7 Big Winners From Biden’s American Jobs Plan

By Alex Sirois, Apr 6, 2021 President Joe Biden introduced his American Jobs Plan on March 31. The plan outlines $2.251 trillion of estimated spending to improve the country and jobs for Americans. It is divided into four major sectors: infrastructure at home, transportation infrastructure, research and development (R&D), workforce development and manufacturing, and…

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Records reveal Entergy’s role in stalling MISO transmission planning

Daniel Tait  •  April 5, 2021 Entergy coordinated closely with Mississippi Public Service Commission staff and the Commission’s outside consultants to stall regional transmission projects, potentially blocking its customers’ access to lower-cost wind energy from outside Entergy’s service territory and placing them at greater risk of future power outages. Read more

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Utilities continue to increase spending on the electric transmission system

MARCH 26, 2021 Annual spending by major U.S. electric utilities on the U.S. electric transmission system has increased from $9.1 billion (2019 dollars) in 2000 to $40.0 billion in 2019. This spending includes investment in new transmission infrastructure as well as the operation and maintenance of existing transmission systems. Read…

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Biden Looking to Big Infrastructure Spending Deal

By Ken Bredemeier March 23, 2021   With money from the $1.9 trillion U.S. coronavirus relief deal beginning to course through the world’s biggest economy, President Joe Biden’s economic advisers are preparing an even bigger economic stimulus, a possible $3 trillion package to repair the country’s aging infrastructure and — they…

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State Regulators Announce Limits to Eversource Cost Recovery

BY BRENDAN CROWLEY MARCH 20, 2021   Eversource will be prevented from recovering a large portion of the costs of Tropical Storm Isaias, state utility regulators announced Friday evening in a draft decision based on an investigation into widespread and lengthy power outages stemming from the August storm.    Read more

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Electric grid threatened by climate change, federal agencies need to do more, GAO says

Electric grid threatened by climate change, federal agencies need to do more, GAO says

Energize Weekly, March 17, 2021 Climate change – the heat waves, flooding, droughts, and hurricanes it may bring – poses a multibillion-dollar threat to the country’s aging electric grid, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Without significant efforts to upgrade the grid and make it…

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The U.S. Grid Isn’t Ready For A Major Shift To Renewables

By Irina Slav – Mar 03, 2021 The blame game for the massive power outages in Texas last month continues. The dominant argument is that renewables had an ignorable part to play in the crisis, with natural gas and coal the indirect culprits due to their reduced availability resulting from infrastructure freezing…

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The $7 Trillion Cost Of Upgrading The U.S. Power Grid

By Leonard Hyman & William Tilles – Feb 25, 2021 We have just witnessed the damage caused by poorly designed energy grids—rolling blackouts, skyrocketing electricity prices, people sleeping in their cars and in one insulated room to keep warm. At the same time a weaponized right wing media swings into action blaming…

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Xcel Energy plans to transform its Colorado grid, boosting renewables and closing coal plants

Xcel Energy plans to transform its Colorado grid, boosting renewables and closing coal plants

Energize Weekly, March 3, 2021 Xcel Energy – in one of the country’s most sweeping initiatives to reconfigure a gird – has announced an $8 billion plan to double its renewable energy generation and storage in Colorado, add transmission and close all its coal-fired power plants in the state by…

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Collapse of the natural gas system from wellhead to turbine fueled Texas’ blackout

Collapse of the natural gas system from wellhead to turbine fueled Texas’ blackout

Energize Weekly, February 24, 2021 The near collapse of Texas’ electric grid was caused in the main by a failure of the natural gas system from the wellhead to pipeline to gas turbine, according to an analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Texas has a power shortage because it…

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LiveEO Performs Satellite-Based Vegetation Risk Analysis of Entire U.S. Electric Transmission Grid

T&D World, FEB 08, 2021 For the first time in history, vegetation encroachment risk to the entire publicly available U.S. transmission grid has been analyzed from space by the Berlin-based start-up LiveEO. The analysis covers the detection of vegetation along the transmission grid, as well as the identification of grid segments…

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U.S. energy consumption will take years to rebound from pandemic, EIA says

U.S. energy consumption will take years to rebound from pandemic, EIA says

Energize Weekly, February 10, 2021 It will take years for U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions to return to 2019 levels after the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy and the global energy sector, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Energy consumption in…

