crust of a deep, deep lake.” Turpen’s advice to Musk: Try to build a good electric sport utility vehicle instead.

FERC to hold June 10 tech conference on bulk power grid reliability


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday announced it will hold a technical conference on June 10 to discuss reliability of the bulk power grid. The all-day conference at FERC’s headquarters at 888 First St. NE in Washington will begin at 8:45. The commission announced no details about the meeting, saying that they would come later, although some observers suspect the meeting is designed to address both physical and cyber security concerns that have topped the commission’s hot list and been prominent in industry discussions in recent weeks.

The Nature Conservancy: Damn right, we need to get dam policies right


It’s time to get hydropower dams right, say two executives from The Nature Conservancy. Mark Tercek, the conservancy’s CEO, and conservancy water expert Giulio Boccaletti write in the Huffington Post that environmentalists and developers need to refine their views on hydropower. They write, “There are, of course, dams with such high environmental and social costs that they simply should not be built. At the same time, there are going to be hundreds of new dams built around the world. To influence those decisions, we need a much broader vocabulary than just the word ‘no’ when it comes to dams.