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    More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our lives
  • Fuel/Cost Savings of Improving Fuel Economy from 12->15 mpg = 30->60 mpg

    Fuel economy is not as straight-forward as you might think. Image courtesy: fragallo

    Consumer tip-of-the-day: increasing efficiency of fuel economy on a miles-per-gallon scale is not linear, as more miles-per-gallon (mpg) are initially better for your wallet and the planet than you might expect, and eventually trail off with diminishing returns. Last week, a friend pointed out a good blog post by Nicholas Chase and the Energy Information [...]

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    Time For Energy Diplomacy

    One-fourth of the world is breathing unsafe air. Courtesy of Hsu et al/The Atlantic

    Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has unfolded into the most serious East-West crisis in a generation. These events have illustrated Europe’s energy insecurity, but also highlight how the United States and European Union now have a tremendous opportunity to advance mutual foreign policy goals. I’ve written more on what we can do over at GMF… The [...]

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    Construction begins in Texas on world’s largest carbon capture facility

    2014 07 18 parish

    Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) could be a key technology option in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s fossil fuel power plants. But, the technology has become better known for its setbacks than successes in recent years. This week revealed a glimmer of hope for CCS supporters as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) [...]

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    Battleship Barcelona: When Child-Like Simplicity Saves the Day

    Barcelona's new bus system is based on its century-old grid pattern streets. Copyright: Tali Trigg.

    I am one of those people who always thought Barcelona would be my favorite city in the world. I visited several times, and though the weather, design, and food leave you wanting little else, there was always something about the sheer number of tourists (besides myself) and traffic that put me off the whole experience. [...]

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    An Introduction to Electricity Markets

    Each day, the grid operator collects information from electric generators, and then uses an optimization algorithm to decide which generators should be online to minimize overall electricity costs while maintaining electric reliability. (Source: ERCOT)

    So many debates about our transforming electricity system surround the economics of electricity production. The solar advocates continually remind us that the price breakthrough for solar panels is just around the corner, while industry advocates insist the economy will suffer if we place any meaningful limits on carbon pollution. I find it’s often difficult to [...]

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    Welcoming Robert to the Plugged In writing desk!


    Today, the Plugged In writing desk is pleased to announce that Robert Fares will be joining the discussion here on Plugged In for the next few months as a regular contributor. He has been a frequent guest writer and participated in a live twitter discussion with the blog in October 2013 (see below).   Robert [...]

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    All Eyes To 2016: Energy and Renewables In The Midterms


    Do energy issues matter when it comes to how we vote? It depends. For some Americans, energy is the most significant factor that influences the way a ballot is cast. To others, it takes a back seat to pressing social and security issues. Still, we know Americans are paying attention to energy. According to the [...]

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    If Climate Change Was Not Real…

    A Scarlet Ibis Water Bird in the once-receding Amazon rainforest. Courtesy: Brandon Hoover.

    … there would be a lot of other environmental issues to deal with. This is no big revelation, but it’s a question I’ve been pondering recently: What is the state of the world, not counting climate change? Or rather, what if we managed to reduce CO2 emissions to necessary levels, what would our focus be on [...]

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    Photo Friday: Electric Utilities for the Household


    This Westinghouse advertisement was published in The Literary Digest on November 30, 1918. The text reads as follows: Westinghouse ELECTRIC UTILITIES FOR THE HOUSEHOLD Fuel and Labor Many are the steps that electrical appliances save, and many the tasks they lighten. More important, however, under present day conditions are the saving of feel and the [...]

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    Welcome to Texas – America’s energy storage laboratory


    Texas is well-known as the home of the oil and gas industry. Over the last decade it has also become the nation’s wind power leader. Today, it is poised to be America’s testbed for energy storage technologies. The state’s image as the home of big oil and gas has been cultivated over the years through [...]

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