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SPP launches Western Energy Imbalance Service real-time balancing market

SPP launches Western Energy Imbalance Service real-time balancing market

Energize Weekly, February 3, 2021 Regional transmission organization (RTO) Southwest Power Pool (SPP) launched its Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) on Monday, Feb. 1. The WEIS includes parts of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The real-time balancing market is expected to decrease wholesale electricity costs, increase price…

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El Paso Electric Files the Transportation Electrification Plan with the NMPRC

January 08, 2021, Business Wire El Paso Electric (EPE) looks to continue its drive toward a greener and more sustainable future as the Company files its Transportation Electrification Plan (TEP) with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) for approval. The overarching goal of this two-year plan is to increase…

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117th Congress opens to new energy, environment fights

Nick Sobczyk, Geof Koss and Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporters; Monday, January 4, 2021 The 117th Congress opened to an uncertain political landscape yesterday, with a tight vote for the House speakership and with Senate control still up in the air. Lawmakers face fresh fights on energy and environmental issues, particularly climate change, but…

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Report Calls for Electricity Sector to Rethink Approach to Climate Change Risks

January 5, 2021 – Homeland Security Today A new report from the Columbia Law School and Environmental Defense Fund highlights climate change risks in the electricity sector. The authors – Romany M. Webb, Michael Panfil, and Sarah Ladin – say electric system operators must rethink their approach to infrastructure protection and…

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SolarWinds Hack Infected Critical Infrastructure, Including Power Industry

Kim Zetter, December 24 2020   The hacking campaign that infected numerous government agencies and tech companies with malicious SolarWinds software has also infected more than a dozen critical infrastructure companies in the electric, oil, and manufacturing industries who were also running the software, according to a security firm conducting investigations…

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Voters weigh in on local and state energy issues from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes

Voters weigh in on local and state energy issues from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes

Energize Weekly, November 11, 2020 Election returns on state and local energy issues were both literally and figuratively all over the map last week on issues ranging from renewable energy to oil and gas taxes. Voters in Alaska rejected a tax on oil operations while the industry was denied a…

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A Biden plan would speed a clean energy transition, but have limited impact on oil

A Biden plan would speed a clean energy transition, but have limited impact on oil

Energize Weekly, October 28, 2020 As Election Day nears, analysts are starting to focus on what the administration of front-running Joe Biden will mean for energy and find it could accelerate the decline of coal, stabilize near-term oil markets, as well as boost renewables and new jobs. A Biden administration,…

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Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Fossil fuel demand drops in 2020 with a limited rebound in 2021, IEA says

Energize Weekly, October 21, 2020 The global pandemic will cut worldwide energy demand 5 percent in 2020 and result in an 18 percent decline in energy investment, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. If the novel coronavirus is brought under control in 2021, energy demand will return to its…

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Rural communities to get $865 million in infrastructure aid from USDA programs

Rural communities to get $865 million in infrastructure aid from USDA programs

Energize Weekly, August 26, 2020 The Trump administration, in the last three weeks, has announced $865 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural infrastructure – electric grids, water systems and broadband internet. The two largest programs are for water and wastewater systems – $462 million – and rural electrification…

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Technologies to bring economies to zero carbon emissions still lacking, IEA says

Technologies to bring economies to zero carbon emissions still lacking, IEA says

Energize Weekly, August 12, 2020 Many countries have announced ambitious climate goals to bring their economies to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but the technologies needed to cut emissions in areas like shipping and steelmaking don’t exist and may take decades to bring to market, according to the International Energy…

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Corporate clean energy purchases soared in 2019 to a record 19.5 GW, Bloomberg says

Corporate clean energy purchases soared in 2019 to a record 19.5 GW, Bloomberg says

Energize Weekly, February 5, 2020 Corporations purchased a record 19.5 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy contracts in 2019, a 40 percent increase over 2019, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Contracts, primarily power purchase agreements (PPAs), were signed by more than 100 companies in 23 different countries, marking a…

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Climate change threatens profitability of investor-owned utilities, Moody’s says

Climate change threatens profitability of investor-owned utilities, Moody’s says

Energize Weekly, January 29, 2020 From heat to humidity to severe storms investor-owned utilities across the U.S. will face particular regional climate change hazards, according to an analysis by Moody’s Investors Services. A utility in the Southeast, such as Duke Energy, could face risk from heavier storms, floods and storm…

