Reactions to the 60 Minutes program “Shaleionaires”

Michael Giberson Last night CBS News show 60 Minutes ran a piece on shale gas development (video link, text link).  The consensus among folks who have been following the issue is that while the story didn’t break new ground, it presumably raised the profile of the issue a bit. The Times-Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) story presents a good … More Reactions to the 60 Minutes program “Shaleionaires”

University positions available in smart grid, power systems, and more

Michael Giberson Texas Tech University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is seeking applicants for several positions related to electric power and energy systems more generally. Most interesting to our readers may be the new Whitacre Endowed Chair in Smart Grid Technologies position and a tenure track position in power and energy systems. Excepts from the job … More University positions available in smart grid, power systems, and more

The problem with “Peak Oil” from an economist’s point of view

Michael Giberson The National Geographic Daily News blog cites a new International Energy Agency report that pins 2006 as the year in which oil production rates attained a pace that will not be again matched. Or, in other words, 2006 was the year of “Peak Oil.”  That projection is just one scenario of several looked … More The problem with “Peak Oil” from an economist’s point of view

Negative Power Prices in ERCOT West: 2009 and 2010 through September

Michael Giberson Below are charts showing data on ERCOT West zone power prices for the 2009 and for 2010 January-September with a focus on negative prices.  The charts were derived from data provided through the ERCOT website, on their “Balancing Energy Services Market Clearing Prices for Energy Annual Report” page. These charts were prepared in the … More Negative Power Prices in ERCOT West: 2009 and 2010 through September

Top 10 longest periods with consecutive negative power prices, ERCOT West

Michael Giberson ERCOT recently set a new record for consecutive pricing intervals below $0/MWh for balancing energy market prices in the ERCOT West region: 39.25 hours of negative prices.  The episode started at 7:45 PM on Saturday, November 6  and the negative prices continued until 11:00 AM on Monday, November 8.     The previous record … More Top 10 longest periods with consecutive negative power prices, ERCOT West

Who should be able to bid for oil and gas leases on federal land?

Michael Giberson At PERC Reports, Shawn Regan argues that rules preventing direct participation by environmentalists in federal land lease auctions leaves few options available to such groups other than lobbying for political protection (or worse): Under current federal leasing rules, leases cannot be held by environmental groups for non-consumptive use. Even if they are the … More Who should be able to bid for oil and gas leases on federal land?

Speaking of smoke: Oregon’s only coal power plant may convert to biomass, but plan has many unknowns

Michael Giberson The High Country News reports that Portland General Electric is considering shutting down its Boardman, OR, coal-fired power plant, with costs of Clean Air Act compliance cited as the cause.  However, another option under consideration is conversion of the plant to biomass, more specifically converted to use a torrefied Asian cane that would … More Speaking of smoke: Oregon’s only coal power plant may convert to biomass, but plan has many unknowns

Smoke filled rooms, solar power, and the long shadow of grid parity

Michael Giberson An rambling complaint surfaced at TriplePundit.com (slogan: people, planet, profit.) linking a “number of articles questioning the economic viability of solar power [which] recently hit the streets” to “a new, well-oiled regime coming to power in Washington.” We could stop right here to consider that articles questioning the economic viability of solar power … More Smoke filled rooms, solar power, and the long shadow of grid parity

Democratic party promoted Libertarian candidates

Michael Giberson Democratic candidates and party organizations sent out many mailers before the last election promoting Libertarian candidates for office.  Scott Gustafson, blogging at Arizona Economics, posts the flyer promoting Libertarian candidate Michael Shoen in a race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, paid for by the Arizona Democratic Party. (Another example, … More Democratic party promoted Libertarian candidates