Another Big US Storm, Another Argument for Microgrids

Big storms offer a good argument for microgrids. And last week's blizzard in the eastern United States was no exception, based on government data released today. The Energy Information Administration reports that more than one million electricity customers lost power when the record-setting blizzard swept across 14 states. Customers with … [Read more...]

Yet Another Report Finds that Energy Efficiency Improves the Economics of Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions  

Contributing writer Cara Miale Goman looks at how energy efficiency improves the economics of reducing carbon dioxide under the proposed Clean Power Plan. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a federal rule that aims to help cut carbon pollution from the energy sector 30 percent by 2030, is slated to be finalized this summer. As states, cities and … [Read more...]

U.S. Doubled Advanced Energy Storage in Five Years

Advanced energy storage has more than doubled in the United States over the last five years, growing from 160 MW to 350 MW, according a report today by the Energy Information Administration. The figures do not include conventional pumped hydroelectric storage, which accounts for 98 percent of electric storage in the U.S.  Instead, the report … [Read more...]

Save Energy without Losing Comfort: Data Shows the Formula is Working

The contemporary energy efficiency movement has promised we can save energy without compromising comfort – and that seems to be working according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. American homes are getting bigger, yet we have reduced our energy intensity – a measure of energy efficiency calculated as units of energy per … [Read more...]

How Energy Efficiency’s Story is Changing

By Elisa Wood March 21, 2013 Not so long ago, news about energy efficiency focused on what the US could or should do, but wasn’t to save energy. It was a tale of woe. That’s no longer the case. Now, report after report tells the story of a burgeoning energy efficiency market that is achieving a surprising level of  savings. Consider a few news … [Read more...]

New direction for that federal agency whose name I can’t remember

By Elisa Wood November 17, 2011 The US Department of Energy’s reputation is now enshrined as the agency that Republican presidential contender Rick Perry wants to dismantle – if only he could remember its name. But a recent report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences offers a different direction for the federal agency, one that may not … [Read more...]

Energy use drops: It’s not just the economy

By Elisa Wood May 13, 2010 We’ve been hearing a lot about a drop in energy consumption as a result of the economic downturn. In fact, US energy use per person declined last year to its lowest level since 1968. Economic activity and energy use are directly linked. But lately, several reports have noted that the economic slowdown is not the only … [Read more...]

Efficiency and the not-to-be-ignored gas-fired plant

May 6, 2010 By Elisa Wood Carbon dioxide emissions dropped significantly in the US in 2009. The economy played an obvious role; not so obvious was the influence of power generation and its increasing efficiency. CO2 emissions have been trending down for the last decade by about 0.9%.  But the 2009 drop was far more dramatic -- 7% -- the largest … [Read more...]

Carbon cap and boom?

By Elisa Wood August 6, 2009 If we try to reduce greenhouse gases, the economy will take a hit, according to conventional wisdom. The Energy Information Administration bolstered the notion this week by reporting that energy prices would rise for the average US family by $142 in 2020 and $583 in 2030 under the House cap and trade bill passed in … [Read more...]