Wind power and bird deaths and Frederic Bastiat

Michael Giberson Wind power gets a lot of criticism for contributing to bird deaths. Reports of bird-turbine collisions lead some environmentalists to withhold support from wind power. You sometimes see free market advocates, who otherwise seem not to get much concerned over the effects of economic activity on wildlife, suddenly quite concerned about wind power’s … More Wind power and bird deaths and Frederic Bastiat

GE-FPL smart grid investments in Florida

Lynne Kiesling GE and Silver Springs Network will work with FPL to implement smart grid investments for 1 million Miami customers (here’s GE’s press release). This is an exciting and promising investment, and its open architecture holds a lot of promise for the development of customer-facing applications. GE and Silver Springs have great technology. So … More GE-FPL smart grid investments in Florida

Estimates of net cost of Waxman-Markey bill

Lynne Kiesling If you are interested in following the Waxman-Markey energy-climate bill as it wends its way through Congress, John at Environmental Economics alerts us to the EPA’s analysis of the bill’s cost. The EPA estimates that it will cost less than $150/year, contrary to other, higher estimates. I’m not convinced by the EPA estimates, … More Estimates of net cost of Waxman-Markey bill

Peer-to-peer power through microgrids

Lynne Kiesling When we think of concepts like peer-to-peer networks and disintermediation, we usually think of industries that are very Internet-centric. But these concepts can, should, and will apply in electric power networks too: smart grid technology enables peer-to-peer power. The study referenced in that BBC article analyzes the potential for microgrids, and argues that … More Peer-to-peer power through microgrids

Experiments in business

Michael Giberson “The level of experimentation is abysmal,” says Prof List. “These firms do not take full advantage of feedback opportunities they’re presented with. After seeing example after example, we sat down and said, ‘We have to try to do something to stop this.’ One change we could make is to teach 75 to 100 … More Experiments in business

Risk amnesia

Michael Giberson Rick Bush explains how one manager prevents “risk amnesia” in a Transmission & Distribution World column. (Reg. required.) Risk amnesia is a condition that can spring up when an investment decision turns out badly, and suddenly no one can recall being part of the decision. Bush wrote: Donnelly cracked me up when he … More Risk amnesia

No “magic number” for renewable power

Michael Giberson Peter Behr, reporting for ClimateWire in an article online at the New York Times, captures some of the discussion surrounding the recent NERC report on integrating renewable power to the transmission grid [NERC Press Release] [NERC Executive Summary] [Full NERC Report]. The vast expansion of wind and solar power planned by the Obama … More No “magic number” for renewable power

What if power companies became more like banks?

Michael Giberson Chris Davis, at PowrTalk, asks, “What if power companies became more like banks?” Maybe the idea seems a little scary, especially with the way some banks have performed lately, but if it scares you then you are missing the point. Here is more: When electricity comes from distributed renewables, there is less for … More What if power companies became more like banks?

Headed to Lubbock …

Lynne Kiesling As you read this, I am on a plane headed to Lubbock, Texas, to attend the Collegiate Triathlon National Championship and to race in the Collegiate Sprint Triathlon on Saturday morning. I am pleased and honored to be the faculty advisor for the Northwestern University Triathlon Club, and we’ll have a great group … More Headed to Lubbock …

Regulated utilities, Wall Street, and smart grid investment

Lynne Kiesling This earth2tech post comments on a presentation from Rich Sedano at the Ceres conference this week in San Francisco. Rich has been working on electricity regulatory issues, demand response, and institutional design for a long time, and his insights as reported here are very important and frequently overlooked: The way Sedano sees it, … More Regulated utilities, Wall Street, and smart grid investment