Update on Florida Substation Fire

Lynne Kiesling This Miami Herald article discusses the large outage earlier this week in Florida, caused by the combination of a substation fire and a switch that was supposed to trip to isolate the substation, but did not. In particular, note the comments from Colorado State University engineering professor, and emeritus GridWise Architecture Council member … More Update on Florida Substation FireMore Update on Florida Substation Fire

Meanwhile, in Texas, a Brief Lull in the Wind

Michael Giberson On Tuesday this week, while Florida transmission operators were getting everyone back online after a sub-station fire lead to cascading outages around the state, in Texas grid operators were responding to an emergency of their own. A sudden drop off in the West Texas wind produced an almost as sudden drop in wind … More Meanwhile, in Texas, a Brief Lull in the WindMore Meanwhile, in Texas, a Brief Lull in the Wind

The Obstacles to the Smart Grid Are Regulatory

Lynne Kiesling Last week, at the National Electricity Delivery Forum, Kurt Yeager of the Galvin Electricity Initiative issued a challenge to the electricity industry and to regulators to transform the industry, its technology, and its regulation. As reported at The Fuel Cell Market Report, Speaking before an audience of federal and state regulators, utilities and … More The Obstacles to the Smart Grid Are RegulatoryMore The Obstacles to the Smart Grid Are Regulatory

Career Advice from Hal Varian

Michael Giberson At Freakonomics they have an interview with Hal Varian, lately the chief economist at Google. Many interesting remarks, but students reading Knowledge Problem may be especially interested in his career advice: Q: Your job sounds extremely interesting. What jobs would you recommend to a young person with an interest, and maybe a bachelors … More Career Advice from Hal VarianMore Career Advice from Hal Varian

Texas Does Carbon Big, and That’s Not All…

Michael Giberson … Texas does the non-carbon thing in a pretty big way, too. Tom Fowler, at NewsWatch: Energy, pulls together some numbers. Among his points (edited and slightly rearranged): Texas leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions; and If Texas were a country, it would rank seventh in the world in greenhouse gas emissions. … More Texas Does Carbon Big, and That’s Not All…More Texas Does Carbon Big, and That’s Not All…

Power Outage in Florida

Lynne Kiesling Few details yet, but I’m sure this will give us stuff to talk about over the next week: a large power outage in Florida, affecting 3-4 million people. Florida Power & Light representatives officials expect to have the power restored by 5:30, which is pretty quick. But can such a large outage be … More Power Outage in FloridaMore Power Outage in Florida

“Bourgeois Commitments to Virtue” Reduce Collective Action Problems

Lynne Kiesling Lots of folks who worry about climate change argue for large-scale collective action, usually taking the form of some sort of government intervention that involves some degree of coercion. Guest-blogging at Instapundit, Megan McArdle makes a very trenchant observation about how self-reflective virtuous behavior can reduce the need for collective action, in this … More “Bourgeois Commitments to Virtue” Reduce Collective Action ProblemsMore “Bourgeois Commitments to Virtue” Reduce Collective Action Problems

Can Arizona Become the “Persian Gulf of Solar Energy”?

Michael Giberson Spanish company Abengoa Solar and Arizona Public Service Company have announced plans to build a large solar powered electric generator, to come online in 2011, but like many such announcements it comes with a couple of public-policy related “ifs”; they’ll build it if they get the necessary approvals from the Arizona utility regulator, … More Can Arizona Become the “Persian Gulf of Solar Energy”?

Welcome to the New Knowledge Problem!

Lynne Kiesling And this time I mean it! Full Movable Type 4.1 upgrade, a wide range of social bookmarking options on the permalinks and archives of individual entries, a new look-and-feel, and hopefully the elimination of some wonky behaviors that the site had developed after five years of a half-assed recreational programmer (that would be … More Welcome to the New Knowledge Problem!More Welcome to the New Knowledge Problem!

Texas Wind Power: Gets by with a Little Help from Tax Credits

Michael Giberson Out in west Texas you can still see the occasional old-style wind mill on a farm or ranch, dutifully pumping up water when the wind blows. A much more common sight these days is the new, sleek wind power generator. A combination of good fundamentals for wind power, federal tax credits, state renewable … More Texas Wind Power: Gets by with a Little Help from Tax CreditsMore Texas Wind Power: Gets by with a Little Help from Tax Credits