In 2015, the United States used about 3,724,500 million kWh of electricity.
Most of us don’t have enough context to realize how big this number actually is, so here are some facts: First off, the US is the 2nd biggest user of electricity in the world (just behind Canada). Secondly, think about what exactly this number includes: all the electricity used in millions of homes across the US for air conditioning, lights, refrigerators, stoves, hot water, and all our devices, as well as factories, office buildings, data centers, agricultural applications, government offices, recreation centers, football fields, streetlights, and about a billion other things we don’t even think about on a daily basis.
With so much electricity being used and created every day, as a country we need to constantly assess if all this electricity is being created in the most responsible way, both monetarily and environmentally.Continue reading
The findings were published in August 2016 in a report commissioned by the US Department of Energy. The study examines if the region’s electrical grid could handle a high amount of solar penetration, how the region’s electrical generation would need to change to accommodate it, and how operational aspects would need to be tweaked as well.
You may have heard that solar energy and electric cars are a match made in heaven. With his announcement of the SolarCity and Tesla Motors merger, Elon Musk has made it clear that the solar powered car is to solar power what peanut butter is to jam.
In fact, if you’ve already covered your roof with solar panels, you may have started thinking about buying an electric car (also known a plug-in electric vehicle). And here’s why your intuitions serve you right.
Net metering has been referred to as a battleground, David vs. Goliath, a fight between the huge, monopoly utility companies and the small, helpless solar companies who just want to do what’s right for the earth.
A war has been declared between the upstart solar industry and the older electricity suppliers.
The war is essentially between centralized and distributed energy. The electric utilities were originally set up in the days of large-scale centralized coal power stations and regulated as suppliers of essential public services.
Coal has long been demonized as the worst fossil fuel, and it deserves its ill-repute. But really, is natural gas much better?
In October, SoCalGas discovered that gas was leaking from its Aliso Canyon storage facility which was about 90% full. As of January 1st, 73,000 metric tons of methane have been released. The well won’t be capped till April.
Solar is getting cheaper fast.
Globally, 70 gigawatts of renewable energy was installed in 2013, and that cost $279 billion. In 2014, almost 40% more was installed and yet that didn’t cost 40% more – it actually cost nine billion less than even the year before; $270 billion.
Iowa’s Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) has launched a community solar garden that its electricity customers can buy into, with the opportunity to purchase units of the energy output from the solar array.
We Energies is Wisconsin’s largest public utility, and provides electricity and natural gas to 4.4 million customers across four states. In December 2014, they proposed a $4 monthly flat rate increase in addition to a per-kilowatt-hour electricity rate increase for all customers. The fee hike was approved by Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission and was set to take effect in 2016, but the solar industry quickly joined together and filed an appeal to block its implementation.