Using Energy

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Military Marches Forward With Microgrids

North of Greeley, CO near the border of WY. Nearby the future site of the Niobrara Energy Park, The developer calls it "the world's largest planned microgrid."

The aging United States electricity grid is facing an increasing number of threats, ranging from severe weather events to solar flares to cyber terrorism. It’s something the U.S. military is taking seriously, helping lead the way in the development of smaller and more secure grids – known as microgrids. Continue Reading →

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On Denmark’s Road To Renewable Power

Jesper Rasmussen shows a map of power flow through Denmark inside the control room for Denmark's transmission grid.

Renewable energy seems to be taking off in the US, but there are serious challenges—both technological and social—that come along with adding more solar and wind to the grid. Denmark has faced similar challenges as it has transitioned from almost no renewables in the mid-90s to almost half of its power supply today. Continue Reading →

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On A Tiny Danish Island: Making Electricity Demand Meet Supply

Rønne is the largest city on the Danish island of Bornholm, a popular tourist destination that is also testing some innovative energy solutions.

Denmark gets some 40 percent of its power from wind energy, but it’s aiming for even more—going fully renewable by 2030. In order to do that, it’s going to have to shake up the traditional relationship between electricity supply and demand, and the country is looking to a tiny island in the middle of the Baltic Sea for guidance.
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Why Smart Meters Don’t Make A Smart Grid

Power transmission lines march across the Shirley Basin in central Wyoming.

In 2009, President Obama promised to modernize the electric grid, using stimulus money. The new power grid would be smart and efficient, bringing the tech revolution to electricity. It would incorporate more renewable energy. It would have the ability to fix blackouts more quickly. And, it would save customers a whole lot of money. So whatever happened to that plan? (Blackout: Reinventing the Grid #3) Continue Reading →

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When The Largest Machine In The World Fails

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If you could peer behind an electrical plug in your house, you’d find a massive network of transmission lines and power plants and a whole army of people bringing power to the socket in real-time, 24 hours a day. It’s the largest machine in the world: the power grid. Most of the time it operates invisibly, in the background, but when it fails, it often does so memorably. To most people, those outages seem like isolated events, but when you look at the trend, they're not. (Blackout: Reinventing the Grid #1) Continue Reading →

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