Bustamante’s Proposal To Regulate Gasoline As A Utility

Where to begin …? With this Contra Costa Times article and this Sacramento Bee article. The political theater that is the California recall election is certain to elicit some very bad policy ideas from candidates, and the prize thus far goes to Cruz Bustamante. On Thursday Bustamante advocated regulating the gasoline industry as a utility. … More Bustamante’s Proposal To Regulate Gasoline As A UtilityMore Bustamante’s Proposal To Regulate Gasoline As A Utility

New Source Review

Few environmental policies and response to them are as caricatured as new source review. Earlier this week the EPA finalized the changes to new source review that it proposed in December 2002. Basically, this ruling clarifies what kinds of equipment replacement will and will not trigger new source review, and it allows firms (typically power … More New Source ReviewMore New Source Review

London Blackout

Okay, another one … but at least this one lasted only an hour, and was probably due to a transformer failure in south London, according to this Financial Times article. Not being an engineer, I don’t know if the recent, sustained strains from the heat wave has weakened any part of the transformers on the … More London BlackoutMore London Blackout

Adaptation And Rigidity?

I’ve got to spend the day preparing my fall classes, so I am happy to have a guest post from my knowledgeable friend and colleague Mike Giberson. Mike wrote in response to my claims yesterday that the grid we’ve got is rigid and maladaptive. I was insufficiently clear: the regulatory treatment of transmission has made … More Adaptation And Rigidity?More Adaptation And Rigidity?

Gas Prices Jump

No surprise there: blackout took 7 refineries offline for a few days, there was a big pipeline rupture in Arizona, it’s coming up on Labor Day weekend … Here are some links to articles discussing the gas price spike, from the Los Angeles Times (registration required), CNN/Money, and the Associated Press. I agree with Stephen … More Gas Prices JumpMore Gas Prices Jump

Getting By Without The Grid

The blackout has raised public interest in distributed generation (DG). DG technologies have gotten more cost effective over the past decade, and many businesses that cannot afford power outages use DG for backup. See, for example, this Time article on net metering, which is allowing your meter to run backwards and thus sell power back … More Getting By Without The GridMore Getting By Without The Grid

The Organic Network Is Robust And Adaptive

Paul Phlip at Long Harvest notes an oped in the NYT on the electric grid by Steve Stogratz. Stogratz makes some really important points in his argument, including the fact that we should think about the grid in a more organic and less mechanistic way, and that we should abandon the unrealistic idea about total … More The Organic Network Is Robust And AdaptiveMore The Organic Network Is Robust And Adaptive

Wind Power In Illinois

Here’s an article from today’s Tribune on wind power in Illinois. Wind power is too intermittent to be totally reliable in the absence of a better storage technology than we currently possess, but it may take strain off of the grid (especially if it’s a hot, late afternoon wind …). Wind power also receives government … More Wind Power In IllinoisMore Wind Power In Illinois

The Green Market Revisited

Now is a propitious time to remind folks of a Tech Central Station article of mine from August 2002 on how market-based retail electricity pricing is good for consumers and good for the environment: One of dynamic pricing’s most enticing long-run benefits is that it induces conservation. If it’s expensive to produce electricity in a … More The Green Market RevisitedMore The Green Market Revisited

Some More Techie Links On Power Systems

Here are some analyses of the more technical aspects of power systems: Peter Kaminski on who pays for reliability, Sparkey’s outstanding post at Sgt. Stryker, Steven DenBeste, in a second post to follow up, and Shots Across the Bow. Very helpful detail for the supply and infrastructure sides of the issues. … More Some More Techie Links On Power Systems