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Aging grid challenged by shift to renewable and natural gas generation, ScottMadden says

Aging grid challenged by shift to renewable and natural gas generation, ScottMadden says

Energize Weekly, January 22, 2020 The aging U.S. electrical grid is facing challenges from just-in-time natural gas plant fueling and a growing demand for renewable generation, which it will not be able to meet without new investment and policies, according to a study by business consultant ScottMadden Inc. “The grid…

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Boulder seeking to create a municipal utility offers Xcel $94 million for its wires and poles

Boulder seeking to create a municipal utility offers Xcel $94 million for its wires and poles

Energize Weekly, December 4, 2019 In an effort to avoid a court condemnation proceeding, Boulder, Colo., which wants to create its own municipal utility, upped its offer for the purchase of Xcel Energy’s infrastructure to $94 million. It is the third offer the city has made to Xcel, which currently…

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EIA forecasts a 50 percent increase in energy demand by 2050 driven by Asian economies

EIA forecasts a 50 percent increase in energy demand by 2050 driven by Asian economies

Energize Weekly, October 2, 2019 World energy consumption is projected to grow by 50 percent by 2050, with most of that demand coming from growing Asian economies, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) International Energy Outlook. “Energy consumption was greater in Asia than in any other region in…

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U.S. market for ‘smart home’ devices to triple to $75 billion by 2025

U.S. market for ‘smart home’ devices to triple to $75 billion by 2025

Energize Weekly, September 25, 2019 The U.S. market for “smart home” devices will more than triple by 2025, reaching $75 billion, according to data analytics company GlobalData. The growth will be driven by the increased use of smart thermostats, which consumers see as an energy-saving device and utilities as one…

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Seattle’s grid could be overwhelmed by ambitious plans for electric trucks and buses

Seattle’s grid could be overwhelmed by ambitious plans for electric trucks and buses

Energize Weekly, September 18, 2019 Seattle’s ambitious plans for electrifying the city’s transportation sector could destabilize the metropolitan area’s electric grid by the addition of large numbers of electric trucks and buses, a study finds. The study by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in collaboration with Seattle City Light offers…

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U.S. DOE launches $50 million research program on electric and alternative-fuel trucks

U.S. DOE launches $50 million research program on electric and alternative-fuel trucks

Energize Weekly, August 28, 2019 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with university researchers and major auto manufacturers, has launched a $50 million program to develop electric and alternative-fuel technologies for trucks and off-road vehicles. The research projects will focus on gaseous fuels – including natural gas, bio-power…

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Solar power contract prices are falling to record lows, but also gathering some risk

Solar power contract prices are falling to record lows, but also gathering some risk

Energize Weekly, August 21, 2019 Portugal’s first photovoltaic (PV) solar auction has led to a record low-cost contract of $16.54 a megawatt-hour (MWh), narrowly besting the previous record, a recent Brazilian power purchase agreement (PPA) for $16.95 a MWh. “With the levelized cost of utility-scale PV in Southern Europe now…

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Nearly half of U.S. utilities filed rate cases in 2018, most of them seeking rate increases

Nearly half of U.S. utilities filed rate cases in 2018, most of them seeking rate increases

Energize Weekly, July 31, 2019 Almost half of the major U.S. electric utilities filed rate cases with state regulators in 2018 – the highest number since 1983 – with nearly 90 percent seeking rate increases, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The rate increase requests were driven mainly…

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Utility-scale battery storage capacity has grown fourfold since 2014 to 899 megawatts

Utility-scale battery storage capacity has grown fourfold since 2014 to 899 megawatts

Energize Weekly, July 17, 2019 Utility-scale battery storage capacity has grown more than fourfold since the end of 2014, reaching 899 megawatts (MW) by March 2019, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). If currently planned projects are completed and no capacity is retired, storage could exceed 2,500 MW…

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Renewable generation temporarily overtakes coal-fired generation in April, the EIA says

Renewable generation temporarily overtakes coal-fired generation in April, the EIA says

Energize Weekly, July 3, 2019 Renewable electricity generation surpassed coal-fired generation for the first time in April, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Renewable generation accounted for 23 percent of electricity generation in April compared to 20 percent for coal. “This outcome reflects both seasonal factors as well…

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