Using Energy

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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, 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

The huge, steel transmission towers carrying power to the North Country  collapsed under the weight of the ice during the Ice Storm of 1998.

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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Energy’s New World: Reporting From IHS CERAweek

CERAWeek attendees network during one of the event's nightly cocktail parties.

For a week each year, energy executives from around the globe as well as top government officials descend on Houston for the annual IHS CERAWeek conference, which drew to a close last Friday.The meeting was a chance for these leaders to grapple with a change few could have predicted at the same event a year earlier. Continue Reading →

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